Day 7: I can’t lie, I woke up at 8.15 this morning a little bit crabby. I didn’t sleep well from after dinner until 1.30 am because it was rough. The waves were hitting the port side hull, which is where my cabin is. In the bow too, the rockiest place. I had a nice sleep from 6.20 a.m. until about 7, when it felt like someone was hitting me in the ear. It was just my head being smacked into the pillow with each crash of the waves. I have definitely been woken up in more pleasant ways. Not to mention I’m either allergic to something or have a bit of a cold, so I really could’ve used the sleep.
I went up and looked outside and my attitude instantly changed. It was amazing!!!! The sea was one immense pool of white caps and huge rolling waves. Some were up to six meters tall. I smiled and enjoyed doing the sailors walk to the galley to make myself something to eat. I went up to the cockpit for a while to enjoy the scenery and then decided I really needed to sleep so I grabbed my pillow and duvet and slept on the sofa in the salon.
I woke up ready to do my afternoon shift. I went to my bathroom to put on some sun cream and as I was standing in front of the sink, a huge, I mean HUGE wave came. I felt us go up, pause, then my feet lifted up and my stomach came up to my chest as we came over the other side. I smiled at myself in the mirror and said, “Oh yeah, I’m ready!” I finished getting ready, put my foul weather gear on and bounced up to the cockpit. As I came up, the sun was shining brightly and the waves looked even more impressive from this angle. The two who were on watch laughed at me as my eyes got big and I said, “WOW!!! Oh my god this is soooo cool!!” My shift partner came up and she too smiled hugely with a shine in her eyes. It’s great to sail with great crew. Even better when they are true sailors!
For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I love doing solo watches because I put my headphones in and dance the watch away. I’m sparing Malika the sound of my voice and unique dance moves, but today I didn’t care. I put my headphones in (actually a borrowed pair because the crazy chef on the last boat stole mine…), put on Paul Oakenfold and had my own private party as I watched in awe at the power of the sea. It was incredible. These waves are like nothing you see anywhere else. We are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! We are 1000 nautical miles from land, it would take a day or more to get help if we needed it. Now you understand that these waves have nowhere to go, they just roll and roll endlessly and keep their height. They lift the boat up and sometimes gently place it down, others times slamming it down so that the spray comes out from under the hulls and a reflexive “Woo hoo!!” escapes from the giant relaxed smile on my sun kissed face. I had tears of joy, bliss, awe, respect, admiration and pure enjoyment pouring from my eyes. I was so grateful for this opportunity, so grateful to be a sailor, so grateful for this moment. Actually, I was grateful for every moment I’ve had on this boat because it has all been beautiful in it’s own way.
Today is the birthday of my Aunt who died 20 years ago. Although I was only 18 when she passed, she taught me a million life lessons I have never forgotten. She touched the souls of everyone she met as she had a beautiful energy about her that just made you want to be in her presence. She had a laugh like no other and a smile that lit up her face as well as those in the room with her. As I was sitting in pure gratitude for this amazing moment, I saw two white birds (I’m not very good at the names of sea birds!) fishing in the giant waves. At first I marvelled at how they flew so far. Then I knew. It was my Aunt and my Grandpa, her Dad, letting me know they were watching over me. It gave me the opportunity to thank them for guiding me in the right direction. A direction which is full of adventure, lessons, amazing experiences, great people, love, challenges and most importantly, peace.