We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate.
The world is all gates...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ahoy, my name is Rene'e Metrik and welcome aboard my "about me", page. Life is about adjusting our sails and people ask me all the time how in the world did I get involved with designing and building an all aluminum, sixty five foot, custom cruising sailboat?
I don't know of any other woman who has taken on this challenge to design, build, all hands-on work and finished the project to completion.
There was only two of us to take on this project.
There are many pages to this journey but, we all have to start some where.
I believe in being above board or just being real.
The Wings That Fly Us Home - John Denver
Is a jewel just a pebble that finds a way to shine?...
Let me show you what is in my boat!
First, please let me share a little of my background with you.
You never know what you can't do until you try...understanding the unknown!
Navigating my journey and finding my voice to cut the cord on my past and sailing out on my voyage of discovery. Discovery of a way for my light to shine.
These days I find myself building a different kind of ship, sailing out on a shining sea looking for wisdom and truth to help the voices of the unspoken.
Considering my glass half full, looking for the silver lining, waiting and staring at the sky knowing that if I would wait long enough...a rainbow sooner or later will appear.
Little did I know that this name given to me I had to live out all my life finding my own personal navigational chart being reborn or born again and becoming a trailblazer.
A French name meaning "rebirth" and "renew".
Renee originates in Latin language and means "born again, reborn." It is a feminine form of the French masculine name Rene, ultimately derived from Renatus. In U.S. the name was most popular in the middle of the 20th century.
Little did I know that when I was adopted, this name was a sounding board for my many, New Beginnings I experienced in my life.
Trauma to Triumph
Learning how to sail my ship and choosing not to waste the storms of life with all it's pain and turning it into a weapon of usefulness.
You can't choose as a child the family or lack of family you will be raised up in. If it was as simple as picking out a dress to wear, my childhood and adult life could have been easier. Tumble weeds were a example
of my life, no family roots, heritage, heirloom and no under girding of my hull.
An orphaned heart, my life with no family to call my own, no home and no blue print, no private chart for my life!
What do you do when you are a child and you feel like a tumble weed being moved from home to home?
No mother and no father the challenges started with...
"We are all inventors", teaching myself how to be a girl, a woman, a friend, a wife.
She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails. Elizabeth Edwards
A Whole Nation -Kirk Franklin
T.D. Jakes wrote a book called,
Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits
Like an arrow caught in a bow, most people go backward before they shoot forward. What do you do when you can see the goal but you keep losing ground?
It is normal to retract before release. If you take a common garden hose and temporarily restrict the flow of water by bending it, the force of the water will be all the greater when you straighten it out.
In a similar way, those of us who have experienced setbacks in life often release and shoot farther because of the setback and not in spite of it.
Albert Einstein flunked out of school. Les Brown was evaluated as mentally challenged. Millionaires are born out of bankruptcies. Moses was called to speak but couldn't talk.
Sometimes what makes us insecure and vulnerable becomes the fuel we need to be overachievers. The antidote for snakebite is made from poison, and the thing that made you go backwards is the force that will push you forward.
Without the retraction, the release doesn't have the same impact...
In my case being alone.
Keep in mind...The TD Jakes quote came to mind, “Whenever God pulls back a bow, the arrow is going to go further than it’s ever gone before.”
Well, I became a "tomboy"...climbing trees to the tallest branch.
The swing set was a challenge to see who could fly the highest. Yep, always swinging so high I could look over the top portion of that long horizontal bar. The swing chain holding the seat would loose it's tight grip.
I am sure you already saw this coming...
My swinging was way to much for the wooden stakes pounded into the ground holding the swing set in place. It held the metal A frame to the dirt. The stakes were there so it wouldn't tip over. Well, it gave up and I tipped it over and I found flight...lol...yes, flying and my landing was on a fence covered honey suckle bush.
That was a sure child ego buster there...
Even growing up as a child I was always climbing trees just to see how high I could get. Looking under rocks for bugs, catching fire flies, pray mantis and always had a fascination all things nature.
Picture below, Rene'e on right, swing set to the left, honey suckle bush growing on fence behind the swing. Yes, this is where I found flight landing was on a fence covered honey suckle bush.
I was plastered to the TV watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Grizzly Adams, National Geographic, Jacques Cousteau and John Denver's music... they taught me how to take flight and have a passion for nature around me.
Calypso, -John Denver -Jacques Cousteau
The world came to my door step as I lived out these adventures through books, TV shows, pictures of lands far off that were drawing me closer. All of this woke me up to a new world and challenged my dreams, of what I believed possible. Sketching, art, painting, reading, music developed a hunger within me.
Long before I even knew what that song would mean in my life it penetrated into and sang my hearts cry. Now, it is who I am...
Standing a lone in a world of families creates a hunger like no other. That blue print that gives your life a map, a foot print, an undergirding to support each new day. Instead my life was created as I took each step. Some good and some not so much.
There was a song that sang through out my heart that I did not understand until years later. When Art and I started to build this sailboat this song came to life like never before. A song in your heart that comes to life and you live it is a dream come true.
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Southern Cross
But, before the years of aluminum boat building came...let's examine the journey to get there...
An open door came into my life and it came in the form of work, from LTV Steel, Cleveland, Ohio ...just off of 77 South. Yes, a "blast furnace".
(Yep, rub the sleep out of your eyes, you are reading this correctly) lol...
The blast furnace, I learned how to run: bob cats, full size tampers, jack hammers and rebuilding the runners so the steel could flow down into the bottle train cars.
