Longing for the open sea


I woke up this morning feeling low. It wasn’t just because Captain Cool wasn’t lying next to me for the first time in three months. It was because when I woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn’t fall back asleep, I was thinking thinking thinking. The only way I could eventually fall back asleep was when I imagined I was back on the boat being gently rocked to sleep.


I woke up feeling low because I miss the sea more than you can imagine. I’ve been on land for just over three weeks and it all feels so empty and claustrophobic. I have no calm place to escape, I have no freedom. Now that I’m in Florida, I don’t even have the freedom of a car to take me to an escape. I just have a tiny little box room with no fresh air since the humidity requires air conditioning. I look out the window and I see houses, houses, houses. Or to me, empty souls, filled with false hopes and a lifetime of “working hard” for dreams that still don’t make people happy. Don’t get defensive, it’s just one perspective of looking at life.
I closed my eyes and pictured the endless sea. I mean endless. The trip from Colombia to Florida was better than any dream I could’ve imagined. I had no expectations as I had never done any open sea sailing for that length of time and wondered if I would like it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always smooth sailing, I was at times scared, tired of the violent motion at times and sometimes begged for calm seas, but overall it was just the most peaceful, beautiful and amazing thing I have ever experienced.
When we got close to land, I cried. I cried because I didn’t want to leave the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. I didn’t want to arrive in a country where materialism and beauty thrive, where there is order and judgments everywhere you walk. You see, I am 37, not married, without children, without a career, without a house, a car, make-up and a wardrobe of clothes. To me this is pure freedom and peace, but in the USA, there is something wrong with me. It’s a fight to keep my peace when there are constant judgments being thrown at me from all directions. The only people who don’t seem to judge me are children and teenagers. When I went to my cousin’s house, her 15 year old daughter had a friend over and she said to her friend, “Do you remember the cousin I talk about who lives on a boat? This is her!” Then she turned to me and said, “I just think living on a boat and what you’re doing is really cool so I talk about you a lot.” How wonderful! If only the world could see through a young person’s eyes. But they don’t and now I feel like I’ve been thrown to the coyotes. I don’t regret my choices, I agree with my cousin’s daughter. It’s just tiring and energetically draining to be faced with so many judgments and questions. Let me live my life and you live yours. Sadly in a world where people are constantly comparing themselves to others and trying to be the best, this philosophy doesn’t exist.
Back to the beauty of the sea… When I woke up, there was always a 360 degree view of pure beauty. During the day, the sun was out or it was cloudy, the night sky was lit up or cloudy and it was always beautiful. There were no buildings obstructing the view, there were rarely ships to disturb the horizon and it was incredibly peaceful. When you have this type of view, the clouds are endless and allow you to see what type of weather is coming, is passing or has passed. It’s beautiful how the clouds change personalities and I reveled in the fact there was no pattern, it was what it was at that moment.  I was outside most of the time until my body needed a break from the beautiful wind that was dancing us to our destination. I have never felt more connected with Mother Nature, myself or with Captain Cool. You see in a trip like this, you have to give up control and trust everything. You have to trust the boat, the weather, your instinct and the instinct of the people or person you’re sailing with. There is a certain exhilaration in giving up all control and simply trusting. I breathed in this exhilaration every single second and my soul smiled.
The waves are incredibly hypnotizing. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot, but I also took many breaks or spent hours just gazing at the waves. They can be so therapeutic and seem to have a life of their own.  When they were big during a confused sea, I would smile when two waves met because it was like they were giving each other a high five. Sometimes it seemed liked they were trying to step on each other’s shoulders so that they could see what we were doing inside the boat. We had the pleasure of the most up to date autopilot which was incredibly smart. It calculated algorithms with the pattern of the waves so that Trade Wins sailed smoothly and beautifully over the waves no matter how big or confused the sea was.  It was mesmerizing watching her dance over these waves. The bow would lift up and gently fall back down over the waves. It was as if the sailboat and the waves were lost lovers that had been reunited after years and years. I felt privileged to be a part of their romance.
Night time was my absolute favourite. That is really when I felt so alone and to me, that sensation was comforting. CC would be inside reading or sleeping and I would gaze at the stars and lose time. I love to make up my own constellations and try to figure out what the Greeks and Romans were thinking when they named the constellations. Sometimes I saw it, often times I didn’t! I liked watching how the night sky rotated as we neared daylight. It’s a kind of meditation for me. I gaze at the stars and think about how far they are, how many people over all the centuries have gazed at these same stars, how the stars don’t run out even though there are so many beautiful shooting stars on a nightly basis. I thought about how the people in my life in the same hemisphere may have been gazing at those same stars at the same time. We were so far apart, yet we always have the same sky.
We were blessed with the moon every night. During the trip we experienced a full moon and so at some point every night, the moon greeted us with her bright bunny. We made a habit of placing cushions on the deck and laid down cuddling each other while we waited for the moon to rise. We would remember what time it set the night before so that we could plan dinner and sleeping around the moon rise. It was so beautiful. When it was nearly full and full, it peeked it’s lovely head out of the horizon with a reddish orange brilliance. We had the best view, no obstructions except sometimes the clouds, and even then it would make a beautiful picture as the red lit up the clouds or shot it’s red rays out around the clouds. This is Mother Nature at her absolute most gorgeous and we got to witness that every night. Clear from obstructions of buildings, city lights and people. Just us and Mother Nature.
It is on the open sea with no type of two way communication when you realise just how much technology taints you. I did not miss it one bit. I felt so relaxed and at peace that no one could contact me. I wasn’t able to hear about bad news, good news or the mindless newsfeed of Facebook. I had no technology to distract me from the book I was reading, the meal I was cooking or eating, the meditation I was doing or the conversation that CC and I were having. I was truly in the moment and what a great place it was.  Yes, there is a time and a place for technology, but as the years go by, we become more and more reliant on technology, to the point that sometimes we forget there are people around us or that it would be much more satisfying to meet someone face to face rather than have a text conversation.  On the sea, the only place to get lost is in my thoughts, the conversation we’re having or the maneuver we’re doing. I re-connected with my soul and felt so refreshed.
Now that I’m back on land, I’m trying to keep this peace. It’s not easy and I am constantly having internal conversations to keep my balance. Sometimes the only thing that makes my heart feel light again is when I think that everything I’m doing right now is working towards getting me back on the sea. The place where my heart sings, my soul dances and there is no one to judge what I am doing or tell me that I’m doing it wrong. For the moment, I’m asking the universe to get me back living on a boat because after a crazy day of being on land, the best way for me to de-stress is to make a tea and sit in the cockpit as I watch the world fly by in all it’s craziness, while I feel the rhythm of the waves rock me into a peaceful and relaxing slow state of mind. A place where I know that it is pointless to worry about things because the universe is only going to bring me what I focus on. The comforting motion of the waves reminds me that the best way to get through life is to sit back and relax because the more I fight and stress, the more the opposite of what I want is going to happen.

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