by Daufuskie Dundee
It’s funny how simple things can sometimes take off and produce something totally unexpected. This happened to me while sailing across the Atlantic Ocean several times in the sloop Blue Gipsy. I had a big chart of the North Atlantic Ocean with the USA on the left side of the chart and England, Europe etc. on the right side. It was too big for the dinette table, so I just folded it up the middle with the crease running north and south and it fit perfectly. Whichever way I happened to be sailing, I’d plot the noon position and put a little triangle and a line linking it to the last position. Eventually it crept up to that crease and voila! It was turn the chart over day! WOW! A double ration of rum after that chart was flipped over and the noon sight plotted. Now my destination was before me and the whole atmosphere of the voyage changed. It was amazingly exhilarating! I guess it was like, well, it’s all down hill from here. Things seemed easier and anticipating arriving at that target port was exciting to think about. Everything took on a more positive feeling. Now for the rest of the story…
Have you ever looked up the day that marks the halfway point of the year? I’ve kept a journal since 1966 and use the “At a Glance” standard diary. I only write a page or less of things that happen every day.
One day, I noticed that July 1, is day number 183 with 183 days to follow, (it was a leap year). So, I decided to make that my “turn the chart over” day. Yes, the year is half gone but there is so much to look forward to; summer is only a week old, nesting birds and baby deer, trees with fruit ripening, making wine with our grapes, gardening and honey from the bees and on and on. It seems to also take some of the heat out of these dogdays and I really do look forward to it all. I know it’s going to be hot and busy but it seems easier somehow. I looked low to the East the other morning looking for my old pal Orion and sure enough, there he was. That always gives me another boost. Yes, that is a winter constellation. I know then that fall and winter are right over there and that means migrations and the movement of all kinds of fascinating creatures. Things cooling down and getting firewood and feeding Smoky the wood stove, reading a good book.
And then comes January 1, which is the day a whole new year of adventure begins. The new voyage day with new year’s resolutions, destinations, hopes, dreams and aspirations and off you go. I hope you get the picture of all this and make July 1 your flip the chart over day. It just might make a pleasant difference in your voyage across this big ocean called life. And we all know that sailors have more fun… :))