I haven’t consumed anything but the fallen grapes, an orange, water, and a protein bar since setting sail yesterday. I don’t feel hunger or exhaustion or seasickness, I feel every nerve in my body. And they are all screaming “what the hell are you doing out here?”
The feeling reminds me of first time I did a sweat lodge. Before going in a woman from the Lakota community said, “First you meet the fire, then you meet your fear of the fire, then you meet yourself.” She said, “Its only If you push beyond the fear that the rewards bloom.” The first time I met that fire I was ready to crawl out of there and lay in a river before it had even gotten started, but I breathed into it and she was right, wildflowers started popping up all over my life after that.
I try to remember that today. To breath through this. It has been so challenging that I want a pod of dolphins to carry my ship to the nearest island. North, South, East, West, I don’t care anymore the direction. Hell put me on a rainbow and send me to mars. Anywhere but here.
I knew this weather was coming too. It’s just that nothing could have truly prepared me for it.
It all started at midnight. The boat accidentally tacked it’s way back to San Diego while under the command of the autopilot. I got her flipped around and set up the self-steering wind vane and she tacked again. I figured that there was too much head sail for the boat to stay balanced so I furled the Genoa and along its way a line got wrapped around its sheet. I have to deal with that soon, but I don’t want to go up to the bow with a knife in this big swell nor with the wind gusting so hard, so I have settled for sailing at an average of 4 knots under reefed main and staysail only.
The waves have been slapping us hard all day and they look massive. I don’t know if they are the 9 ft. that was originally predicated or what but every time Juniper slams down a wave her speed slows down dramatically. Also two waves crashed right into the cockpit and one knocked down the self-steering wind vane.
Every once in a while I hear a high pitched voice calling out from the sea. I can’t discern what is being said but I think it’s laughing at me. I know it’s just my imagination or something on the boat, but the voice picked the right day to come out to taunt me.
Oh and there is more…. two of my prism lights are leaking onto the only berths that are on the high side of the boat. A chain plait that I just replaced is also leaking. My mainsail stack pack has come out of most of its holdings. A piece of rubber fell off of my boom. An avocado smeared its guts all over the cabin wall. And my staysail sheet is monkeyed beyond the usual repair of applied pressure elsewhere.
I can fix all of these things but the boat is too wet and the ride too wild right now.
On a brighter note…
Last night I sailed through the banks that are southeast of San Clemente Island. I have always heard about them from fisherman. And how there is a really shallow part where someone got shipwrecked. It was crazy sailing through an area way out in the middle of the Pacific with such little depth. The banks have cool names too like; West Butterfly, The Condom, and Mushroom. Sounds like they were named in the 60s by somebody on acid.
Ok. Ta-ta. I’ll just be down here hiding in the cabin from the waves. I don’t know what these messages look like when I post to the blog from my satellite. Do they look ok? Can someone send a screenshot to the sea email? Is any of this interesting?