Sailing Away From Sailing

I used to sail. In a boat. On the water. Really.

(You would know this if you’ve read the extensive list of what I’ve attempted to be good at on my About page.)

Hidden in a shed at my parents’ house there is a boat. My boat. The “Eleanor Rigby”. (I was a big Beatles fan from about the age of nine.)

She hasn’t been sailed in…. oh…. I don’t want to think about how long. Decades.

It’s time to let her go.

I haven’t sailed her since my teens but I’m finding it unexpectedly heart-wrenching to part with her.

I developed a passion for sailing after reading Swallows and AmazonsΒ by Arthur Ransome when I was twelve. I think part of the reason why sailing, in the end, didn’t stick was because it was never (and was never going to be) like it was in the book. I wanted to sail with hearty mates. I wanted to sail on a lake to a private island. I wanted secret adventures and seed cake and tea cooked over a fire. I wanted to be friends with John and Susan and Titty and Roger. I most especially wanted to be best friends with Nancy and Peggy, the Amazon Pirates.

But it was fantasy and this was reality.

So I sailed in a not-a-clinker dinghy on a bay (well, technically a lagoon off the bay) by myself and there were no private islands on which to camp and make parley with the natives.

It was never quite the same as the dream I held.

But I think it’s mostly hard to let her go because she reminds me of my father.

A father who understood the weird dreams and desires of his youngest daughter and bought her a boat even though money must have been tight.

A father who drove his daughter every week to the lagoon and waited on the bank while she tried to fulfil that dream.

A father who travelled hours around the bay towing the boat so his daughter could share her sailing passion with her schoolΒ friends at camp.

A father who continued to pay the registration on the boat trailer for years after his flighty daughter had moved on to other things just in case she wanted to come back to sailing.

Life changes. Dad is gone. Mum needs to move on. And the boat must go.

Anyway, she needs to feel the wind in her sail again. Feel the water lapping at her sides. It’s only fair.

But I’ll miss her.

 

 

 

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54 thoughts on “Sailing Away From Sailing

  1. So you really did empty everything – GOODONYER ! And yes, keeping her in the garage will do nothing to enliven your memories of your beloved father, darlin … but then, you don’t need anything to help you remember him. He’s in your head, and that’s that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really did. And I cleaned her up and checked on the sail and life jackets in the box (surprisingly still in pretty good nick) and recorded her for posterity (because, oddly, I can’t find a single photo of me actually sailing her 😦 ).

      Yes, I know. I didn’t actually realise that the reluctance I have held to get around to posting my giving her away was because of Dad until I wrote this post. The words just spilled out.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Actually Heather’s mother emptied the junky part, and paid for her actually – no matter, it was parental support and Dad did the hard yards.

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  2. A bittersweet post, MOSY. The boat certainly brought back great loving memories for you, and the fun times you had with it. Though you and it didn’t sail away into the sunset like a fairytale, it has always been there for you when you needed it – and brought you and family together. Hope it goes off to a new home and it has many more adventures ahead πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to hang onto many things that I felt had special meaning until I realized they were only collecting dust in a box in the closet. I’m glad you’re letting go of the boat, but keeping those precious memories of your youth and your dad. Bon voyage Eleanor Rigby, I hope you make new memories for another young girl with dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was actually doing quite well about giving her up, even considering the option of just wheeling her out to the nature strip with a “Free to a good home” sign. That is, until I actually climbed into her to clean her out and took her photograph. Then all of a sudden the reality of letting her go sank in. She does need to find a new life somewhere. I can’t give it to her. But I’ll grieve a little when she goes.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. She’s a beautiful boat, unlike the ugly hunk of plastic I sailed on as a teen. I’m sure you’ll miss her. But, sometimes we have to let go (said the man whose house is filled with the junk and detritus of a lifetime of never throwing anything away πŸ˜‰ )

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    • I’d forgotten how lovely she was as a timber boat. Mum needs to clear the shed and I don’t have the capacity to store her so she has to go. Besides, I realistically don’t have the time to take up sailing again and she should be on the water. I’ll be sad but I’ll also be pleased if she gets another go at life.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s a sad day when you have to part with a boat. I had a sailboat for a few years, but it wasn’t going to work long-term and it had to go. I hope it is still out there with the water under it, and that someone is enjoying its quirks and manufacturing defects as much as I did. You had a good dad!

