To boldly go…
Back in the 70’s Gene Roddenberry wrote a TV script about a group of space explorers that became known as “Star Trek.” The theme of that story was “To Boldly go where no man had gone before.”
For years I turned cardboard boxes into “landers” and soap containers into “phasers.” But Gene’s stories did more than excite fantasies and create toys . In some of us it awakened a section of our ancient brain stem that said “just GO”. Gene added the boldly, and a generation like me said we wanted to do just that.
Sadly, space costs a trillion times what I could ever afford, but as a young man I found that a motorcycle could do a pretty good job in a pinch. I traveled all of the Pacific Northwest, and then turned on my “Boldly”, and struck out to cross the US on a motorcycle.
That story still lives in a journal now tucked safely away in one of Country Dancers closets. But it didn’t end the little boys desire to explore. I kept stretching my experiences, learning to fly, traveling cross country several more time, skiing, diving and learning to sail from a few pretty good race boat captains. The dream of “boldly going” was still burning in my guts, but it would take a few more years, and a couple of kids before it would surface again.
Michael was 7 when his mother left us. For a few years, he and I worked on “bold” but it didn’t seem to take. He is a great kid, but what Gene sparked in me just didn’t find the same kindling in my son.
Then my brother introduced me to Jodi. Turns out she was pretty bold too. As a young mother she had lived in a cabin in Minnesota with no running water. Later she got heavily into rodeo, running the cans as a barrel racer, and with her then husband , became instrumental in starting both The Great Northern Rodeo, and the Bear Grease Dog Sled race. But her bold had also gone into a simmer stage until she had recently started dancing competitively. With a good partner, this lead to her winning 3 Worlds Country Dance Championships.
Jodi decided she had danced her turn and knowing I talked a lot about sailing, suggested she would like to retire from dancing and try doing “That”. Suddenly, the deeply buried BOLD came bounding to the front or our lives, and we soon had a 33 foot “pocket cruiser” sailboat. It only seemed right that we named her “Country Dancer.”
Little Dancer, as we refer to her now, was a great little boat, and we sailed her a lot, and everywhere. BOLD was no longer a memory, it had again become a weekly episode for us again as we explored the waters around Florida’s west coast.
If BOLD is really in your guts, you can’t sail very much without wanting to always go further, always go longer, always explore deeper, and the new Jodi & Gary were in full BOLD mode. The decision was made to get a boat big enough, fast enough, and comfortable enough that we could REALLY “go where no….” , well at least where WE had never gone before.
We bought a fairly new and nicely equipped Catalina 470 in 2010. Again there was no question of the name, and “S/V Country Dancer” was properly christened by us and the grand babies. She was destined to take her owners smiling, and spinning around the world to the beat of both Country music and the Caribbean music of Jimmy Buffet. Dancer she would be, and country….how many can we see?
Today is April 2013. BOLDLY is no longer a dream. We have reordered our lives and work so there is no longer a home other than Dancer, and we are sailing up the US east coast as leg one of our journey to Ireland. About June 1 we will enter the Atlantic and follow the Gulf Stream across to the Emerald Isle. From there the plan is the Med, then back to the Caribbean and across to the South Pacific. So long as not too many Klingon’s appear on our scopes, we, like the crew of the Enterprise, will continue our personal human adventure to where ever the wind and the stars can take us.
Dream big, and Go Boldly
The crew of S/V Country Dancer