With the threat of hurricane Matthew still in the air, we and our boat mechanics made the mad dash to prepare Dolce Vento for haul out in two days, not the planned two weeks. While work was underway, John and I cleared out everything we needed for land living or might freeze. We took down two sails, cleaning and deflating the dinghy and removing Bimini and dodger canvas.
By Wednesday night at 6:00 PM, the work was done, my back ached beyond belief and John’s bad hip kept him from walking correctly, but we sighed that big sigh of relief. The only problem was that the threat of Matthew had disappeared in the Chesapeake when the hurricane was beginning to circle back upon itself. But we couldn’t back track. We were committed to putting Dolce Vento on the hard in the morning. Our only choice, as I said earlier, was to rely on the kindness of friends, so we packed the car (twice) with canvas and plastic bags filled with all our belongings and headed to Severna Park. There, among tall trees and a view of the Severn River from a wrap around screened porch, we have a place to organize and recharge until Saturday morning when we head back to Virginia for a week in a hotel before moving into our furnished apt on Sunday, October 16.
Next week is John’s surgery consultation, the day when we find out when his hip can be replaced.
I’ve always been a rock in a crisis, laser focused, able to move swiftly, make decisions and push my body to get the work done. Now, with the crisis over and our slip that was home for Dolce Vento empty, true to form, I was dizzy from exhaustion, restless in sleep, and as I watched the marina crew haul Dolce Vento out of the water, the last of my energy seeped out of me like a deflated two-day old balloon.
As I descended the ladder after cleaning up on deck, storing the power cords, and pulling off the last few items we might need, my shoulders sagged forward and I pictured the end of our adventure. Even my husband’s encouragement, “Hey, look we are protected now, no matter what happens” did little to lift my spirits. Logically, I knew that we had done the right thing, minimized our risks, gained a season on the Bay to build our confidence by sailing Dolce Vento, and had time to plan the trip south for next fall. But emotionally, I was 13 again, a dejected, nonathletic, over sized kid, one of the last to be picked for the dodge ball team, a young girl who cried easily, often bullied because she didn’t know how to be funny and ignore the teasing. I felt alone, so alone.
The cure for these old feelings included first to get back control over the events. In my case, reorganizing the many bags of stuff into manageable packages, leaving bottled water and perishable food stuffs to our hosts. But, more importantly, was the pedicure this afternoon. There is nothing so revitalizing as a good foot massage, fragrant oils applied to the calves and once again tidy toes, manicured and painted a seasonal dark red. I am an adult once again, rational and looking forward. Life is changed, but life is good.