|Hooray for Rebel Heart!
We had two big rafts for our group, all decked out with coolers, tons of sunscreen, life jackets and were having a blast as we coasted down the seemingly lazy river. But the River’s benign surface could change in a moment... and it DID as we came to one of the many rocky parts where it became a white water maze. My Father-In-Law was in charge of managing the raft through the rapids as we all paddled as directed…
I remember going over a tiny waterfall and passing a small child, perhaps 8 or 10 years old… a skinny little boy on an inner tube. He floated around a boulder and over the short drop and disappeared beneath the falls… I watched for his little head to pop up as we were carried down the river. Rounding the bend, I lost sight as people were drawing closer to the boy’s last position… I never did see his head reappear.
I didn’t have time to think about it as we continued our river trip, but once back on dry land… it hit me. My legs started to shake and I couldn’t believe I had willingly taken my young children into this dangerous situation. I never went back and it was years before my kids were allowed to returne, much older, to the river.
Many people might think I overreacted in my fear. Just as many others might say that I should NOT have subjected my children to the danger of drowning in that river. But that’s what people do. They overreact. Fear of things unknown or misunderstood can make people speak out and perhaps judge unfairly. And what could be a more fearful endeavor than sailing across the Pacific Ocean?…
These past several days I have watched anxiously for word of my friend Charlotte aboard S/V Rebel Heart. I have never met Charlotte in person, but she is the founder of Women Who Sail, a closed Facebook group created to provide a forum where sailor women can find information and support. She and I share a common bond and I consider her a major contributor to making our current lives aboard Dos Libras a reality. It’s phenomenal how Facebook friendships can develop into something “real” without the two friends ever laying eyes upon one another… but that’s a blog post for another day.
I blanched when I first learned of the rescue mission already under way, of the sailboat Rebel Heart. I went about my day but kept coming back to the internet to look for an update on the situation, hungry for the “all’s well” that I just knew would be coming. I knew it because I could not accept any other outcome. And soon enough, it did come. Rescue teams had arrived and stabilized the sick baby. The family was awaiting rescue but the immediate danger had passed.
And then it started… the (pardon-my-french) shitstorm of blame and judgement. The ugliness that resides within us all is released and spewed at the latest poor recipient of our derision… It is a sad thing to watch and frankly, I'm glad that we're so out-of-touch out here on the boat, so I don't have to look at it!
I would like, in the only small way that I can, to counter some of that venom by pledging my support and hope that my readers will join me in giving Charlotte and Eric your support as well. Let’s say that they are good parents who love their children and want a better life than the “normal” one that society dictates. Let’s say they want their children to grow up in a more broadly defined world than most of us will ever know, and be educated with open minds and big hearts. Let’s say they want their children to be accepting of others who make different choices and live differently. Let’s say that they want to spend TIME with their children the way most parents can not. Let’s say that they planned and prepared to take on these challenges the best way they know how… and really, what more can we ask of any parent these days?
Different is not bad. Please help stop the Media Madness and show your support if you can, to this extraordinary couple and their children. Finally it looks as if that "All is well" is coming.