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  6. Oh, I would have loved to have joined you on your adventures though I was more of a George from the Famous Five myself, not much of a sailor I’m afraid. But I was good at climbing cliffs πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Eleanor Rigby is a beauty as are the memories of your father & his wanting to offer his daughter the opportunity of developing a passion she thought she might have. Letting go of things that we have emotional attachments to, are always the hardest. Hopefully Eleanor will fall in to the hands of someone who takes her out on the water to fly. The memories of your Dad will remain in your heart always Heather, of that I am sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s interesting how you describe your vision of what sailing meant to you compared to the reality. Very perspective of you to recognize the difference and why it didn’t work for you.
    I’ve never sailed, but I can appreciate your sadness. A close friend recently went through the same situation with the sail boat he inherited after his father passed away. He desperately wanted to love sailing as a way to honour his dad and maintain that thread. It just didn’t happen though.

    I hope you find that new owner who will love and cherish your boat. It will help to take the sting out of letting it go. As MR said, the memories of your dad will continue to be with you long after the Eleanor Rigby is gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, giving away one that you had inherited from your father would really hurt. I hope your friend has come to accept it.

      I’m a shocker for falling in love with some concept I’ve picked up in a book or somewhere and thinking I’ll do it too. Until I either get bored or discover I don’t have the knack for it and move on to something else. But you’ve probably figured that out about me by now. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • Consider yourself lucky … your father fueled your fantasies and dreams πŸ™‚

        I’ve always encouraged ‘dabbling’ by my boys. If you don’t try, how will you know for sure ….?
        It sounds like your dad knew that too.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I have goose bumps after reading this. The brain knows it is time and the heart tugs back furiously. When I was a teen my Dad purchased a small dirt bike for me. It meant a lot of freedom for a rural Canadian kid. The thing sat for decades as your boat has. They might have made lovely warehouse companions if not for thousands of miles separating them. Last year when Mom moved the bike was purchased by someone who had another exactly the same. He ‘fixed up’ my old bike and then sent a photo to my Mom of the two shiny good-as-new bikes together. He said he and his son would have many fun hours riding together. I still get a lump in my throat thinking how happy it made me to know the bike would be out and about again. I hope that can happen for your beloved sailboat. Xo

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hi Heather! Loved your blog! It reminded me very much on my Dad who bought us boys a 2-boy dinghy to learn in. We were slow learners but continued to sail and eventually sailed with him in a 30ft yacht he built in the back yard. So many good memories of sailing holidays. His ashes were scattered from the jetty we departed from! A great dad like yours I suspect! PS I think your boat is an old OK dinghy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Simon! Thank you. Love your story. Dad wasn’t a sailor himself (he couldn’t even swim) but it didn’t stop him from helping me give it a go myself. πŸ™‚ It’s a Solo dinghy. I’ve not seen many of them here but I believe they’re very popular in the UK.

      Like

  11. Reblogged this on FUN HAPPENS! and commented:
    This is such a lovely story. Reflecting on your childhood and what your sailing dinghy meant to you. It was tender and thus deserves a spot on Tender Tuesdays. Thanks ‘JACK of ALL TRADES’ fpr allowing me to to repost this on my site for all the sailing families who have been reading about PRAIRIE GIRL’S experiences of learning to sail in her late 40’s. I know this will resonate with many families.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey MOSY, long time no see. Hope all is well with you and the family, I just wanted to wish you happy holidays and a great 2017 – possibly the year when you discover what it is you are good at? πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    [ducks and runs…]
    Jude xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jude! (You know, I always have to sing that in my head…) Thank you for your good wishes. Sorry I’ve been lost in the wilds of work and can but watch the things I want to read go flying by unread. It’s now holiday time so I hope (after the Christmas madness) to be popping around to see what everyone has been up to while I’ve been away. Hope the holiday season is unseasonably warm for you and if not, that at least there’s plenty of family warmth to go around. πŸ™‚ xx

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