Life On Death Row

There’s a place in the boatyard, it doesn’t matter which yard, but a place where boats go to die.

A View From The Bow - Photo: Mike D.

It’s in the back, it’s always in the back. I guess it makes sense really, the marina doesn’t want broken dreams showcased where the elite yachty class type people would have to look at them. It’s the ghetto.


But it drives me crazy, especially because this is where my marina (yes I’m calling you out Herrington Harbor North) decided to place my boat Magick Byrd. The boat that I am doing my best to refit to safely take me on my big adventure.


So it kind of pisses me off. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one that believes in my dream and the marina is just another example of that. Sure, there are a lot of naive issues with what I’m doing. Have I gotten into something that I truly didn’t understand the depth? Yes. But the thing is I got into it knowing that I don’t now how deep I’m getting, assuming it’s pretty f%#&ing deep.


There are others around me that are in my same situation. Not far from me is Brian refitting his Pearson ketch. It’s a massive project. But he is here every day he can be fighting to achieve. There’s another incredible seagoing boat that has actually been around the world twice and a couple is doing a level-set job of getting her ready for a third run, and they have done a ton of work. They are determined.

But the marina setting me here on death row is just another analogy/my perception of the world saying to me, “You can’t do this. It’s too big. Let this dream go. It’s not you.”

What I see when I look at the boats around me are the dreams of people just like me. People that fell asleep at night dreaming of hoisting their mainsail, smiles on faces, living a life that was escaping them. They represent a spirit of people trying to attain a piece of happy. Boats can be that way. It’s sad and motivating. It makes me want to push harder.

I joke that when I’m done with this phase of getting her ready for my adventures, the marina will want to put her at the entrance. But my quiet internal response says “No thanks, set her in the water. We don’t belong here. These people are not my tribe. My tribe loved me even when I was broken.”


So I am sitting on Magick Byrd as I write this, rain coming down outside, planning to do anything... anything that will move us forward. It won’t happen overnight, but each step is a win. And each step, even a small step, is one towards towards life, not away from it.


I look forward to writing a follow up to this one day when Magick Byrd and I are hoisted from this place, this row of broken dreams, to fulfill a promise to ourselves. To see the fruits of fighting tooth and nail to refit ourselves, to be authentic and surround ourselves with life.

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. sailjunkymagazine@gmail.com

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