The bottle cars sat just below the runners and the slow and steady stream of steel flowed down and into the bottles, without it exploding in the process.
The blast furnace is where iron ore is converted into molten iron before being shipped to a basic oxygen furnace where it is then turned into steel.
For me, that was a great opportunity... to have the chance and work in the LTV steel mill. When I found myself working in the blast furnace, I became and learned everything I could just like a sponge.
Green, flame, fire, heat resistant , heavyweight jacket and pants, long johns and all clothing had to be,100 percent cotton...
Metatarsal boots (are a workers boot with a steel plate covering your toes and it runs up the front of the boot all the way to your ankles), bandana to wrap all my hair in, hard hat and of course the Vintage safety glasses and back then, they were not the nice looking kind.
I have to laugh really, because I cannot believe I have found so many pictures of these things to bring them to life for you!
Metatarsal boots, or met boots, are working boots made with protective materials, such as steel and quality leather. Metatarsal boots offer protection for feet, including metatarsal bones, in hazardous work conditions.
We use to call the Vintage safety glasses , birth control glasses. You could not wear any contacts, clothing had to be all cotton and nothing synthetic, because anything man made would melt.
The temperatures were so hot working around the furnace. My hair had to be covered at all times under a bandana or I would become a flame thrower.
There is an article that gives you a little more visual of what it looked like back in the day when I worked there. If you count down and look at the pictures, the 4th through 6th pictures, give you a real good inside view of a blast furnace. Rust Belt In Ohio
Flashdance What A Feeling - Irene Cara Official Video
The biggest difference with this video and working at the steel mill is in real life...I would have pulled that welding mask off and my body from head to toe would have been covered in black graphit. You wouldn't see my hair because of the bandana and you would have seen my beautiful pair of safety glasses at the time, which were not rose colored glasses. ;)
Please, let me tell you a quick story about the blast furnace, one day we had to go on top of the blast furnace while it was shut down.
Our job was to shovel all the debris, (iron ore, lime stone, etc., off of the walk plat form) on top. There was a large danger at the mill because of large pockets of Carbon Monoxide. Every where...
Just one breath could cause anyone to fall out and this could happen at any moment to me or they could have been standing right next to me.
On top of the furnace , there were pigeon bodies sitting on the rail. The body shape was there but they were completely dead still sitting upright on the rail. I know, it's kind of gross!!!
Another lesson I learned while working at the blast furnace was the furnace also had a certain sound, a personality of sort. When everything was working properly it had a rhythm of it's own. But, there were occasions when it would act up and start blowing iron ore, lime stone out the top of it.
On some of those adventurous times...I was working right around the exterior of the blast furnace, on the "repair crew", and I would watch the older men and I observed where they ran.
Below video of working around the exterior of the blast furnace -Tapping a Furnace
Why you ask?...because they knew where to run out of harms way. They knew by instinct where the dangers were. Certain sounds meant certain types of explosions. If that meant throwing your body down into a six foot ditch so the molten steel didn't burn you, I was right on their heals.
Learning the process of melting down, Iron ore and creating molten steel gave me a insight with metal and this experience built a foundation into the construction industry. All of this later was applied to designing and building our sixty five foot aluminum sailboat.
Steel Mill Bottle Train Car
Above picture, Rene'e runs (fire restoration) construction project, "Victoria Medical Building", that held 4 doctors and 1 dentist office.
After the steel mill I entered into the construction industry cleaning up homes from fire and water damage, commercial construction, tenant improvements and restaurant renovations.
Years flipped by like pages in a book and soon I found myself working my way up the ladder. The next chapter I became their only sales manager and the rest is history. That lasted a good twenty something years.
I started my construction company for about four and a half years and I had to close it down because I was diagnosed with cancer. That cancer diagnosis came to me in 1999...
With focus, determination and perseverance you can move a mountain or in my case build a boat. lol...
Yes, there are days when you just don't think you can take anymore and you get burned out. What do you do when you can't take another step? Stop, stand and one of the keys I have learned is to draw back and restore your soul.
Because the world will pull at you in all directions. Slow down, take a deep breath and exhale...Tomorrow is another day!
Two of us designed and built a sixty five foot sailboat and it took 8 years to complete it. Focus, commitment and tenacity were the driving force to help see the project through.
Cutting my cords to the past and sailing into the future. A new future of new gates, new adventures of the sea.
So now, I have finally been able to lay down my power grinder and replace it with a constant clicking of the keyboard on my laptop.
Yes, it was scary there for a while, I felt more at home with my screw gun and four inch grinder then putting on high heels. But that was then and this is now.
Now there is a constant clicking of the key board and it's letting my thoughts roll off me like a water fall. But, here I find purpose in my pain.
Using my past as a stepping stone to propel me into my future where I belong. Some people along our life's journey, will always find a way to pull, tug, demand and try to steal your future.
They place a demand on you that no one can possibly full fill.
Listening to your compass within.
What is in your boat?
Love is not always found in a mate, sometimes it is found in being yourself and living the dreams that have been buried deep and finally finding a way to fly home...
Running water never grows stale. So you just have to keep on flowing...
Kenny Chesney - Wild Child
Welcome to Boating Voyage Of Discovery - Boating and sailing information website, featuring hands-on experience building a 65 foot aluminum sailboat.
But really, this is only the beginning of the explorations that have been stirring in me from childhood. The boating, sailing life style and finding some answers to the questions that needs to have light cast upon them.
Journey with me across this sea and my hope is, you will join in as we pull back the tide and explore the answers to questions unknown.
Together we can be a sea of change for our future.