Richard Eyer Smith's Excellent Adventures in Paradise

Monday, July 12, 2010


It's been nearly twenty years since Cath and I set sail on the S/V Polynesia. We boarded ship in St. Maarten on a breezy sunlit morning, excited to be embarking on an amazing week of sailing, swimming and socializing.

We whiled away the morning hours basking in the warm Caribbean sun and waited for our fellow travelers to come aboard. After enjoying a light lunch with newfound friends, it was time to weigh anchor and set sail for St. Barts.

We motored out of the harbour a mile or two, then the captain cut the engines. The only sound was the gentile "splash, splash, splash" of crystal clear water dancing against the hull.

For those of us who chose to, we took our places along the lines and slowly began to hoist the sails. As we worked together and the snow-white sheets unfurled above, the haunting sound of a bagpipe began to echo across the sea. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound."

To this day I cannot think back to that moment without a tear welling up in my eye. It was a sublime moment of setting out, together with my crewmates, on a magnificent adventure. So much lay ahead and so much was left behind.

The music, fixed in that place and time, indelibly signaled the promising start of a fabulous journey. Cath and I became bonded with some of our fellow travelers in such a unique way that, even now, we stay in touch.

Now, as I set out on this new journey of discovery, I can't help but recall that earlier time on the high seas. From somewhere in the depths of my mind, the bagpipe once again strikes up Amazing Grace and I scan the horizon for my upcoming adventures.

Will you be joining me?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain, Author and Humorist

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