So this chapter, or rather an earlier rendition of it, was the one I submitted to my editor when she first approached me with the idea of publishing a story serially. I knew I wanted to write about my experience sailing, but at that time I only had a handful of rudimentary essays about various elements of life at sea- nothing with a narrative arc, nothing comprehensive (it’s still not comprehensive, but at least now it has a plot). I had initially wanted to fill the Fact or Fiction space with a collection of essays about Masonboro island (still do- stay tuned!), something vaguely Abbey-ish and Desert Solitaire-esque, but after thinking about it for a while I gave her this and thought it might make for a more engaging read.
Obviously she liked it enough to offer me the slot. This chapter is about how we all have to deal with and overcome the obstacles that life presents to us, often on our own, without a safety net or support from our loved ones. We must overcome challenges in order to keep going and keep living our lives on this wild earth- it’s one of the many things that makes us human. Going to sea taught me this above all, and this chapter outlines the first experience I had where I glimpsed that lesson.
It’s no accident that I titled this book “Going Aloft”: it was up there, up the mast, swinging precariously above the rolling deck of the schooner, that the seeds that eventually sprouted into this work of writing were first planted.
Read it here.
(And as always, Gina did a magnificent job on the artwork– isn’t she wonderful?)