I remember when I was young waiting for my Dad to come home to give me a spanking. The torment was in the waiting. I would sit and worry. I would wonder what time he would arrive home, what his mood would be, how much it would hurt and how many spankings I would get. The torment truly was in the waiting. Once he arrived home and the spanking was getting closer, the torment would get worse. Sometimes he would wait until after dinner which just prolonged the worry. When the spanking finally happened I had already basically endured more pain through worry than the spanking could ever deliver.
I was reminded of this last night as we sailed from Nevis to Guadeloupe. It was 1:30am and I was on watch. Alex had just headed down below to bed and Graham was about to catch some sleep stretched out in the cockpit. I said to him as he was about to close his eyes …”but what about those squall clouds up ahead?” He said, “Well if there is any wind in them we will just reef.”
This brought me zero comfort. We were sailing as close to the wind as possible, with both our jib and our main all the way out and hardened as tight as possible. Salty Ginger was doing great but for my first overnight sail it was stressful. We were healed over on this point of sail as the wind pushes against the very hard sails and leans us over. I should mention that Graham and Alex have been sailing quite a bit on our friend's Tanner and Shari’s boat “Blue Peter”. Tanner max’s out Blue Peter, so they both kept saying…”this is nothing, you should see how much further we can heal.” I think they are both now use to a 70 degree heal which is NOT comfortable cruising. It was so dark, only a sliver of the moon and there was big swell and as Salty Ginger cut through the water on her side we would sometimes pound over the waves with a crash. Graham and Alex were so calm that I didn’t want to let them down but it is so hard for me not to show my emotions. I sucked on my rescue remedy lozenges and hummed “kay-sa-rah, sa-rah, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, kay-sa-rah, sa-rah” to myself. This did help a bit….but back to my story.
There I sat on watch with the squall clouds coming closer and Graham and Alex sleeping soundly. The waiting was torment. The winds would gust and I would wonder if it was the squall. I had my hands tightly on the main sheet ready to ease the sheet if the winds gust any higher. I could see the rain coming off the clouds, so I got out my rain jacket and stood ready with my tether on. I found that the heel was manageable if I stood in the middle of the cockpit under the dodger. When I sat on the low side it was to close to the water for me and when I sat on the high side it made me too aware of how high I was. Three hours passed as I waited in torment, playing out in my head what might happen in the darkness. Long story short…as we finally began to pass under the clouds they had moved off to the East and had begun to dissipate. They brought no wind or rain only my stomach ache. Graham woke up and my watch came to an end and Alex and Graham have been having a good laugh ever since about “Mom’s STORM clouds.” I just realized that I haven’t mention Ms. Millie. She was her normal happy sailing self, reading, watching shows and sleeping soundly.
We arrived at a beautiful anchorage in Iles Des Saintes, Guadeloupe. Iles Des Saintes is a group of small French islands with gorgeous beaches, awesome hiking , great snorkelling spots and banquettes! We are tied up to a mooring ball and are planning to stay for a week. School and boat projects begin again tomorrow but for today we were totally tourists with the kayak’s and floaties in the water and drinks in hand.
You would think after all these years I would realize that there is some worry that serves no purpose. I am open to ideas for how not to let the anticipation of what might lay ahead not drive me crazy.