I am in the calm before the storm. The sun is up, the breeze has no bite, and the swell is microscopic.
It won’t last for long. Everything is about to wake up in a salt and sour mood. And I have an absolute splitting headache over the thought of it all. I’m on the sea-saw of dread and fear.
I told you storm systems pop up like dandelions out here. Well one is about to push through the dirt, with its yellow petals and chewed up looking leaves. Thanks to a “well-established high pressure system near New Zealand.”
What does this mean? It’s the white horses of Samoa all over again! Bewildered waves that thunder. Winds in the mid-20s, sustaining at 30 knots in the morning hours. Squalls that usher downpours and potentially up to 40 knots of wind.
I have until midnight to mentally prepare for this. Perhaps it would be better if I had no time to prepare. It’s torture to know what’s up around the bend. It feels like I’m about to hop in bed with a bunch of stonefish.
By midnight, I will be past Donna Ridge. I will be entering Nanuku Channel. The Lao group and Exploring Isles will be off my port side and Vanua Levu off my starboard. Cakaugalu Reef and Wailaglala Island (Coconut Trees) will be the nearest to me.
I had a dream that I sailed into Savusavu blind, so I’m memorizing the charts in my mind. I don’t know how that will help me in the end, but in my head it makes sense.
My mom has taught me many things in life. Her heart is cosmic, she’s spiritually open-minded, and she knows how to let loose and shake a tail feather. I think I’d be as rigid as a rock if it weren’t for her. Growing up, before I set foot in a car, she would always ask, “Do you have on clean underwear? Cause if you get into a car accident and the paramedics have to cut your clothes off, you don’t want them to see you wearing dirty undie bundies, now do you?”
So today, in perperation for the weather that lies before me, I have put on clean underwear. If I wash up on Wailaglala Island, the people will say, “This sailor has the cleanest underwear we’ve ever seen, but her hair is so mangled it looks like seaweed, and her body is thinner than dragonfly wings.” Then they would revive me with kava kava and for days all I would be able to say is “J-j-j-juniper. J. J. J-j-j-uniper J. J. J-j-j-uniper.”
I’m going to do double-reefed main only again. All the other boats went through something similar when they passed through here. One boat went triple-reefed main only, another went double-reefed main with a mini triangle poled out, and the third went triple-reefed main with a smidge of jib. Maybe I will leave a smidge of jib out too. I have to see how I feel.
You know that batten repair I did to the doo-hickey? It already broke off. So let’s just hope that doesn’t cause any damage, cause I’m not dropping the main now, I’m already seeing mid-20s wind speeds.
Speaking of wind speeds. I made a deal with God near Samoa. The deal was that if God did it, I would write about it. So I best write about it now. First off, God speaks to me in a female voice. And God will say things like, “Olivia, furl the jib all the way in now.” And I will say, “Aye, aye Captain.”
I’m definitely not sailing this ship alone.
So, I needed to go up to the mast to fix something and the wind was blowing 25 plus knots. I said, “God, can you drop the wind down to 16 knots so I can run up to the mast and fix that?” God dropped the wind to 16 knots right after I asked, then it bounced back up. I said, “Come on, drop it to 16 and let it stick there until I get back to the cockpit. If you do I’ll write about it.” God did. That number dropped to 16 knots and stayed there the whole time I was at the mast and as soon as I got back to the cockpit, it rose right back up to 25 knots.
I don’t know why I didn’t ask God to calm everything down permanently. I guess I figured, who am I to make such a grand request. It’s like asking for nature to not be natural!
It’s not fair to ask for anything not to be natural.
Anyway, I’m going to tidy the boat so things don’t start floating in space and end up lost like my honey. Then I’m about to start pounding coffee and spoonfuls of peanut butter in preparation for an all-nighter. I want to throw up. I almost did earlier.
P.S. – It has been really quite around here. No spirit voices or headlamp flashes. Secretly I miss all of my invisible friends. Maybe they don’t line this latitude?