friendship

Free, so Free to be Me.

photo 4

Poema and I on a surf adventure…No wave out of reach in the double kayak!

 

“However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.”  -Einstein

 

A few days after my arrival back to Swell in January, Poema du Prel walked into the boatyard wearing a huge smile. Mutual friends had been long trying to connect us, but both of our rigorous travel agendas had precluded our meeting until that day. Ten minutes later I was loading my board into the back of her truck and we were off to chase down some waves…It had been a rough week for matters of the heart, but in her presence, I was promptly feeling like myself again…

In lieu of sleeping aboard Swell in the boatyard (something I’ve done enough of for one lifetime!), she invited me to stay in her home and for two months we shared meals, stories, waves, laughter, work, and dreams like old friends. She understands when I’d rather pee in the bushes than the bathroom, enjoy eating a mango more when its all over my face, need to howl at the moon, wear mismatched clothes, cartwheel in the rain, swing my machete, cut my own hair, or cut open my sunscreen tube to get the very last bit. Just like I understand when she runs through house in a beekeepers hat with a hacksaw in her hand to attack the wasp nest on the roof overhang, gets excited about diving for the kayak anchor, comes home muddy from head to toe, skateboards in circles at 6am around the house, gets overly excited about yoga with David Swanson, climbs the guava tree like a spider monkey, and brings home every sort of roadside fruit known to Tahiti. She countered the sorrow of heartache with the joy of a truly kindred spirit friendship. Never judging–just letting me be me, so lovingly!

There’s no mistake when the universe leads you to people who make you feel like your BEST you…cherish them! In fact, surround yourself with them! Poema, and all my dear and wonderful friends, thank you for making me feel so free to be ME!! Click to follow Poema’s Odyssey.

 

Poema, tending the vanilla plants...

Poema, tending the vanilla plants…

 

Rain or Shine, we're yours Mighty Pacific!!

Rain or Shine, we’re yours Mighty Pacific!!

 

Helmuth made a creative new handle for my teapot!

Helmuth made a creative new handle for my teapot!

Swelly got a new hat!

…and Swelly got a new hat!

 

More surf adventures, photo by Poema

Getting a pre-session shack in the cloud barrel with the girls! Photo by Poema

Going coconutty with Ema and Poema.

Going coconutty with Ema and Poema.

 

Let the sanding begin. New deck paint for Swell coming soon.

Let the sanding begin. New deck paint for Swell coming soon.

 

Surrounded by things I love!

Postcard living…

 

Boatyard sunset.

Boatyard afterhours.

 

Poema the anchor diving mermaid!

Poema the anchor diving mermaid!

 

New deck shower, yew!

New deck shower, yew!

 

Feeling back at home...

So happy to be healthy again…

You guys made a house a HOME!

You guys made a house a HOME!

 

You don't have to own it to call it home.

Grateful salutations to the SUN.

 

 

Don’t Give Up the Ship: Barry Schuyler, A Legacy of Generosity

Those who give endlessly know no end. Barry and I at San Miguel Island, 2002.

With great sadness, I bring news of the passing of my dear friend, hero, and role model, Dr. Arent H “Barry” Schuyler. The Voyage of Swell was as much his dream as mine when our fated paths crossed in July of 2003. He proposed the idea to collaborate on a sailing adventure, and where our hands came together, magic was made. His eighty years of knowledge and experience, wisdom and creativity, imagination and generosity, combined with my 23-year old energy, determination, and wanderlust made us a powerful duo. In the two and a half years we spent preparing Swell and myself for the voyage, Barry and I developed a deep appreciation for each other–a friendship founded on shared humor, values, and a love for the Earth…especially the sea…

Barry’s recent passing came all too suddenly. I would have liked to walk arm and arm with him once more down the docks of the Santa Barbara harbor. I would have liked to discuss worldly affairs and the weather again over a bowl of chocolate ice cream or on an afternoon sail. I would have liked to look in his eyes once more and thank him–for taking a chance on me, for turning my dream into reality, and for the insight and joy that his friendship gave and will always give me.

My sadness is mixed with love and respect and appreciation. I am indescribably honored and blessed to have known a man of his greatness—a man who lived his virtues, dedicated his lifestyle and career to the environment, and gave so much time and love to others. A life as rich and full as his cannot only be mourned; it must be celebrated and emulated. A person who gives endlessly knows no end. Barry’s spirit will forever be carried on in the love and generosity he shared with the world. He will most tangibly live on in my heart forever, stopping by whenever he feels, to spend a moment aboard Swell, gliding over the endless blue…

Each time I said goodbye, he would repeat Emily Dickinson’s famous words, which seem so fitting now: “Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell.”

“Good Luck, kid.” He’d say…”Don’t give up the ship.”

Don’t worry, Barry, I won’t give up…not on Swell nor the bigger ‘ship’ we’re all sailing in together…

Despite his humble request, a memorial service for Dr. Arent H “Barry” Schuyler, will be held June 4th at UCSB from 1-4pm followed by a gathering at the Schuyler residence. Contact me for further details.

Due to the rush to get Swell safely tucked away for my departure to California…I’m behind on stories…more to come asap.