By the time you read this, I will (hopefully) be half way across the Caribbean Sea, heading to Bonaire from Grenada, our boat a tiny little speck on a vast ocean. If we are not a couple of hundred miles along our way (you can check on our progress here), there is probably a bit of trouble. In which case, assuming I live to tell about it, I will have a hell of a good story to tell (so perhaps it’s a win-win?) I’m just praying that pirates will not be part of any story.
I’m not looking for something to write about, of course. I am crossing my fingers for boredom. It’s a journey of about 400 miles, maybe closer to 450, as we have decided to go a bit out of our way so as not to come too close to the coast or islands of Venezuela (see pirate reference above). This kind of crossing is nothing to seasoned sailor couples, who do these kinds of crossings on their own (no crew) all the time.
Most of our sailing friends did this same crossing without fanfare, complaint or notice earlier this year. But me? I whip myself into a bit of a frenzy. I need to write about it. I need to say goodbyes to my family like it is the last time I will ever tell them,“I love you.” I talk to my friends on land, the ones who will worry about me (in lieu of having a mother and father to do that.) Clearly, I am a bit of a drama queen, or maybe just a wimp. But not that big a wimp…I’m going, aren’t I?
In every respect, Mike and I are ready and anxious to leave. Our boat has been tested, the bottom cleaned, the broken freezer repaired (at least for today.) It’s just the weather that isn’t cooperating now. It has been crazy squally weather the last few days, the rain coming down in sheets, the wind howling. It is supposed to clear up a bit by the weekend, and then we will sail toward the sunset, literally.
There’s a famous line from the classic sailing movie Captain Ron, “If anything’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there.” Nothing really bad ever happens when you are close to shore, which is why I love to stay close to shore. I keep telling Mike how wonderful it is that we are not out there now- that we are now here, inside a hot and humid cabin on a mooring next to land, playing gin rummy and catching up on emails and Words with Friends, while we keep up with our beloved Red Sox (did you notice our awesome flag?)
But as we head out there in the next couple of days, I am hoping that nothing essential breaks (hoping that nothing breaks is simply unrealistic.) I am hoping that Mike and I both get plenty of sleep when we are off watch, and that neither of us falls asleep by accident when we are on. I am hoping that the clouds do not obscure the moon, and that my racing mind quiets enough to appreciate the silence and beauty of the night in the middle of an ocean. I am hoping for decent wind, and calm seas.
I am hoping that I don’t do something stupid, like spill my hot tea all over myself (I did that yesterday morning) or put one of my face-cleansing towelettes down the head (I did that last year), or spill a cup and half of little green lentils behind the stove (that was last week).
But whatever happens, I keep telling myself that it’s all about the adventure, and that’s exactly what we signed on for in this beautiful, betterafter50 world of ours. What doesn’t kill me makes me a stronger, better, more experienced sailor, and a tougher, more resilient BA50 woman. We have to continue to take risks, push our limits. And that is the story I am going with as I sail into the sunset.
I am as ready as I ever will be. As they say in at every Saturday afternoon in Grenada, “On, On!”