Placed into fear beyond my doing to lose the ability to change the course of action for immediate better was tough.
But there were things that I could control that mentally, physically and emotionally got me through.
- Change my mental picture to ‘belief’ that I was going to get through it – keep the faith.
- Surrender my trust to others (fellow crew) that they knew how to work the yacht in the sailing conditions.
- Offer my help where I was able to, to give assistance in supporting the job needing to be done.
- Be grateful for the learning experience.
When daylight broke over the landscape of the Southern Alps, the fear abated tremendously. Although the cloud had dispersed overhead to reveal blue sky, the wind and swells had not. It was another five hours of roller coast sailing before having a brew was possible.
It was tough.
The sound of the clunk clunk clunk from the anchor dropping in Big Bay is something I will always cherish.
Max is the owner of the yacht and aged in his early 70’s. Wayne is his good mate (and my caravan living neighbour) and aged in his mid-60’s. They have over 110 years combined sailing experience compared to my seven days or so which wasn’t to be laughed at. As a team, we got there!
We had survived and when you say to folk that you are really pleased to see them again, YOU really are pleased to see them again!
Did I want to disembark when we were only twenty metres from the shore?
We had jobs to do – open up the hatches to dry out the dampness below; repair a torn sail; fix a bolt on the rigging gear; put the rod over the boat to catch some fish; have a cup of tea and loaf; wave to trampers laden with their lives on their backs skirting the foreshore.
Max had the yacht moored at Waikawa Bay in Picton being used as a charter yacht for a number of years and wanted to take it home to Lyttleton, Christchurch. This yachting adventure had been a dream and goal of Max’s for over twenty years – to sail it down the West Coast, around Fiordland to Stewart Island and back up the East Coast.
Wayne and I were helping Max realise his dream.
Sometimes when you put yourself out there to help others, you may encounter a situation beyond your doing to lose the ability to change the course of action for immediate better. This should be a reason for living a life of adventure because if you survive, you grow from the experience. I had, even though we still had two or so weeks to go.
Just remember, embrace what you do have control of as prescribed above. It does help.
But, life threw us a speed hump far more un-imaginable than what we had just endured.
It amplified the purpose of helping Max realise his dream.
To be continued …