The first of October finds us at a crossroads--within the next seven months we are going to have to make a couple of major life choices. Terry is going to run for a big teachers' union position and if she wins, we would move back to the Mainland U.S., back to our house in Onancock, Virginia.
This forces our hand on a second major decision: what happens to the boat, to our sweet VATNA, our home for the past nine years? I would love to sail her back, but Terry would not be able to go with me, at least for most of it, and it might take a year as we must sail with the seasons if we do a west-about (Guam, Malaysia, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Med, Atlantic to the Caribbean, and up to the Chesapeake). I can't fathom being away from my wife for that long. And I would need to find a crew, at least one other capable sailor and preferably, two. The other option is to sell her and just move back and buy another boat more suitable to the Chesapeake with its light winds and thin water. This would be easier, smarter, and infinitely easier on the marriage. But I've dreamed of doing a long voyage like this all my adult life.
Still, men (and women) have done worse--or better--as regards leaving a spouse at home while they go off adventuring. My reflective mind, though, asks itself when does going off on an adventure and leaving loved ones behind to worry become a selfish stunt? Just how you look at it, I suppose. So, we'll talk about it. Terry will not say no. She doesn't work that way.
Meanwhile, we've been sailing with our friends (in this photo, I'm not on Vatna, but a very fine Tayana 43 named Carpe Diem that lives just a few yards down the seawall from us. She's owned by some very close friends and we have had some wonderful day sails on her, catching fish, sipping wine, and laughing a great deal at our good fortune, living well being the best revenge.
The writing? It's on hold for a bit as I get my brain organized to start the next project. Pretty busy and preoccupied by the aforementioned.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com