Sunrise

We’re straight cruising through squalls over here. 32 knots of wind. Mast shaking. Everything wet. Big swell in short sets. Spray over bow. Pelted by waves. Prims leaking. Food hammocks breaking. And my foul weather gear aka foulies, which are supposed to keep me dry, are keeping me wet.

Still it doesn’t make me miss the dry land.

Sava is seasick. He puked shortly after reeling in a Big Eye Tuna. And Josh is feeling hot, sounds almost feverish.

I’ve only been seasick once. It was dreadful. But sometimes land makes me sick. I guess it’s landsickness. When I get it, it comes out or nowhere. Bam, I feel nauseous. When I start to feel this way, I go for a sail. It’s the only thing that makes me feel normal again. This happens on land a lot.

I love being out here. Even now. Even in these conditions.

My body is moving around like a serpent as we ride the waves. One part of my body goes up. Another down. Then it twists into a circular motion then back up and back down. It’s almost like the feeling of falling and jumping at the same time.

The only downer is the leaks inside the boat. These prisms leak no matter what I do. It’s because there is water in the core of my boat. Beneath the decks. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. Mushy balsa wood. It was too overwhelming to think about so I let it go.

And the darn leak under the lazarets that forms a river inside the cabin is a nuisance still. I thought I fixed that a thousand times.

Josh and I tried a lot of little tricks to stop the prism leaks today, but in the end I stuck a bag over each one and taped around it.

It looks pretty trashy, but we are dry-ish now.

Keeping water out of Juniper is an endless battle. And with enough time, these leaks could make me crumble. Tell me, what causes you to crumble?

Another maddening thing is that the depth sounder alarm just keeps going off. Every 5 minutes. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. I don’t know why it does that when are in depths so deep. Maybe there is a whale beneath us or maybe we heel way out of the water. It’s a strange occurrence that haunts us for an hour then goes away. Then come back. It likes to bug us most at night. Sava hears it now even when it’s not going off.

Early this morning one of the food hammocks busted and an avocado smashed all into my settees and wall. It was everywhere. It’s greenness.

Whose hungry?

Nobody on this ship. We barely eat fruit all day. Last night we shared a small salad, but nobody finished it. I think it’s nerves.

We’re still settling in.

Josh said sometimes Juniper or the sea will make unusual sounds and he thinks “This is it, we’re going down.”

I know where he’s at in his head. For some reason, on this trip I don’t feel as jolted by Juniper’s noises. I already know them and I already trust her.

Sava doesn’t seem to be bothered by anything in the sea except for me. He says I’m different offshore because there are too many rules.

The rules are for safety and take place during a persons watch, like: check bilge, check batteries, mop up saltwater, log book, etc. I also asked that we keep our stuff tidy since it’s one massive communal space and also that we hang wet stuff in the shower or on lifelines. It seems pretty normal to me, but yea we didn’t have these rules interisland. Offshore is a different ballgame than island hopping. And I guess I’m different too.

We spend our time repairing things, sailing, sleeping, and mopping up saltwater.

So much stuff has gone awry that I asked Josh if he thought that the bananas were
to blame. I never sail with bananas and neither does he. They’re bad luck for sailors and fishermen of the sea. Josh said, “I’m not superstitious, I’m sortofsticious, but I’d never get on a boat with bananas.”

We have a whole bunch of bananas on Juniper! They came straight from a tree on Big Island. Some friends gave them to me as a parting gift and they are sailors so I accepted.

But we couldn’t risk it anymore and now that rack of bananas is floating in the sea. Along with my surfboard. Weep.

My watch is almost over and the sea is trying to rock me to sleep. Eyes barely open. It’s a moment after sunrise. The sky is orange. I like sunrise because after sunrise the same breeze feels lighter. After sunrise, I can see again the things that I could only hear. After sunrise, the waves are no longer ghosts that beat drums and rattle my cages.

8 Replies to “Sunrise”

  1. Thanks for the update. It was the first thing I looked for on my computer when I got home tonight. Sorry you’re having a tough go of it. I’ve heard so many sailors talk about how uncomfortable it is making easting on the trip south to Tahiti. Hang in there. You need that easting. So glad you’re not alone on this one.
    EddieBob

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  2. Good call tossing the bananas (should have brought a pineapple instead for good fortune:). Once Mercury returns out of retrograde after Sunday, conditions will hopefully improve for you and your crew! Malama Pono

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  3. Wow it’s quite something reading your ventures I wonder if your a beam to the waves and thats why everyones seasick thats always the worst. Also wonder if your dragging some net or fishing gear which is setting off your depth alarm. The art of staying dry on any boat is really a dance of acceptance at least you have multiple hands to trace n seal the drips. They are Definately hard to find most heavy sailed boats get them at the life line stay bases and rigging plates but windows also flex n move while in seas. Yeah boats leak. Check your mates temp and monitor O2 levels mask up if you think he has covid. Excited to read your next post they are always nail biting. Thanks for sharing

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  4. Well I love all your rules you have on your Juniper and would totally go sailing with you. Your posts are amazing reads and always look forward to the next one. Safe journey
    Jerry

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  5. Just started following you, I find it so fascinating to watch and read your adventures. I’ve gone back and forth to the Bahamas over the years but never away from land for more than a day. So exciting. Can’t wait to see what’s ahead. Please watch your crew mates temp, scary times right now. Can’t wait to read the next update. Smooth sailing….

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  6. Hi Olivia!
    love the way you right. makes me feel that I am right there with you, puking my guts out. I am even sick in a car on a regular trip, unless I am the driver. I hope the weather is going to be better now, since you got rid of bananas. Sending my love to you guys.

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  7. Olilvia, your writing is a journey in itself. I’ve had some boating experiences with my father going from New Orleans to Mobile, hugging the shore, and further talong on the coastal canal, and some forays into the Gulf of Mexico,
    fishing off the big oil rigs. A few storms as well. Caught fish and cooked them onboard. But I’m not a fisherman, not a sailor, and I don’t like fish. So all in all, I’m a landlubber. But I love the adventure of being at sea, I think with you I’d feel safe, but it’s a wide sargasso sea and a deep and rough ocean, and no xerox stores nearby. I need to be close to a xerox store. Through all the adventures I’ve never gotten sea sick, my one medal of honor. Through some rough seas, too, on both sailboat and 40ft Chris Craft cabin cruiser. Your writing is the best part. You’re not just a sailor on the sea, but a writer on the land, who brings both kinds of rigging to the magic of your sentences. Juniper had better take good care of you is all I have to say. Be safe. Be well. Stay both. — jack

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  8. What a start, on the journey! Lost your surfboard! Food finding a new home onboard and decorating the interior. Thank heavens the bananas 🍌 have gone to feed the sea! Hopefully this means smooth sailing. Olivia, Josh, and Sava, take care and enjoy this adventure.
    I love you,
    Xoxo
    Mom

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