Approaching Annapolis MD harbor on Sunday, Ryan was grinning like a 12-year-old boy and shouting, “We’re here! We’re here! We’re in the sailing capital of the world!” (Our little joke because we Americans love saying we have the biggest, greatest, most important of anything in the world.)
The sun was shining, our sails were set to a close reach, and I was quickly running through all the right-of-way rules in my head, as there were easily 20 sailboats we needed to avoid hitting before pulling into Spa Creek.
The last time we were in Annapolis was two years ago, when we came down to the Boat Show to drool over catamarans and 40-foot monohulls we couldn’t afford, as well as to buy nautical-themed crap. We were still new to sailing, so we bought a lot of things like plastic cups with nautical flags on them, cat food dishes with “cat” spelled out in nautical flags, and duffel bags and pillows made of recycled sails. If you own anything that says “Captain” or has an anchor on it, you can probably sympathize with boat show over-indulgence. We got it out of our system at our first show; after that, we focused on more practical things like winches, sails and navigation systems. And, okay, maybe the odd bottle opener shaped like an anchor – they’re just so irresistible!
But I never would have imagined two years ago that we would arrive to Annapolis by boat one day. Even I couldn’t help but jump up and down like a 12-year-old as we pulled in. Or maybe I was just giddy because I could finally remove my thermal underwear and ski hat. (We still aren’t far enough south, as far as I’m concerned.)
Once we were moored in Spa Creek, we awaited the arrival of some D.C. area friends who had come down for the day to pop champagne and celebrate with us. They weren’t on board Hideaway long before they asked us how long it’d been since we’d started our journey. Ryan and I automatically said, “maybe a few weeks?” Then we wondered out loud, “Wait, what day is it? Sunday? Really? We left Tuesday? That can’t be… Really?! We’ve only been gone for 5 days?!!!”
What seemed like the impossible two years ago, had only just taken us five days to achieve. What?!
So, it turns out a dream as big as sailing around the world might be little more than a bunch of smaller dreams strung together, starting with goals like get to Cape May; then get to Delaware; then get to Maryland; and eventually, get to the Bahamas…or wherever. Maybe it’s only ever about getting to the next port.
And maybe that’s really the answer to the question of how to achieve any colossal dream: if you’re feeling scared or overwhelmed, don’t worry about the big picture. Just get yourself to the next stop, whatever that may be. The rest will follow.