Come Into The Water

When I close my eyes all I see are big blue waves. Rolling towards me. They wail. They howl. They thunder. Like a pack of blue banshees.

I make the banshees melt by pressing my fingers lightly onto my eyelids. They melt into a thousand dancing suns. Now I feel all high and dry again.

I can hear a choir too. Only in one ear. My left one. And only when it rests against my pillow, which now has more water droplets than feathers.

Maybe the choir is made of something watery too. Like bubbles. The bubble choir sings with soprano voices. They sing, “If you fear the loss of something you will loose it. La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la. That which is meant to stay will never leave you. La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la.” They sing this over and over and over.

I get sick of it. I turn my head and put the right ear onto the pillow and then I hear a voice say softly, “Come into the water!”

I’m thinking how much closer to the water can I get? I’m sleeping inside of it. I’m wearing it. It’s all over me. I am more water than skin at this stage!

I lost a door knob today. I guess it wasn’t meant to stay. I have been in fear of loosing it for months too. It’s the one that goes to the bathroom and it’s been finicky, will lock itself shut. If it does so while I’m in it, there would be no way to escape. There’s no hatch. Nothing. This is clearly a design flaw.

I am fearful of getting trapped anywhere, especially there! That would stink. And can you imagine if I got stuck in there while alone at sea. Hell no! For weeks now I have refused to close that door, but everyone else does.

Today we couldn’t get it to open. The usual jiggling didn’t work. All our hygienic products were in there. And we needed to brush our teeth!

Sava took the front of the knob apart. It still wouldn’t open. I got out the hacksaw and razor blades and he was getting ready to slice into it. Then Josh comes along and twists the knob really hard every direction and busts it wide open. Sava said, “My man!” When it opened.

I think we have Josh’s bread making muscles to thank.

I threw the knob into the ocean after that.

We also spent five hours repairing the jib between yesterday and today. But lord if we could only figure out how to get it hoisted back on the furler in 20 knot winds. It’s beyond me. We were on the bow crashing down into the troughs of waves that would splash and climb up onto our shoulders. At one point Josh looked like he had wings made or water. The sea covered him all the way up to his nose.

We attempted to hoist, but more damage was caused by it flapping erratically on the stay for the staysail. Anybody have an idea of how one can do this in a fresh breeze with 7 foot seas? We’re not doing too bad with the main an staysail, but another knot could add a lot.

As you can see, I never really know what I’m doing.

We stashed the jib in the V-berth for now. Everything wet that I can’t bare to look at is in there. And my V-berth has given birth to a bunch of tiny winged insects. How? They are born out of the salt water I suppose. Everything is all damp in there. It smells musty too. Now the wet jib is in there on top of other wet things. Everything in the v-berth needs to lounge in the sun for a long time. Maybe a year.

These insects are driving me bananas. I have never seen this before on Juniper. I found a little red on in the galley today too. What if customs sees all the creatures that were born on this passage and won’t let me into Tahiti!

Beyond all that everyone’s in good spirits today. We took ocean baths, and watched the pink sunset over a can of pineapple in the cockpit.

I think we are feeling sunnier because the mood of the see is calming. It’s wild how easily the mood of the ocean can seep into my skin and get all tangled with my spirit. When the ocean’s restless, I’m restless. When the ocean’s sour, I’m sour. When the ocean’s spunky, I’m spunky. When the ocean’s gentle, I’m gentle.

I take all her moods, hold them on my tongue, let them roll around. I take her good. I take her bad. And you know what babes, if I couldn’t do this, if I couldn’t take the ocean for all that she is, if I was just a fair weathered sailor, then I wouldn’t be offshore right now.

8 Replies to “Come Into The Water”

  1. As you inch closer hopefully the sea will have a gentle rolling calmness to give the high energy moods a rest. It appears you will arrive at your destination this weekend. I can only imagine what you would like to do first! A Hot shower, food, cocktail, sleep in an a room with AC and clean crisp sheets, and of course give Juniper a bath, haul off trash, wash the salty clothing, take a day or two to assess for repairs, and some time for the three of you to reminisce about your adventure and extract all the good stories to hold as fond memories.
    Hugs to each of you.

  2. Right now, I’m listening to Brian Eno’s Before And After Science as I enjoy my morning coffee and thinking of you guys on this opening track. So appropriate in your present environment! ?

    No One Receiving —

    It will shine and it will shudder
    As i guide it with my rudder
    On its metaled ways
    It will cut the night before it
    As it leaves the day that saw it
    On its metaled ways
    Nobody passes us in the deep quiet of the dark sky
    Nobody sees us alone out here among the stars
    In these metal ways
    In these metal days.
    Through a fault of our designing
    We are lost among the windings
    Of these metal ways
    Back to silence back to minus
    With the purple sky behind us
    In these metal ways
    Nobody hears us when we’re alone in the blue future
    No one receiving the radio’s splintered waves
    In these metal ways
    In these metal days.

  3. Humm . . . raising the headsail in the furler foil track in a pitching sea with 20 knots of wind flailing and flogging you and your sail. Without a luff tape feeder (auto feeds sail luff into foil track) at the base of ur furler, I’m assuming that Josh has to remain on the bow and painstakingly hand feed the luff tape into the foil while you yank on the halyard at the mast? Is the wind diminishing at all in the early morning hours? One possibility maybe to lower all of your sails so that they’re not flogging and motor just fast enough to maintain steerageway into the wind and seas and then attempt to put up the sail holding holding a course into the wind.

  4. ooops . . . “sent” before i finished. Anyway the idea was to minimize the amount of time that your headsail flogs up against the staysail stay. Correction: leave the other sails up. One person on the helm, one on the jib halyard and one feeding the headsail into the track, motoring slowly, just enough for steerageway . . . Obviously, the moment that the sail is set, drop off the wind to keep the sail from flogging on the stay. I know easier said than done . . . your best bet, because you’ve got a damaged sail, is going to be to wait for a slight break in the conditions. Well that’s my two cents . . . I think I’ll turn in now . . . maybe have little bowl of ice cream just before I go to bed.

  5. Olivia, I know nothing about sailing except what I read from your experiences. I am only in amazement and awe of you. You are an amazing woman and cheers to all your accomplishments. I will be happy for you to reach land…..always take care……Barbara Hoover (the lady who lives down the street from your parents)

  6. Okay, it’s morning . . . I dreamed about sailing last night (I always dream of sailing when I eat vanilla ice cream before I go to bed . . . I have flying dreams when I eat strawberry, and surfing dreams when I eat pineapple).

    So, I dreamed that I was slow motoring into the wind and seas (just steerageway), got the jib up and immediately had the guy in the cockpit furl the headsail up completely (still into the wind). Then, I had him drop us off the wind and then slowly unfurl the jib until we had just enough sail out to make good headway.

  7. olivia
    bear off and get the jib into the shadow of the other sails, be reaching way off the wind. stop adding wind force to the game with apparent wind and instead take away the wind force by going the other direction. nothing says you have to keep on course to put up that sail.
    roll it up while the load is off, then you can slowly head up and unroll what you want.
    the wind and sea are your friends… don’t fight them.
    and, you should have stayed as far east as possible until you know you can make good on the course. it’s maraamu time now. lots of strong south and even south west wind that is colder. hold the easting.


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