Night is descending upon Delos and I am sitting here surrounded by the Delos Crew. Brady is cooking, everyone is freshly showered and I am recovering from an epic hangover.
It’s been a strange few days.
Four days ago I received some bad news.
Maybe I should just go back to that day.
I felt good, positive and happy. I had porridge in my belly and two cups of tea already down the hatch. I had a long list of goals I wanted to complete and good focus.
I check my phone to find a message from my friend, Tommy.
Now none of you know my friend Tommy, or maybe some of you do. Tommy and I have been friends since I was fifteen years old- so, thirteen years in total. He’s been there for me from the beginning. Words seem to fail me when I try and describe what this human means to me. He has been there for me through countless situations when I needed someone. He’s pushed me home in a trolley when I couldn’t walk, he’s dragged me out of bed when I refused to get up, he’s fed me when I didn’t want to eat and placed a rum in my hand when I was sitting outside, numb and dumbstruck by the event that changed things for me back in England.
I remember sitting outside at my housemate Steve’s house. It was Spring, the sun was beaming and I was still adapting to my surroundings.
He pressed a cold glass into my hand and I looked down at it, seeing the swirling black liquid and smiled.
“Everything is going to be alright, lass,” he said, taking a seat opposite me. “It may not feel like it now. But it will.”
I nodded back, trusting him, believing him.
And he was right.
Everything became good again.
Fast forward a year and I am staring at my phone seeing his message.
“Give me a call please mate.”
I know he doesn’t ask for me to call him unless it’s important.
So I do so, ideas running in my head. My worst fear is that something has happened to him.
But it’s not him that something bad has happened to.
It’s someone else.
I hear him speak and in my heart I knew what hurt me the most was the sound in his voice and knowing I wasn’t there with him.
I broke down immediately and I was incredibly grateful for Alex the newest member of the crew. She stood up straight away and gave me a hug.
The next few hours were difficult. I was so acutely aware of affecting the others with my sadness that I didn’t know what to do. I never like to tell people if I’m feeling down as I don’t like to affect other people with my problems. I don’t want people to ever be brought down by my energy. I want to be able to make people feel good.
But on Delos that isn’t the way. We live so close together that we have to share anything. Honesty is so important here. If one of us hurts, we all hurt. We all pitch in to bring that person back up. It just so happened to be my turn.
So I got hugs, cuddles and chats on the docks until the weight of the pain was lifted from my shoulders. I was honest in the days that followed. I spoke about my friend Jack who had passed, told the crew when I needed a hug, and when I felt low. I spoke about my buddy Tommy, shared stories and played his songs on Delos.
It helped so much, to hear my mate’s voice fill the boat when all I wanted to do was give him a hug and tell him exactly what he told me.
“It’ll be all right. It may not seem it now but it will be.”
And the beauty of a tragedy is that it brings people together. The boys at home are spending time together, going on adventures and remembering Jack. Tommy is with good people and they can all thrive off each other’s energy, bring each other up when they are falling.
Jack passing has made me feel even closer to the Delos Crew. We are all such a varied bunch on here with our own individual personalities and unique strengths. We all bring something different to our new family but one thing is the same.
We all care deeply for one another.
Jack was such a special spirit that his passing has made this adventure even more paramount. This is it. This really is the path I’m on. I wake up every morning so grateful that I’m here. Because life is so fickle. It can end any moment. I really need to seize each day and stop worrying about tomorrow. I need to be present and in the now.
I had a phone call conversation with my dad a few days ago and he said:
“What is your business plan after sailing?”
I blinked in surprise. I had always been used to thinking several steps ahead. But it was that that made me unhappy. I had finally managed to start appreciating being where I was each day that to think of the future frightened me. I knew my path would be evident eventually. I didn’t want to force my path.
“I don’t know,” I admitted, the phone hot against my cheek. “I don’t have one. I’m just trying to be in the now to be honest…”
This month has given me a sense of clarity that I have been looking for in a very long time. I’ve learned more about myself than I thought I would and I know there is still a road ahead. We leave for Namibia next week and I’m so excited to learn how to sail. To be on the ocean.
There will be no internet, no checking emails or social media. We will simply be six people living alongside each other. The outside world will be cut off. And I’m looking forward to that.
I’m looking forward to figuring out more about myself and the people around me. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and finding some sense of goodness and peace.
And the best part?
I get to do it as part of the Delos family.