Feathers Flying

Last night I sailed through a gale. I said a prayer, gave my ship over to God, and slept in the quarter berth. Waves pushed under the boat and lifted me in the air. Everything that was dry is now wet: pillows, clothes, books, cushions, wood floors, my hair, the deck, the cockpit, all soaked with salt.

Juniper held her course all through the night and for that I am forever grateful. There was no wrangling of misbehaving sails at midnight, no sleepy confusion surrounding getting back on course, no upheaval to my sleepless sleep pattern.

Today the sea started off as wild as the night before, but has grown a little calmer. A few white caps, a few waves landing onboard, but no longer the continual toss about and trampoline bounce of yesterday.

I’m moving slower than I would like, 4.5 knots max. Every time I get the courage and strength to go up and fix the tangled Genoa sheet a big wave comes and I think I better wait just a tad longer. If somebody else was onboard I would have already crawled up there. It’s been plaguing me for two days now.

I called my weather router, Oliver, to ask how much longer I was gonna be in this jungle. That’s what it feels like, a jungle with snakes dangling from the branches just waiting to rip into my flesh.

Oliver sent me a new report that involves going further south of rumline. It will take me 4 to 5 days to get to my new course. When I plotted it out, Juniper was naturally headed that way on account of her windvane steering to the apparent wind. Hot damn! He also said that though Hurricane Flossie is going to hit Hawaii and then move North, he doesn’t think that I will have to concern myself with any of her mist. Phew! Also, what a name for a hurricane, Flossie. Hurricane Flossie, so strong she’ll clean the plaque right off your teeth!

Speaking of hurricanes, I’m heading to 25 N / 130 W. It’s pretty far south and my sat device isn’t downloading the new grib files for some reason. For people tracking me, please message me via the tracker if any new hurricanes are developing off of Mexico and it looks like they might be headed my way. It’s not that I don’t trust Oliver to notify me, it’s just that I had to call him to get out of this mess I was in today.

Today I can feel the everything around me beginning to change from a cold-hearted winter to a warm song of spring.

Today there has been an occasional visit from the sun.

Today there are rainbows dancing on the cabin floor, feathers flying, fruit hammocks swinging, and wind chimes singing. Softly, not violently like before.

Even still, I have no desire for food. I force myself to eat something occasionally. Each bite takes an eternity for me to chew and swallow. My bodies response to food is strange to me. It’s as if it has no need for it. As if the act of eating is an inconvenience it no longer has to burden itself with.

I find myself staring a lot. At the sea, at the numbers on the vhf, the leaks, the major issues on deck that are still unresolved. I think about everything for far too long.

I watch as seabirds dive into the crests of the waves and wonder how do they find their way; back to their nests, back to their lovers, back to the one piece of the ocean that carries their favorite fish? Some say the stars that they were born beneath are imprinted in their brains. This is why artificial Iight is not good for them. It creates chaos and confusion for their internal star map.

I wish that we were all born with internal star maps.

11 Replies to “Feathers Flying”

  1. This is were the food is important please keep your calories up preparing for the repairs needed!
    Your writing is brilliant but fuel most important ! Time to increase your taste buds!

  2. You are definitely an old soul with an adventurous heart! May the universe bless you with better weather and smoother sailing! Godspeed!

  3. You must feed your body
    Even though you don’t feel like eating, you need the strength to survive the challenges the sea may give
    You. Sending prayers everyday Olivia ??

  4. living it with you with your brilliant writing…..loving that you are sharing with us…praying for your strength and ability to tackle each hour of each day, make the repairs needed and ….eat you amazing beautiful human. bea north

  5. Thank you.for sharing your journey with us! Following from Washington DC (but I’m an old Little Rock girl.) Speaking for all moms, now go eat something!

  6. Your writing is so descriptive of your journey. . You have to feed your body to feed your soul which is the core of your strength. Please take care of yourself as those that love you most would care for you. Hope and pray you have red skies at night, a serene constant wind at your back and a clear focus on the day ahead!

  7. Yes eat. Chew your meals like you devour your words when they splash on the page. Thoughtfully. With intention.

    And tackle one thing at a time… eat. Then the next… eat. Developing your rhythm.

  8. Haven’t stopped praying. Won’t stop praying for Peace in your heart. Peace in your mind. Peace in your body. And, Peace over Juniper…

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