Wednesday, May 24

Did you see that?

Once again, Max and I awoke naturally this morning, We each leaned up in bed, looked at each other and said SH*T, the skippers called off the crossing - AGAIN. Not that I wanted to attempt it during a storm but, out of empathy for Max and her logistical nightmare, I was hoping we would get the go-ahead to attempt it this morning.

Several hours later and after much skipper debate, it was decided that – after all- we would attempt it at 10:30 this morning. We had said our goodbyes to this little floating village the night before. I, especially, had thanked Leesha, Sullivan Bay’s do-it-all employee, who so eagerly brought in some extra provisions for me. 10# of chicken, several gorgeous bunches of beautiful mint, some fruit and bread and other items. I’m finding that everywhere we go in Canada, the people are extremely friendly and generous.

Case in point: I learned a boating rule the hard way the other day. I sleepily gathered up all my items in the salon to head down to crew quarters. I neglected to leave one hand free (a wise rule to remember) and had piled up my laptop, camera, sunglasses, etc. in my arms. As I walked along the rail to get to our hatch, I felt the sunglasses sliding a bit on top of my load. As if in slow-motion I watched them slide off the top and out into the murky blackness of the water below. I only needed to hear the “bloo-oup” sound to confirm that, indeed, I had lost my $200 pair of prescription sunglasses over the side of the boat.

Leesha’s husband is a diver. She offered his assistance, but it turned out he was without a weight belt and therefore couldn’t do it. She then suggested three visiting commercial divers might be persuaded to go in after my coveted glasses. I agreed to make extra food for them if they’d dive for my glasses. Apparently this sort of thing happens all the time and experienced boaters know to hang a rock with string to indicate the exact area of the dropped item. Turns out, with the current being the way it was, my glasses had probably moved well beyond where they entered the water. So, as we made our preparations for getting underway I said a little goodbye to my specs.

At 10 am I popped a Bonine pill. At 10:30 Max and I donned our fashionable matching blue pressure point wrist-bands. The scopolamine patch was probably all out of medicine but I kept it on just in case. We stuffed our little mouths with crystallized ginger and drank a ginger beer for good measure. Frankly, if someone told me that belly-dancing on the bow would ward off the nausea, you know I’d be out there shaking it for all it’s worth.

As we headed out of protected waters and into the open ocean, the waves started really getting choppy (like “mashed potatoes,” said Captain Jeff). Max and I huddled together at the little table in the center-bow of the boat and our gaze never left the horizon. Captain Jeff continued to use language like, “this is nothing like what it’ll will be out there,” and “this isn’t bad, … yet.” Could have been anxiety and not true seasickness but regardless I was stuffing saltines in my maw and hoping that the next seven hours wouldn’t be the longest ones of my life.

Luckily for me, Max, and all the smaller boats on our tour, we had the wind at our back pushing us along, much like surfing. Captain Jeff increased our speed to 15 knots and the ride smoothed out. Suddenly, the patch/bonine/advil/antibiotic cocktail I was on all hit at the same moment and I just had to lie down. Several hours later I woke up ravenous. I shimmied and shook myself around the galley making a quick sandwich for Max and grabbing some leftovers for me. I ate. I slurred. And then I dropped like a two-ton sack of bricks onto the couch and slept straight through the entire trip. I only remember waking up once to hold onto the table so I wouldn’t fall off the couch completely.

You know how they always warn you not to operate heavy machinery when you are under the influence of certain drugs. I could barely operate my own body. Finding the energy to coordinate the movement of one leg in front of the other was the focus of my evening. Thank God I didn’t have to make dinner tonight. Instead, Duncanby Landing was ready for us with a hamburger buffet. I snarfed a burger and now I’m on the verge of passing out again.

Meanwhile, “Moonwalk” is over here in our quarters. It’s pouring rain, and the tours fix-it-man-extraordinaire is fixing a serious leaking problem we’re having in our hatch. Imelda’s shoe museum had to be relocated a foot or two out of the cascading waterfall that is coming from our hatch door.

The rain keeps coming down and we look back wistfully on the first four days of our voyage when the sun was shining, no clouds in the sky and afternoon breaks were spent up on the flybridge or on deck chairs on the bow watching the birds and boats go by.

The stars here have been absolutely amazing. I lay on my back one night and just gazed above and noted how tightly spaced they were. As I lay there, someone exclaimed “shooting star!” I didn’t see it. Similarly I didn’t see the whale that Sea-Gate saw today. I didn’t see the porpoises the other day either. I call this phenomena the “Seinfeld syndrome.”

Let me explain: Have you ever consistently missed something that everyone else seems to get? Have you ever felt that as you live, you amass more and more knowledge, yet there always is that thing that – amazingly – never passes before you? People around you are simply shocked and say helpful things like, “you’ve NEVER……??? I can’t believe it!!”

I’ve probably seen maybe 30 episodes of Seinfeld. Loved them, all of them. But go to any party or social affair and someone will say to me, “Have you seen the Seinfeld where Kramer x,y,z?” And, indubitably, I have not. Likewise, I’ve never seen a shooting star. And I especially don’t see shooting stars when other people around me see many. Maybe this is emblematic of some message I’m supposed to be getting here. Sort of a reverse of the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. If I look for it, it won’t happen. That is my new m.o. : appear disinterested, look in the wrong direction, allow these things to materialize in front of me, despite my put-on blasé attitude. Hear that whales, porpoises, shooting stars? I’m not looking! I can’t see you!


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