Monday, June 6, 2022

Hilton Head Island: loss; The Awakening Land; last call; going sailing

During the night of March 23, my friend, David, put his impeccable Bristol 40, ANTARES, on a reef in Venezuelan waters.  She was a total loss.

I know those waters.  There are several groups of tiny islets off Venezuela.  Las Aves;  Los Roques.  Jill and I cruised them in 1985, serenely anchoring behind uninhabited bits of coral and sand with great snorkeling.

David’s experience was very different.  He has written of it eloquently.  I believe that most who read my journal will be interested.

David knows he has my empathy, for what little that is worth.

As I have observed life can change in the passing of a single wave, in a single moment.  His did.  Perhaps life often does.

I wish him resolution of his loss.

I am almost finished with THE TOWN, the final volume of an outstanding trilogy by Conrad Richter, known as The Awakening Land.

Richter was born in 1890 and died in 1968.  He was a very fine writer.  I have read other books of his and was brought to this trilogy by the publisher offering the first book, THE TREES, on BookBud in the hopes that readers would then buy the next two at full price. With me they were successful.  I bought THE FIELDS and THE TOWN even before finishing the first volume.

All are set in what is now Ohio and begin when a family walks there from Pennsylvania about the time of the American Revolution.  

As I have written, growing up in a suburb of St. Louis my mind moved west.  I read about the exploration and expansion of the United States that direction, but I never much thought about the settlement of the land to the east, except along the coast.  These books have given me insight and perhaps some understanding of what those early settlers experienced and endured.  And the main character in all the books is a remarkable woman, Sayward, who was a girl when her family first moved into what was to them wilderness, and ages through the novels.  I expect THE TOWN may end with her death, but I am not quite there yet.  

I am trying to be careful with words because I know that the land and forest into which they walked were not uninhabited.  They were populated by people who had been there for hundreds and thousands of years.  With the coming of Europeans, it all changed.  Not in an instant.  But very quickly and completely.  In this case less than the life of one woman.

From my friend, Tim, comes this, which brings a smile.  I thank him.

I expect to go sailing for a few days, leaving Wednesday, to try to get the new outboard to hydrocharge.  I’ll set GANNET on a reach and go offshore for a day or two, then turn around and work my way back.  While I don’t think it will be of much interest to others, I will turn on the YellowBrick so I can view our track when I return.  It will be set to upload a position every three hours if you want to look in.

If I change my plans, I’ll let you know.

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