A Fijian sunset
by Christine Kling
I’ve had a good run here at writeonthewater.com but it seems the sun is now setting on this part of my life. Many of our faithful readers have noticed that this blog has been winding down. There have not been many posts lately, and no posts for me since my New Year’s 3 Words post. The time has come for me to move on. I’m not giving up on blogging — au contraire. I have simply decided to move my efforts to my personal blog at sailingwriter.com, and for those readers here who would like to continue to follow my adventures in the South Pacific, I hope you will go over and subscribe at that site.
My first post here at Write on the Water was on April 10, 2010, and the title was “An expert? Me?” I told some anecdotes about several of the extreme faux pas I have committed both as a writer and a sailor, and I questioned what I, a perennial screw-up could possibly contribute to a blog. I wrote:
“So, if I’m not an expert writer nor a master sailor, what makes me think I have anything to share on the pages of this blog? I hope that someone out there might find some kind of truth or solace or even a laugh or two as I contemplate the questions and struggles in my search to find contentment as a sailing writer. There I said it. Writer. Who, me?”
In the past almost six years, I have tried to share my path towards finding answers to these questions. I followed Hemingway’s advice and cut open a vein and bled on the pages of this blog sharing my successes, failures, hopes, dreams, terrors, love and marriage. Blogging has made me a better writer, I have no doubt about that. I have always tried to get my blogs to conform to the premise presented here in the blog’s byline — “so you want to quit your job, move onto a boat, and write.” During the years I’ve been blogging here, I did quit my day job, I lived on my own boat and I cruised—all while writing the 3 novels in my Shipwreck Adventures series – the third book of which, Knight’s Cross is now available for sale on Amazon. But after all these years of writing about writing on the water, the topic has grown a bit stale for me. These days I much prefer blogging about the travels and adventures of cruising.
As many readers here know, in the last couple of years my life took a different turn. I met the marvelous Wayne Hodgins, ran off to Fiji, got married, moved onto his boat, sold my own boat Talespinner, and began doing some serious cruising in the Pacific. My blogs have turned more into travelogues, and I enjoy writing them. We traveled up to Majuro, spent more than a year there and then sailed down to Fiji last May.
We cruised these wonderful islands until August when we hauled out our steel motorsailer Learnativity in Vuda Point Boatyard and started a major refit, emptying the boat of everything, painting and varnishing everything inside the boat, We also replaced some hull plate that had grown too thin for our liking.
We were on the cusp of painting her topsides, deck and bottom when Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji. Night before last, when the winds hit over 140 knots, and the eye of this category 5 storm passed some 40 miles to the north of us, our beloved boat blew over. Wayne and I were were in the aft bunk when she went. I flew through the air and slammed into the cabinetry, landing on top of Wayne. The rest of the night as the winds howled, and we tried to make ourselves comfortable in our topsy turvy world, we wondered what the damage was and what this would mean to our lives. We won’t really know for sure until a crane arrives tomorrow and attempts to right our 30 ton baby.
They are saying that Winston is the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. The news about the damage here in Fiji is only just beginning to come to light. It is very early in the recovery, but it is confirmed that 20 are dead and at least 7 are missing. Many boats washed ashore up in Savusavu. Thousands are homeless throughout the islands of Lau, Taveuni, and Koro as many, many villages were decimated by the high winds and the storm surge.
While our boat has suffered damage, we are alive and unharmed. We have no idea what this set-back will mean for our future, but our dogs are fine, and we all have each other. We are immensely grateful to be so fortunate.
I intend to continue to write about all the adventures we will have recovering from Winston, exploring these islands, and getting on with our cruising life over at sailingwriter.com. I hope readers who are interested in following those sailing/travel blogs, finding out what the damage is to Learnativity, and learning about all our adventures will follow me over there and subscribe.
Thanks so much to Mike Jastrzebski who started this wonderful blog. Without Mike Write on the Water would never have happened. I hope Mike will continue to blog here himself. Thanks also C.E. Grundler and to John Urban, and to all the other bloggers who wrote here for a while and to those who were guests. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to share this writing space with you, and I’ve learned so much from all of you.
Most of all, I want to thank the readers for riding along in my world all these years.
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