When I turned 16, my parents gave me the best gift I had ever received- sailing lessons. The weeks spent on the water were the best times of my teenage life. I remember coming home, recapping the days with joy to my father- a man who always wanted to sail but his body had betrayed him too soon in life, and he wasn't physically able to do so.
So we would scheme and plan and design boats together, he would sketch them out the best his arthritic hands could- and I'd hunt down old Wooden Boat magazines from the library book sales. We'd flip through them and dream.
We found a 18' sailboat at a garage sail- a plywood project boat- that had dry rot through the majority of the hull. My father confided in me, telling me that if he ever had a sailboat, he'd name her Nonchalant. So we christened our little land sloop, and even though she couldn't sail, I loved that boat. She was parked in front of our house for several years, and I always thought I'd be able to fix her up someday.
But I went away to school, and life got complicated, and my plywood sloop, Nonchalant, was burned. I cried when she was pulled apart, because honestly, it wasn't just the boat that was burning- it was my dream of being able to return to the water, to a simpler place. Just the wind and the waves.
On Monday, I had a chance to get back on the water in Maui. I sailed on a beautiful boat, called the Scotch Mist II, and everything I had been missing hit me. Hard. I had an emotional breakdown, lamenting the years that I have been away from my hometown, missing the water, missing my father, and in general just being a pain in the ass. The angst has fueled something dangerous.
I'm going to build a boat.