Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

Treasures of the Bilge

September 16th, 2010 · No Comments · Introspection, On Faith

At popular anchorages, there is usually a local VHF net that comes on in the morning, checking to see who’s arrived and who’s departing, inquiring as to whether people need anything, offering local services, and announcing events that might have meaning for the cruising community.  The nets also generally ask about “treasures of the bilge” – anything you might want to trade or sell.

On boats, the bilge can be a pretty nasty place.  It runs a good length of your boat, just under the cabin sole, and is the area that holds any water that leaks into the cabin, or oil from your engine, or spilled leftovers or liquid drainage from your icebox.  Sometimes the bilge can stay relatively clean, but other times it can get rather gnarly.  There are some cruising books that recommend using the bilge for storage of canned foods, etc. because it is a large area that goes completely unused a majority of the time, but be forewarned that when it gets bad, it gets really bad.  In fact, there was a guy in Emeryville who ripped apart the entire cabin of his boat to get to the stank that was draining into his bilge.

I started my blog a year ago, with the intention of using it to not just track our sailing “adventure” but also to record the spiritual insights/growth that I hoped I would experience while we were at sea.  Recently, though, there have been “serious” things I’ve wanted to post because I wanted to share some of the more personal things I’ve learned on this trip, but when I consider juxtaposing those posts next to ones about cleaning out the fridge or snorkeling a reef, it just didn’t feel right.

So – I am still going to post about my personal insights, but I’m going to put those notes on a separate page titled simply “The Bilge.”  I’ve realized that my spirit has been stuck in a very dark, dank, unpleasant place, but I’m slowly rediscovering the hope and beauty and inherent value hidden there, too.

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