Somehow it didn’t feel real till the goodbyes started.

6 years ago Alex and I sat on a beach in Croatia watching cruising boats go wherever they pleased. 3 years ago I left for Korea with the intention of saving up as much money as possible. Last summer we started looking at boats, and this January Saltbreaker was purchased. The past few months have been nothing but work, boat work, food, and sleep. There really hasn’t been a whole lot of time for introspection.

Suddenly there were people. People who wanted to see us and to see us off. People who we love and love to spend time with. For a solid 24 hours, we were surrounded by these awesome people. Saying goodbye to one good friend is hard enough, but saying goodbye to your entire family, most of your extended family, and a large portion of your best friends within about 5 minutes was… well… something I’ve never experienced before.

Instead of feeling my own emotions, I started absorbing the emotions of others. Excitement, sadness, fright, amazement and love are just a few. These emotions combined to form a new feeling. One which can’t be expressed in standard English. If you’d like to feel this feeling yourself, imagine the following:

1. Your dog just died.
2. You’ve suddenly been trapped in an elevator with 2 of your best friends.
3. You’re launching off in a space shuttle.
4. Your dog’s not really dead.

Our dad smashes a bottle of champagne over the bow of the boat. Our Mom, Dad, SteveO, and communal best friend Dosh chop through our docklines with a cleaver. Saltbreaker is pushed out of the slip, the jib is raised, and we glide past the dock full of boats at walking pace. Dralle keeps up with of for a bit. Our cousin Pat is at the end of the pier getting barked at by sea lions. Then we’re gone.

Or are we? One final tack back to the end of the pier, a couple of bursts on the airhorn and we’re really gone. For real. We’re gone.

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6 Responses to Sendoff

  1. Janis Denman says:

    You’re gone. Wish we could have been there. I hope you’ll keep up the posts. I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw that all three of you gave us your first impressions of the send off. Sorry about the camera. Can’t wait to follow you three crazy guys around the world. Maybe we’ll see you in Mexico!! Love and stay safe. (I have to say that since I’m your Aunt Janis!)

  2. Judi Delgado says:

    Well written, as always, Nick. Sorry we threw our emotions at you :-) But, since you’ll be pretty close to all your own for the next 2 years, it seemed only fair. Hugs.

  3. Frances May says:

    You are off to follow your dreams! You have filled your lives with adventure and each one has been shared and thoroughly enjoyed by Grandpa and I. This is no exception and we feel confident that you will continue to keep us informed as to your experiences and impressions while on this great journey!! We wish you only the best!
    Love, mm

  4. Uncle Bill says:

    I can’t wait to follow each and every post!

  5. Mary (Kleeman) Kaminski says:

    Patrick was not ready to come home. I think he misses you guys. And a little bit of him misses the sea lions :-)

  6. Mom (Sara) says:

    You are such an amazing writer, Nick – you captured perfectly your emotions and the emotions of all of us who were there that day. Some of my emotions: extreme pride at the wonderful men that you have become, true deep happiness for you all, and the heartache that comes with missing you guys incredibly (which began even before the boat pulled away from the slip – I tried to do the lovelier soft weeping thing but couldn’t help it and ended up with the ugly cry – sorry). Those goodbyes were tough!….although you’ll be glad to know that I, too, am very slowly trending from “My dog just died.” to “My dog’s not really dead.” I bet that you’re proud of me for that!

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