Well, It’s the day before Easter. The exact day that I should be writing this blog from Hiva Oa in the Marquesas islands. Instead, I am gazing at sweet Banderas Bay near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I am nursing a sore mouth after having an abscessed tooth pulled a few days ago. But THAT is not why we are back (or maybe it is?) The tooth only started giving me problems the day AFTER we returned. We turned back 500 nautical miles out, after the generator stopped generating, which prevented us from making water! No water, no trip….
I believe in fate. I believe in purpose. And I believe in a God who directs our paths if we ask. I asked. He answered, “Not this time..” The adventure was not a waste because it taught us what we need more of, less of, and how to do it “better”. It gave us an opportunity to prepare and in my case, to heal! Yes, we are leaving again! Gen is fixed, my mouth is fixed (well, at least the tangible part is) and we are more prepared than ever to take on the Pacific Ocean! Just as soon as doc takes the stitches out of my mouth on Monday, we (and four other sailboats) will head out. One last chance to reach our dream before hurricane season begins and closes the window on another year! Here are some things I learned during the 10 days we were at sea..
1) Have your tools where you can easily reach them. Also, know what spare parts you have, and WHERE they are located. Ours WERE scattered around in the lazerett. Now, they are near the door for quick accessiblity! We both assessed what we had, and what we needed (and got it).
2) Revisit your medical kit, know what you have and put the kit where you easily reach it. Ours was tucked away, deep in a closet. Now, it is sitting on the spare bunk. I can’t imagine digging through closets in high seas (looking for pain meds) if my tooth had started abscessing out there!
3) Forget dishes, buy biodegradable paper plates and use them! Stock up on healthy drinks (V8 juice, and drinks high in electrolytes). You get really thirsty and grumpy if you don’t eat! Premade meals work great but don’t forget canned fruit..you crave it!
4)Establish a ‘watch’ schedule early and stick to it. Routine is important! Make sure you get ‘rem’ sleep! We are going to try a “6, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2, ” schedule this trip. That means, we both get 6 hours of sleep every day (ahhh, rem!) and take shorter shifts in the wee morning hours (when it’s hardest to stay awake). We are sleeping like bangies right now getting our bodies ready for the deprivation that is coming
5) Last, give lots of ‘grace’ to your crew mates. You get tired, they get tired and true colors show. Forgive, but don’t forget to be safe! Agree beforehand that you won’t compromise safety because you are not your own island out there. You are a reef, dependent on each other, and your choices affect everyone on board. Make it a point to laugh every day, pray every day (to thank God, the creater, for this incredible chance to see life as you’ve never seen it before!) and don’t forget to take pictures (you truly will never pass this exact way again!)
Hopefully, you won’t hear from me until we are nestled safely in the Marquesas Islands of the South Pacific (sometime in May).
Have a wonderful Easter! In this world of disappointment and calamity, it is good to know that we are not alone. There is a God who sees, cares and waits for His children to choose Him so they can one day come home to a paradise that doesn’t have broken generators or abscessed teeth. Meanwhile, we will keep pluggin along and counting it all joy when we get to see a ‘glimpse’ of heaven on earth!
ps To sum up our recent journey, I wrote a song. Sing along to the tune of ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again’…
We Will Go Sailing
We’re sailing on a ship with three, ya ho ya ho A narley captain, mate and “Smee”… ya ho ya ho The skies are clear, the winds are true, the seas appear a tranquil blue…and we all go sailing… ya ho ya ho
But on day two, Cap dropped a screw, ya ho ya ho The water maker went “ca-poo”, ya ho ya ho Like snails on ground, they crawled around; til in the jug, the screw was found! And they all went sailing … ya ho ya ho
The sea can be a nasty beast ya ho ya ho And on crews things, it likes to feast! ya ho ya ho …a missing watch, a lost ipad, i pod snatched (it got real bad!) and the crew all grumbled… ya ho ya ho!
Day three we lost the batteries ya ho ya ho The Cap, he spent the day on knees….ya ho ya ho He cleaned the plugs and flushed the hose; we turned to wind, and the sea rose…and we all went sailing…ya ho ya ho…
Day four the winds began to blow! Ya ho Ya ho Twenty knots can make us GO! ya ho ya ho! The Cap declared, “We must go back; with batteries dead, water we’ll lack!” And we all went sailing, ya ho ya ho!
Day five we beat into the wind, ya ho ya ho The seas made our progress dim, ya ho ya ho With spirits down, and faces grim, we put her on a windward trim … And we all went sailing, ya ho ya ho
The sailors life is good and bad… ya ho ya ho This time the good could not be had… ya ho ya ho But sailing is the life for me. It’s the ultimate way to be set free! So, I will go sailing.. ya ho! ya ho!