Another Barbecue

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 27 Mar 2011 07:14
Hauled out Apataki Carenage
Wind: East nor' east, F3 Gentle breeze
Weather: Sunny, warm

Work on Sylph has progressed steadily. I am a day behind schedule but the deadline is self imposed so no big deal. At this stage I expect to be back in the water on Tuesday.

I have just come from another barbecue with the other cruising folk and the owners of the carenage. This time things have not gone so well. Everyone here speaks French of course, except for me and unfortunately I ended up being isolated with no one to talk to. Everyone else was in an animated conversation, all were couples plus two beautiful young girls, daughters of Jean-Pierre and Sylvia, and me. As I sat there very much on the periphery of things I became increasingly depressed, and finally I just had to leave. I gathered my things, said nothing to anyone, and simply walked away. Now I am back on Sylph feeling quite a lot better, feeling not quite so lonely, writing my blog.

Which gets me to thinking why am I writing this blog? I have always wanted to write since I was a child, the only problem is writing is very difficult for me. My mother asked me before I left for this voyage whether I was going to write a book and I answered her that that would depend on what happened. I left Australia with the intention of recording my experiences as best I could with the idea that if a worthwhile story transpired then indeed I might turn it into a book. Initially, pre-satellite communications, I just wrote a journal and would then edit it and convert it into a general letter which I emailed to family and friends. Then along came affordable satellite communications and the concept of blogs, so when I was heading up to Greenland in 2008 it seemed a good way to share my experiences and try to promote the Annapolis Bookstore which I was involved with at the time. Despite the development in technology and the problems which it entails my overall objective remained unchanged, to simply record my experiences as I go along. I am no Montaigne so they are mostly heavily filtered, for various reasons, partly through common decency as no one really wants to know all that is going on inside my head, also because I am a very limited writer, I am simply unable to express what I see, experience, think and feel. Nonetheless I remain true to the idea of recording my experiences as best I can, and also, since I have ended up single handing so much, it has become an outlet for me, not part of my intention but it seems at times something of a safety valve. The last thing I want to do is to drift into the bog of self pity, and I apologise if at times I do fall into this most pathetic of human weaknesses.

Never complain, never explain, my little brother said to me. Maybe he is right. I think he is right about about the first point, though I would modify it to say only complain if it will correct an obvious injustice and achieve a worthwhile outcome. As for never explain, I am still thinking about this. Not so sure, I am groping towards a connection with my fellow travellers, and I think sometimes an attempt at explanation along the road of understanding is necessary.

All is well.

PS. My little brother is actually taller than me, in fact I am the shortest male member of my tribe. Perhaps I should have said my younger brother, but little implies for me a tenderness that younger does not. Subtleties of language, I am sensitive to them but so limited in my ability to use them.