Late night stars, a handful of sailing friends, a few glasses of wine/margaritas/tequila shots/beers (although not all of these at once, of course). We talk and laugh and reminisce about past cruising memories. And then: plans are made.
One night way back in Mexico, late night plans developed in this way. During an evening of jovial fun, our fellow South Pacific-bound friends were trying their hardest to convince us to follow along in our Alberg 35, Pelican. We fought back with many excuses: we had only several months’ worth of funds left in our cruising kitty, our 30-year-old sails were on their last legs thanks to the Mexican sun, we didn’t have a liferaft. But then, as the night wore on, they began to win us over. Weakened with lukewarm but powerful margaritas made with Jumex and Jose Cuervo Especial we began to think that it might be a good idea. That we could indeed survive six months of crystal blue waters, white sand and palm trees. By the time we’d piled our drink glasses in the sink and got into our dinghy to putt back to Pelican for the night, we were headed for the South Pacific with the rest of the fleet.
And then we woke up the next morning. Bleary-eyed, with a pounding headache, we tried to remember what we’d promised the night before. We drank our tea in the morning sun looking out over the calm waters of Tenacatita Bay and knew that it just wasn’t going to happen. Someday. But not that year, despite how sure we were the night before of our upcoming South Pacific adventure. Some plans made in the night just do not last through to the next morning.
This past weekend, it happened again. Late night, a few beers, good friends. We were talking about our Northwest cruising plans for this summer. We had said that we really wanted to visit Princess Louisa again, if nothing else.
“Princess Louisa. Hmmm….” Our friend Karisa said. “But have you guys been to Blackfish Sound up north? That just blows Princess Louisa away. It’s beautiful and there’s hardly anyone there even mid-summer.” Yes, yes, that is true we agreed. We had been through there a handful of times, usually just quickly passing through. Nearby Kwatsi Bay had been one of our favorite anchorages ever. “And have you been on the West Coast of Vanvouver Island? It is just spectacular.” No, we had not. We’d explored the Northwest coast all the way up to Juneau, Alaska and back but not the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
“We’d like to do that, but we just aren’t sure we have enough time.” There we go making excuses again, to not complete one of our long-held cruising dreams.
“How much time do you have?” Karisa asks.
“About six weeks we figure.”
“Plenty of time,” she declares.
The conversation continues on into the night. We admit that we really don’t feel right leaving the Northwest without having circumnavigated Vancouver Island. The West coast of the island is desolate and achingly beautiful and rugged. And we do have plenty of time. And it would be a perfect shakedown cruise for Wondertime and her crew. It doesn’t take long before the decision is made: we’re going to go around Vancouver Island this summer.
The next morning we wake up (no headache this time, we’re not as young as we used to be and no tequila was consumed). Almost right away we talk again about our plans. Excited. We’re going around the island.
Because the plans that last until morning are the ones that are real. The ones that happen.