Sometimes life is a fight

Photo: A fortress in Portobelo, Panama

Landlubbers who don’t have horrible sea sickness which makes them run from the sight of boats, often think sailing life is perfect and super chilled. 

I’m going to tell you the truth. It is and it isn’t. A sailor’s life plays by the same rules as the rest of the universe. There’s always a balance. In my opinion, the highs are way better and the lows challenging, but rewarding when a solution is found. 

The last couple days have been hard for me. I am tired and have been in constant pain. You see, I allow passengers to drain me. I haven’t yet found a way to deflect the energy of others, whether it’s good or bad energy. The passengers left, I did my blitz cleaning to clear the energy and make our home totally ours again. Then I crashed. Sleep doesn’t come to me very well when we sleep outside or when we are sailing and take it in shifts. I am always on alert even when sleeping as I know that I may be needed to complete a manoeuvre at any time, made all the more challenging in strong winds. 

I was excited to have CC to myself for a couple days and wake up in the morning for a beautiful yoga practice on our yoga island. Then the phone rang and all plans changed. We have to sail to Portobelo for a charter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Portobelo, but we just got paradise to ourselves!!! This is why I want to have my own boat. Being part of crew means my life is dictated by the captain. Luckily I managed to convince CC that leaving this minute for Portobelo (5 pm) was not a good idea because we were both tired and I was just completely useless. 

Before the sun broke the next morning, we were already waving goodbye to Chichime. I had only been steering for about an hour half before my mood changed and I was just tired. I’m not afraid to admit it, I was whining. I had woken up with a weird neck pain and it was becoming worse. I had absolutely no energy and I didn’t want to sit anymore. As always, CC prepared food and a hot drink for us, then took over the helm. After a year of knowing each other, he knows my face and I know that whining won’t change anything so I don’t. That’s how we manage to live together!

CC told me that I could make all the navigation decisions, then promptly overrode all of them which did not improve my mood. Then changed them back without saying anything, which made me want to throw him overboard. I decided a quiet sail where he did everything and I just slept was the best. Sometimes giving up is the best and it was. 

I steered us into the last part of Portobelo which was fine and beautiful as always. We went into town to say hello to everyone and see what was new since we were last here. Not a lot, but as always, we received a warm welcome. I was still in a bit of a mood that I never got island yoga and that CC put his crocs in the dinghy but not my sandals so I had to walk barefoot around town. He of course offered his crocs to me which I promptly said I didn’t want because they are ugly (besides, I was trying to prove a point). He silently put them on and said nothing.

I woke up this morning and all was fine, thanks to the massages CC gave me. Then I reached behind me and all hell broke lose in my neck. The pain was unbearable so CC delayed his departure to massage my neck until I could move again. Other than forgetting my shoes when he tires of me, he always takes good care of me. 

While CC was in town, I read Robinson Crusoe in Spanish while taking frequent breaks to move my neck. I tried fixing a piece that holds the lines which had broken off, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I moved on to glue a piece of wood that had fallen off only to find I couldn’t get the cap off the glue. I then had a little swearing session about how all I seemed to be good for was cleaning and I was sick of it. I want to do ‘man’s work’ too. 

I became restless and wanted to leave the boat. CC was taking ages. Little did I know he was having a crisis of his own. He went back to the dock to find the dinghy gone. After a two hour search and getting the police involved, a friend in a speed boat found our little dinghy had escaped and was playing with some big speed boats that were along the shore. That crisis over, he returned to the boat. 

CC gave me another massage which helped for the short term. Whenever I don’t move my neck every two minutes, it seizes up. 

So today I am missing my friend who is a chiropractor and could sort me out in ten minutes. I’m missing a cool shaded place to do my yoga and stretch out my muscles. I am missing being near a pharmacy that has long hours so I could try a muscle relaxant. I am frustrated that I can’t move like I could three days ago. Today is just one of those days and luckily tomorrow will be a new day. Life has it’s own way of balancing itself and the people in it. I will just ride the waves until the storm ends. 


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