There is a time and place where a dream is born. Sometimes it is a small and fleeting place, one that escapes into memory and curiosity. Such was the case with this dream. The dream in its generic form is one that is shared by many; sail away to distant lands, azure waters, white sands, and sun filled skies. Magazine photos of sailboats at anchor, beating across tropic seas have an allure unto themselves.
Geography influences our dreams. Had I been landlocked in the Midwest sailing dreams might have remained just that, dreams. By fortune I landed in Oswego, NY and the entrance to the Erie Canal. Twice each year Oswego played host to the annual migration of snowbirds; boaters who plied the Great Lakes by summer and the tropics by winter. In the fall we watched as boats with masts down and clean bows entered the canal system to return eight months later with masts down and tannin stained bows returning from southern adventures.
In the seventies, as college students we would walk to downtown Oswego and watch as tugs pushed barges up the Oswego River and through the locks to the Great Lakes. Sitting in the windows of the Ferris Wheel Tavern on Water St. we watched as the boats transited the harbor entering and leaving the canal system. Perhaps, this was the birth of the dream?
Not far from Oswego was a Nestle` chocolate plant. In the early seventies ships from Africa would arrive in Oswego laden with bags of cocoa beans. Their arrival was noted in the dorms with aroma of chocolate wafting from the showers. When the cocoa ships arrived, the larger guys in the dorm would head to the docks to unload the bags of beans returning in a cloud of cocoa powder. From this we learned that from Oswego there were two lanes to the sea, the canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Some twenty years later standing on the Yacht Club’s deck overlooking my Tanzer 22 at its dock, I met Donnie and Doreen from Brockville, Ont. They were entering Lake Ontario on the last leg of a journey from Brockville to Brockville by way of St. John’s Newfoundland. A route I later learned was known as the Down East Circle Route. Another fiber was bound into the yarn.
Such is how the tapestry of a dream is woven. Fibers and strands of diverse origin twisted and bound together to form the yarns of the tapestry. Slowly over time yarns are woven into dreams, plans, and perhaps a reality. This blog is sometimes retrospective, sometimes prospective look at how a dream matures and takes on a life of its own. Join us on that journey.
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