"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

"The Horizon" by Abigail Campbell

>> Monday, May 17, 2010

Maritime Literature Assignment: Place yourself 50 years in the future: how do you think you will look back at your experience on the Harvey Gamage?

“The Horizon” By Abigail Campbell

The sea had become a part of me, a necessity: blood, water. A home everywhere I looked, the possibilities as endless as the horizon. Craving unpredictability drew me to the places I went, to the people I met, it molded my mind into one that thrived when faced with adventure. It took the better part of fifty years to realize I haven’t changed. Being young, embracing the things I was scared of. I threw caution to the wind and the waves carried me to the place I wanted to be mentally and physically.

I drove past her on way from yoga class. She was sitting in yard, sun reflecting off of her newly varnished booms, oiled deck boxes. She looked different, out of place on land. I parked the car and got out, looking up at the chipped white paint and embellished lettering. “Harvey Gamage Islesboro, Maine” She had been taken from her home, just as I was the moment I stepped off her wooden deck for the last time. She looked older, years of wind throwing itself at her beam, and so did I, but our relationship, our spirits hadn’t aged a day.

I climbed aboard, dust covering the planks I had walked on so many times before. Slowly running my finger along the rail, it lifted the accumulated layer of dirt; it all came back.

My years of following the wind around wherever it wanted to take me began when I was 16. I boarded the SSV Harvey Gamage, dropped my dry-bag full of polypropylene on her deck. Soon after I lost my sun deprived skin, my land hands, and in return I gained a rig and a strong pair of sea legs.

I left my family only to find another aboard. I left my home only to realize I was still in it. Sailing taught me that the world is my home. My mind was permanently opened to the endless opportunities I have found.

Every second of my days I groveled for moments of achievement and challenge. I took life as it came and made out of it the best that I could.

I walked back down the ladder, leaving behind the worn lines and weathered sails, this was the place where my life began.


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