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A Cactus is Blooming on Death Row

Hey there shiny! | Photo: Mike D.

There is something blooming on death row. It's not the most prestigious flower in the world, more like a cool cactus than an orchid.. but she is cool.. and she is blooming.

OK, I know.. constant metaphors from me about my boat, but she is coming along and I am starting to get excited.. and scared. If you've read any of my articles here on SailJunky you'll know that this journey has been a tough one and it's by no means over but I'm actually starting to think about having her back in the water in a few weeks.

My fellow inmates on death row, the ones that actually have shown their faces these past few years, are also getting different levels of clemency from the governor.

  • Matt Rutherford has splashed his 65 foot Research Vessel and is on his way to Greenland, leaving today actually. ( Matt's miraculous build-out of the ORP boat R/V Marie Tharp is both an amazing feat, and also expected.. because well.. it's Matt Rutherford and he does what the F&%k he says he will do.

  • Tom is going to be splashing his amazing blue water boat Pegaso in July to sail the world. His refit has been amazing and Pegaso has already done the round-the-world journey twice.. so Tom is in good hands.

  • Brian is making fast work of his Pearson Ketch so that he can get her down to Florida where he will be relocating. It's a massive project but he continues to show up and knock out the work. Headphones in, positive attitude in hand, and strong determination.

It's starting to feel surreal. And if I'm honest I'm also getting a bit nervous. Working on this boat has been both a labor of love and torture at the same time. It's been getting me through some tough times and now it's about to get real. Now I need to complete the work to get her sail ready and actually start to sail her soon. I need to move past this broken phase.

I don't know why that's unnerving but it feels a little like leaving the nest. It makes it more real in that now I need to move forward and not stay mired in the current process.. the stalled space in between. (am I still talking about my boat?)

A friend of mine I respect very much had a firm talking-to with me the other night. He is a badass of a human being and his message was clear.. this space in between is not where you should be. It's weak and it's time to move forward.

I've been delaying items because maybe subconsciously I've wanted to have things that keep me grounded in this space in between, because maybe I'm afraid that I won't succeed out there on the ocean.. but it's time to let that sh#t go.. It's time to believe in the person I am.. the navigator I will become.. the friends and family that are with me.. and the future that is before me.

It's time to make this cactus float.


Mike D. is the founder of Sail Junky Magazine. Striving to find more purpose in life, Mike writes and shares about his journey to rediscover his passion for living a fulfilled life, especially through the medium of sailing.

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