Tomorrow we leave for the Azores. Some have asked if I was going to blog about the trip, so I’m going to try to figure out how to do it with this being my first post. No guarantees on quantity or quality, just a warning: you will be subjected to my goofball sense of humor.
I thought it appropriate to return to my first passage or crossing, which was summer of 2002. That episode of my life is captured succinctly with the following email sent upon landing in Flores, one of the western-most islands of these Portuguese islands located roughly two-thirds across the Atlantic:
Tuesday, July 9, 2002 11:35 AM
Hola, I know it’s been awhile since I sent a good email to all but its taken me awhile to unwind, rewind and move forward it seems. So here’s a brief tale of my trips from USA to Bermuda (eight days) and Bermuda to Flores, one of the nine Azores islands (13 days).
DAY 1: try hard not to throw up, try harder, really really try, throw up… repeat cycle
DAY 2: get blinding headache from caffeine withdrawal because coffee out the nose can be hot on the nostrils
DAY 3: rise from hot, sticky bunk to face rolling salt water; retreat to hot, sticky bunk
DAY 3.25: contemplate launching dinghy and motoring to QE II to meet up with Joanna and Marcy
DAY 4: question purpose of my life
DAY 4.5: recover appetite; eat half of loaf of bread
DAy 5: answer purpose of my life–there is none
DAY 6: move to next hand to continue counting days since last changed pants while constantly shifting buttocks to combat sittingitus extremis
DAY 6.75: realize this is the closest I’ve come to resembling Eloise of the Plaza (storybook character) in looks and figure
DAY 7: know that “fresh air” at sea is a misnomer inside a cabin where thee adults have cohabited for six days
DAY 8: land and cafe au lait ahead…
BERMUDA (WED-SUN): get off boat, jump off cliff into water, jam two discs in back
DAY 1-13: lie loll in same hot, sticky bunk from previous eight days at sea while alternating between ibuprofen, codeine, and seasick pills
AZORES (week ago from this past Sunday to now): DAYS 1-26 were worth it.
We did have some amazing times on our first voyage as well as some quite memorable experiences such as:
I saw just how dirty ones toes can become;
but, it helped knowing we could bathe with the locals,
as well as having clean laundry facilities at our disposal.
Intelligent conversations were available if you knew where to look,
and, there were always simple games one could play with an accommodating nephew.
Food on land was generally attractively displayed,
while rides were within walking distance as long as you didn’t mind waiting.
And, there were always the times we came up with useful inventions such as how to catch flies with a large global fruit and rolling seas.
I’ve left out too many other memories especially ones where I can get sad thinking of those whom I can’t see now, such as my mom and dad; so, I won’t go there. We all have those moments so no need for me to bring them up here. Rather that I’ll think this–I have a lot more to learn and, thankfully, I have a partner with whom I can and will.
One area that’s a humongous opportunity for improvement is my sailoring skills during JV2 (Juanona Voyage II). Another is attending to a healthy lifestyle and not end up as one big blob. Why could that happen you may ask? Easily. Just ask my sister Betsy who kindly helped me categorize and quantify the dried goods being stowed aboard as part of our provisioning. As she identified and counted out loud the packets of pasta and rice, cans of peas and corn, while I typed them into a spreadsheet, her voice began to carry a note of alarm. When she just went quiet, I asked her what was wrong. Holding two bags of instant risotto she slowly raised her eyes and said in a stunned hush, you’re going to look like one big Italian mama stepping off that boat.
Since she knows me well and since I do like to eat, I realized she’s absolutely correct. We stared at one another both of us envisioning the boat listing to whichever side I was placing my butt down. Then I smiled in relief and said, No I won’t because I’ll be throwing up all the way across the Atlantic. With that cheerful thought we returned to our task and happily began itemizing the chips and peanuts and 5-lb chocolate bars for between-meal snacking.
That aside, as I attempt blogging about this passage and voyage, know that my friends and family are key to my survival (and my husband being able to put up with me). Fortunately, I have wonderful friends and family as well as husband, so I foresee this being a heck of a lot easier than that first crossing.
As I listen to the whining sound of a last load of laundry and dream of a cafe latte (low-fat milk, of course), I’ll close without saying good-bye as I really don’t like to use that word. Instead I’ll quote one of my favorite authors:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”