As Grayce strolled down the long, groaning pier to her boat, she recalled the many times her grandfather, Winston Kingsley, walked her, hand in hand, down this very same dock, stumbling drunk. The dock imprinted an important memory for Grayce, an opportunity, as if every step groaned and released it to her. How tall and assured he seemed, as she would adoringly gaze over at him strolling next to her. He kind of lumbered along with a sturdy gait that resembled a tired, old horse. She remembered how small her hand felt inside of his large rough and calloused grip. Grayce also remembered how many times he disappointed her by being the town drunk. Even still, he would be proud she thought. Walking bravely through her confusing mind chatter, silently wishing he were here to see this remarkable day. Grayce loved Winston Kingsley, without condition, always. The immense void he left after his passing away, was undeniable but she would leave that part to herself for now.
Grayce could see the crowd ahead and the nervous butterflies started to quiver inside her stomach. What is their absurd interest in me she wondered to herself? It is good to be nervous she reminded herself, keeping in mind what her father, Angus, had taught her so many times. He would tell her, “Being nervous or anxious means you are growing, think of it like growing pains. Embrace change Grayce and whatever you do, never stop dreaming.” She deeply longed for her father and wished he could see her now. Grayce recalled his haunting words, that now just rattled around, echoing nothing in her head but anxiety. Angus would be teaching her how to ride a pony and say; “Now it is time to soldier up, get tough. Grayce, it’s now or never and wimps do not take home any blue ribbons or trophies.” Usually his words only made her cry, but he did toughen her up nicely.
Walking on, she decided at least she had Ranger, her faithful, black Labrador Retriever. Ranger rarely left her side. Ranger was absolutely with her today in every sense possible, he seemed to sense the excitement too. He was her rock, her ground, her certainty. He was the one who never let her down. He was the one who fed her with unconditional love, from an infinite source. Grayce felt his bouncy stride, nervously quicken, as they neared the crowd. Grayce silently then sent Ranger love and that energy oozed out of her through the leash to him. She felt his walk slow until he completely relaxed, she loved doing this. Unconditional love, it removes all fear, every single time, Grayce knew this.
Approaching her boat, she saw multiple photographers taking random pictures. When they spotted her, they turned their attention directly to her. “Look it’s Grayce and Ranger,” she heard them say. “Grayce, when do you set sail? Grayce what does it feel like to attempt an epic sail around the world alone?” They aggressively asked question after question until she and Ranger stopped in front of them and she smiled, shyly. It was her Princess Diana smile that Angus taught her, so she would win a lead line class at Palm Beach. Secretly, she really hated this social part, but tried to exude confidence. People were definitely not her favorite thing, they always just bored her. She tried anyway.
Standing barefoot in the sun, wearing her cut off jean shorts, she looked like anything but a professional sailor. “Hello everyone and thank you for coming out today. If you will be so kind to allow me to speak first, we will address your orderly questions. My name is Grayce Kelly Kingsley, I am seventeen years old, and this is my sailboat, the Silent Partner. Today, I am embarking on a solo journey to sail around the Earth. For your convenience, I have prepared maps for you all to take and study or follow, if you wish. My sail is going to be followed and tracked on Google Ocean, so that is another really cool way for you all to follow my journey. I am giving you instructions on using Google Ocean with my map, for your convenience. There are many historical stopping points I will dialog about on social media, as I make my way around the Earth.”
“Many of you already know me and are familiar with my story, however, for additional convenience I have brought a brief outline of my family history. Yes, my Grandfather was the legendary, Sir Winston Kingsley, of Key West and my father was Angus Winston Kingsley II, of Palm Beach. Ranger is my ever faithful black Labrador retriever, and yes, he is embarking with me today on this epic sail.” Grayce laughed to herself, thinking how organized the press imagined she might be. Nothing could be farther from the truth, Grayce prayed she could set sail before anyone discovered she had absolutely no idea what she was doing, really.
After losing her entire family, Grayce decides to sail solo around the world. Raised in Key West, Florida she knows all about the ocean but knows very little about love. The Eye is an epic journey about more than just sailing, geography and accomplishment. Grayce is sailing with her angels. Follow Grayce as her angels teach what living a fully authentic life is really all about. Discover wild horses in the Bahamas, a palm reader in Brazil, and a giant pair of Ray Ban sunglasses in Africa. Understand what a global family means and the magic surrounding white Pelicans.
About the Author
Mara Kerr was born in Oklahoma. She developed an early love of nature by spending summers in Northern Minnesota with her family. Mara spent much of her youth competitively showing horses. As an adult, Mara owned and managed a Registered Black Angus cattle ranch in Oklahoma for years. Moving to California provided the inspiration to begin writing about the ocean. Mara published her first book, “Oceanus” in 2011. Mara also has two perfect, adult children, Ayla and Graycen. Mara lives in California with her two dachshunds, RePete and Cowboy.