When living aboard my sailboat, after about three weeks, time begins to loosen and stretch. Days have a surfeit of hours and long moments dwelling on the beauty of the sea gently lapping the granite boulders and the curves of mountains against the purple sky are recorded as memories. I begin to experience moments of such presence—when the setting sun turns the sea silver, and the deep green spruce trees stand in stately attention along the shore—that my mind becomes quiet. I can rest in my true nature and let everything be just as it is. No thoughts of missing anyone, no worries about the forecast, no plans about our itinerary. No moorings in Camden? OK, let’s anchor in Rockland and see an exhibit of David Row’s vivid contemplations of infinity at the Maine Center for Contemporary Art. A sunny day with good wind? We’ll sail at 8 knots to a quiet anchorage off Warren Island and hike through the woods. One day slips into the next. We are on the voyage out. On days like these, I can even forget for a moment to grieve my son Jonah, who is always with me. When I sense him in the verdant forest and changing sky, I feel a special kind of joy.
Anchored off Warren Island, our companions in the small harbor include the schooner The American Eagle, 3 sailboats and 4 cabin cruisers. We didn’t expect to see so many schooners plying the waters of the Penobscot Bay, their gaffe-rigged sails billowing in the wind. Camden, Castine, and Acadia are all still ahead of us, whenever we arrive.