With beginnings come endings…. so it is with my ‘there and back again’ adventure.
Valinor’s name has it’s origin in that J.R.R. Tolkien adventure tale. At the end of the tale, the heros sailed off to Valinor, the undying lands, with the elves. Well, I’m not a hobbit, elf or hero, and I found no elves to take me anywhere along my adventure, at least none that would admit it. But it does feel a bit like leaving for some final place as I approach the end.
I’m in Solomons as I write this, having sailed from Hampton with friend Roger Long. Roger’s boat’s name, ‘Strider’, also has its origin in the same Tolkien tale. I will meet some SOS cruising friends at Pirates Cove Marina (Galesville) on Saturday/Sunday, then head back to home and hearth on Monday with my wife who generously consented to my extended wanderings.
It has been a long adventure from Last October 28th when I set sail from Annapolis to now. I would not trade the experience for most anything – interesting, challenging, quiet, fun, sometimes exciting, illuminating, sad, and an assortment of other emotions/reactions that may only become apparent with time to reflect.
This is the last of the posts specific to this adventure. The travel feels appropriately complete. It felt that way when I arrived in Hampton – home Chesapeake Bay waters after clearing Mile ‘O’ of the AICW. I’ll spend some time now thinking about the trip and perhaps commenting on aspects from a cruising and personal perspective.
In unexpected ways, it has been circular – apart from the round trip nature. I docked here at the Chesapeake Biological Lab, a sister lab of CEES to AEL where I served on the faculty 30 years ago. Doesn’t feel that long! Roger, my occasional sailing partner, is the naval architect who designed the Rachael Carson – CBL’s Research vessel I’m docked next to (…adjacent to which I’m docked ? I was an English major once – more than 30 years ago).
It has been fun, occasionally sharing on this blog, hearing from friends and strangers (friends I haven’t met yet) who have followed these travels. I made new friends along the way, and look forward to future adventures of some sort on the water. The sailing community is a fascinating group of folks almost impossible to characterize simply – they each find some sort of fulfillment in sharing time on the water with others of common interests – or alone.
Thanks to all for being there, sharing your experiences, and I hope to encounter you again in other travels.