When September Ends
Posted by Erin on September 24, 2013
It is September. The leaves outside my window are starting to change color; in a few weeks, they will be vibrant hues of red, orange and gold. The days are still warm, but now the temperatures plummet as the sun goes down. Orion is clearly visible in the pre-dawn sky.
It is September. To me, it feels like an ending. Summer is coming to a close. The festivals are finished. My internship with Tall Ships America is over. The tall ships are heading down the St. Lawrence, out of the Lakes. Yet as I recollect on the Septembers of my past, I wonder if September hasn’t been, for me, a time of new opportunity.
Six years ago, in September, I joined the collegiate sailing team. On my first day, a fellow sailor capsized my boat while playing a game and dumped me in the water. It was my first experience on a sailboat. I would spend every afternoon that fall at the lake.
Four years ago, in September, I arrived on Cape Cod to meet the Corwith Cramer. I had some seasickness medicine in my bag but I wasn’t sure if I’d need it. It was my first time on a tall ship. I would sail from Woods Hole, MA to St. Croix, USVI.
Three years ago, in September, I returned to college after an amazing summer on the US Brig Niagara. The day I left, the captain told me that he’d probably hire me if I got my Merchant Mariner’s Credentials. I would return to Niagara the next summer as an Ordinary Seaman.
Two years ago, in September, I sailed into Montreal aboard the Privateer Lynx. Thousands of people came to see the ships in Old Port – and I gave tours in rusty French. I would refer to that weekend later on when I explained how much I loved the world of tall ships.
Last year, in September, I stood on Bounty’s deck in Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. The crew, after a long day in yard, was laughing below decks. I took a look around, promised to come back, and left to take my Coast Guard Exams. I would obtain my AB a few months later.
Now it is September again. I spent the past summer with the Tall Ships America Race Team. I sailed on Unicorn, Sørlandet, and Pride of Baltimore II. It was a thrilling summer, in which I made so many new friends, traveled to so many new places, and learned more about the intricacies of the industry that I love. But summer is coming to a close. I am on land again. A year from now, how will I look back on this September? Where will I be then?
If you are reading this, maybe you have an opportunity in mind. Maybe you have an opening in your ship’s office for a tall ship sailor that absolutely loves paperwork. Maybe you have a position on your vessel for a seasick sailor that fell in love with the sea. Who knows?
What I know is this:
There comes a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
So, wherever this September takes me, whatever I end up doing, there’s a whole ocean of opportunities out there. Tall Ships America and their member vessels have provided me with some incredible adventures so far – so, thank you, to all of you. I’ll let you know where I end up.