More than a year has passed since Elizabeth Jean breezed into the Severn River near Annapolis, Maryland. There, we ended our four-year peregrination. We’ve transitioned with surprisingly relative ease to land but find ways to maintain our “sea legs.” Eulalie is a charter captain and U.S. sailing instructor working throughout the Salish Sea. Her students benefit from all the lessons she gleaned from Elizabeth Jean over 4 years and 15,000 nautical miles. This spring, Eric co-taught a masters level course in ocean resource decision making and action taking and published an article on the proposed expansion of offshore oil and gas development. Meanwhile, this blog has patiently waited for us to be ready to write its final chapter.
The blog begins with its mast head—”Joyfully exploring, surrendering to this moment, sharing the adventure.” One of our readers once insightfully observed, “It’s a covenant of sorts, isn’t it?” Exactly so. At the outset, these were the commitments we made to ourselves on how we wanted to live this dream. Now is the right time to take stock of our promises.
Was our exploration joyful? Not always. Facing physical, mental and interpersonal challenges, at times we strove to make sure we weren’t merely moving or worse, “anxiously exploring.” Thankfully, joy was a persistent if not constant fellow traveler, with such encounters too plentiful to tally.
Surrendering to this moment? Even the concept of surrendering, with its connotation of defeat, can be hard to wholeheartedly embrace. But, embrace it we did and found that with proper preparation letting go is the ultimate high. A case in point, riding a cresting wave over the El Salvador bar to enter safe harbor.
Sharing the adventure? In the end, this was the easy promise. And for this ease, we have you to thanks. Some of you joined us on board to help with passages; others met us in distant ports of call; others opened your homes to provide showers, beds and other comforts. Many of you virtually joined us on these pages, letting us know you were with us in spirit. Our gratitude is yours. Grateful too are we, Elizabeth Jean’s fortunate crew, to one another for sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience through which we have shared and learned so much.
A while back, we mentioned you would know our blog was fully and finally finished when we sang a final chorus of our friend Willie O’Ferron’s Tale of the Elizabeth Jean. Please sing along.
Off we go sailing on the Elizabeth Jean.
We run with the tide and we’re chasing the breeze.
We count all our blessings (whatever that means).
And thank the almighty we’re livin’ the dream.