As I sit on board the Boeing 737 from Nice to Istanbul (and eventually Johannesburg), I have a moment to reflect on my summer spent on the Mediterranean Sea. It was a season of highs and lows, one that involved a lot of learning about the sea, the French, the rich and of course about myself.
After spending a couple of weeks in Spain between the end of the summer season and my actually leaving Europe, I returned to Antibes to gather the last of my things, say hello to the boat again, see a few people one last time and finally climb on a plane back home. The two days that I found myself back where it all began were pleasant and I was glad for them as the positive memories came flooding back. Helping me realise that even though I’d probably never again be part of the yachting industry, I’m glad for what I got out of it.
The beautiful (winter) weather I got to experience during my last few days added to the satisfying feeling I had about being back. It also made for a fantastic take-off that allowed me an aerial view of the place I called home from April through October- Port Vauban, Antibes. The biggest port in the Med, filled with every kind of boat imaginable. From the smallest sailing yacht to the biggest, most impressive super yachts.
Once in the air, looking down on the calm sea below me, I remembered the times we sailed to Corsica, A French Island and home to Napoleon the conqueror. Some trips started and ended without a glitch, others kept all crew and guests awake as we sailed through a storm- losing sense of gravity and some losing control of their emotions and stomach contents. All we could do was hope for the best as the 12 hour rollercoaster ride played out.
From my aeroplane seat, thousands of meters above it all, I could see the snow covered mountain tops of Corsica, an indication that summer was already long behind us. A sudden rush of emotion hit me after realising that, once again, another chapter in my life has come to an end.
Once again I can’t be sure of when or if I will ever see the people that formed massive parts of my life over the past 7 months. And I realise that the beauty in these cases is our natural human ability to remember the good times, even if there were moments when you considered jumping overboard.