"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity."
Have you ever wondered why Captains are referred to as salty? Maybe because the sea is salty? Because the sea, blood, sweat and tears all have salt? I think it's because salt preserves...
...and captains need lots of preserving.
I remember sitting in the engine compartment of the Empress Bennu scraping away inches of oily engine muck to get to her shiny aluminum hull while my friends danced to Dave Matthews Band live just down the street.
I cried while I scraped. I was a year into a process that took much more than I ever imagined. More time. More work. More sacrifice. More dedication. More money. But the hope of our future (a girl Captain and her boat) was enough to keep determination afloat.
I was determined that this neglected boat (named Nauta Priority) would be beautiful. That her story and her name would be one of Power and ReBirth--the Empress Bennu. I was determined that people would see her and know that she's a good, sturdy, beautiful vessel. And eventually she was.
I took chances...I risked. When I met the Empress, I was afraid of commitment. I didn't want to own. I didn't want to be owned. I decided to own (and be owned by) this vessel. I swore, in a ceremony to Poseidon of the deep, to take care of this vessel. I have failed.
It's a difficult thing to say. It's a difficult thing to face. I have failed. It is my greatest fear. I am a determined girl...I find a way. I research; I learn; I do; I succeed. It's what I do.
I have told only a very few people. I find it difficult to talk about. I find it difficult to face. I am a captain. And my boat sank. Her interior...her interior built of meticulous research, planning, sanding, staining, nailing, more research, polishing, torching, building, searching, buying, and loving...years given to her ReBirth...is a complete loss.
I won't post pictures here of this part of the story. It's too gruesome. It's too difficult. And it's not what I wanted for her. It's not how I want her to be seen.
Am I a captain? I have a credentials. I have some experience. Does this make me a Captain? I don't have a boat. What is a captain without her boat?
So far in this situation, I have dealt with issues only as I have had to. I have not faced this head on, as I usually do when a challenge rears its head at me. Today she was pulled out of the water and placed on blocks. I've always hated seeing her on land and looked forward to celebrating her return to water. This time I had to face the idea that she would probably not return to the water. I cried. Salt.
I believe in the healing power of salt.
This blog post is my first step toward taking control of this devastating blow. This is me, deciding to mourn, to learn, to overcome and to move on.
I think this is what makes me a captain. A captain worth my salt...salt that I earned and that I continue to earn each time I overcome obstacles and adversity.
Yes. I am a captain.