Once More Unto The Breach

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger.”

William Shakespeare, Henry V

 A lot has happened in the last week or so. Moments of sorrow, worry, longing and deep reflection. Emails sent and received, words that were needed despite the moments of weakness they brought. This post is about an email I received a couple days ago that felt like a blow to the stomach, the wind pulled from my sails in just a few words. I felt a strong urge to give up, walk away from my dream. This I cannot do, I will not close the wall up with my dead dreams.

I have been conversing with a sailboat designer I met when calling around for advise on the restructuring/reinforcing of my boat. Tom has been so giving in his knowledge, so patient with the endless questions from a untested and inexperienced sailor. He gave meaning to the stories I have been told of the brotherhood of sailors and the camaraderie of like minds. As I reflect on our conversations, I think he was carefully guiding me down a path I could not see, adapting my thoughts to arrive at a hard truth. I think he was trying to bring me down to earth and get me to fully understand my own goals and the path to them. And where does that path lead? It leads to me selling my boat.

All the talk, all the effort, all the plans were dashed on the rocks of reality in that email. Not by what was written, but by the realization I was shorting myself with the boat I purchased. I knew this boat was not able to carry me to my ultimate dream, not suitable for open ocean passages. I had hoped to adapt it to a smaller dream in the name of expediting my goals. I was willing to give up part of my dream to get away sooner instead of waiting till I had saved the funds for a real world cruiser. I understand now how much I was giving up. Not just the open ocean, not the chance at seeing other countries, I was giving up on myself.

Depression and low self esteem have the effect of holding one down, bridling ones dreams with feelings of self imposed restrictions based on some unseen willingness to let difficulties weigh us down. The shackles of self doubt are heavy and burdensome and must be shed to arrive at the true meaning of ones life. Sometimes we must find the patience of a saint and harness it to the back of a soldier. Steadfast and determined to reach the pinnacle and follow what is in your heart should be the ultimate goal for all of us.

I am not giving up my dream, just following the lesson that email gave me. The best things in life are never free, nor do they come quickly. There is a cost to anything in life whether good or bad, and my goal requires patience. I will remain unfettered and unrestrained for the next year or two, work crazy hours and long work weeks. I will bow my head to the wind and push on with the vision that I started with.

Sailing to the south seas, anchoring off the Solomon Islands and walking the shores where so many from both sides died in the name of their country. Quiet reverence for those like my father who knew not why they were there, only what they must do to survive. We who have never been in such a place can only wonder how it felt, try to picture the the horror of combat. Those who have been can never forget what we cannot fathom. I wish to pay my meager tribute to them and say, Thank You for your service.

I hope someday to bring veterans on my boat and share some time with them. Those with PTSD should be shown great respect for the troubles they have seen. I will try to give them at least some peace, even if only for awhile, to show how much I care. I wasted my childhood but I am determined to make up for lost time. I will imitate the action of the tiger, and I will succeed!


12 thoughts on “Once More Unto The Breach

  1. Take your time… my 3 favorite words! It is well with my soul… Life is an adventure and we’re all living it each day.. Stay well friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When one hatch closes, another opens. This is just another stepping stone in this crazy life. My doctor just doubled my medication and I want to kick the universe for giving me an incurable illness. Without it though, would I be as empathetic or kind? When you sell the boat, you should give yourself a treat like a short vacation somewhere watery. Mobile was AMAZING!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John:

    Before you sell the boat,,,please have an honest conversation with yourself. Are you really taking the boat across oceans or will you be gunkholing in the Maine area mostly? If you’re going to take the boat across Oceans, there are great smaller boats out there for cheap that will do it for you,,,,but if you’re going to be really summer Gunkholing in the Maine area, perhaps your boat is ok? Most boats won’t do everything for you unless you buy the 70 foot Oyster with your own Captain. But, don’t buy a boat that you think you have to start reinforcing,,,,buy a boat that will reinforce you. Sounds dorky,,,,but I think it’s true. We are still not sure of the newest boat we just bought because it needs to so much work, but that’s part of the fun after I retire. Can’t wait to not have a house payment and the crap ton of insurance and stuff I deal with today. Hang in there and hit me up for boat buying or selling,,,,,I’ve done both now!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I bought this boat because I was giving up part of m6 dream for the sake of expediency. That was a mistake I have now rectified. I have gone back to my original and perhaps best plan to save for a Baba 30 5hat will give most of what I want.


  4. Before we left France we had an overdue conversation. It came out really funny because it turned out that my husband had been holding off suggesting the single area that I most want to live in. And I had thought he didn’t want to. I say this because for us to live in that single area (I will share with you and you will be unsurprised) will mean compromise on some things. To get the land we crave we will need to be a little less expansive with our house dreams. But we can make the house fit us. It won’t fit if we don’t get enough land (by the way, in Northen New England we can certainly get the land and a decent house so plan B remains intact). But in making that mental adjustment to what we want there are things we know we can’t give up on. For us it is the space around us (as much as possible), for you it is the call of the ocean. If you need the ocean going boat then the work you put in now will be rewarded with the real dream. For us, there will be more time here in the Mass Hole with my husband working for a little longer than we reckoned and me working round the clock on this place but the reward is either side of the Atlantic Ocean the dream will be the right dream not a compromise too far. And I think that is what the blow to your stomach has provoked in you. Sometimes we have to take a bitter blow to get to what we really need. That is what I read in this. And I know you will get there. And as you know, I have special powers 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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