Summing up 2009
Wow. Phew! Happy days. Big smiles. Big birds. Big fears. Even bigger oceans. Lots of tears:of happiness and of sadness. Salty. Very, very blue and ever so slightly chocolatey. Amazing.
I know that the ‘a’ word is used too much these days, but I feel that it warrants inclusion in my list of words for summing up 2009 and the decade that it rounds off.
Reflecting on the last three and half years since Dad died and I decided to embark on my Indian Ocean voyage in his memory, I see pain, struggles and salt water. I still find it quite hard to take in. There were so many tough times, contrary currents and troughs of despair in these two monumental journeys which make up the biggest challenges of my life.
But I look at the progress too, and see that my family and I have survived and made it some way down our crazy grief roads, and Dippers and I have traced a wiggly line across an ocean. I have also been priveleged to be able to share the adventure; in the last month alone have rowed both oceans again and again with thousands of people. Who would have thought?
I also see all the lovely folk who have helped me along the way and been a part of my team; my dear and lovely Dippers rocking gently in a bright infinity blue or surfing down the waves with my Tweedles swimming along beside; happy socks and chocolate on a cabin day; an albatross cruising on the waves at stage left; the iodine stains from where I lost the lid while dousing the ‘lower deck’. I see Bob tucked away in the cabin and I smile proudly at my faded ragged ensign flying gently in the breeze. Thankfully there is no mush in sight, but instead I am toasting the day with a slug of Port from my Little Miss Chatterbox mug. My hair is salty, my face yellow with zinc cream and I am as happy as a Tweedle on a summer’s day. The sun is setting – bright red and fiery to the one side with aubergine blue skies on the other showing the first starry signs of night. I know that Orion and his mates will soon arrive to stand sentry. It is beautiful and awesome, quite literally filling me with awe. I am at peace and in harmony with the world. It is raw and elemental – just as adventure should be.
Looking back & looking forward
This is the picture show which helps make up my take-home memories of the decade, indeed of my life now. They will nestle between many more great memories of adventures out on the open ocean; of my right-hand man Ricardo; of those first hugs in Mauritius and the crazy post-ocean wobbling of my early months back on land.
My lovely Dad is there too – smiling and probably chuckling, and no doubt shaking his head in amused disbelief at my next project.
‘And what is this next project?’ I hear you say.
Well, for this you will have to wait until 2010.
For now, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my salty heart and my lovely boat, for all your support in helping me make these journeys through all this salt water – of oceans and tears, of grief and adventure.
Great work, team. Here’s wishing you all the salty best for a happy and healthy 2010 and beyond.
S & D x
PS Team polo shirts now priced at just £15 and little people’s sizes at £10. Hurry to order one for spring while stocks last! (I’m about to take an order from the Tweedles – apparently navy blue is more fashionable than stripes these days)