May 11, 2015

My Shell has Gotten Soft

I have been wanting to write this blog for a while but have been struggling with how to paint the picture. Being on the sea and living on a boat, your time is purely focused on the basics of life which also includes reflection. I find that in the city I am way too busy with running the race that reflection is so often overlooked. Back home I feel like the “water of life” is so murky that I can ignore what is just below the surface because I can’t see it. Out here the water is crystal clear and you can see pretty much everything floating around you. Life seems a bit more emotionally charged and sometimes a bit draining. We all tend to fire off our emotions both good and bad at the HIGH setting on the spectrum. I also become brutally self-aware and often a day will start with me thinking of the things I want to do differently.

The past few weeks we have been travelling with a number of other boats and cockpit parties and beach get togethers are abundant. They are so much fun and give us all a time to bond and discuss many of the same things we are all going through. Of course this is usually just the woman…. ;-).  One of the ladies the other night mentioned that back home she has her defenses up and “behaves emotionally appropriate.” Meaning that she considers her actions before acting. Each move and discussion is more deliberate. She said that out here her “Shell has gotten soft.” This so resonated with me. This perfectly describes how I feel. Everything is out there and exposed, you can’t really hide anything. It makes people really authentic and I think this is why we all become such fast friends out at sea. What you see is what you get. The good, the bad and the ugly. Anyone who knows me, knows that my emotions are usually always out there on my sleeve. If you call yourself my friend or my family, you have seen me on many occasions with tears in my eyes… now imagine me in this environment. Yup a bit of a mess ;-). I guess I could consider this trip a 6 month retreat! Look forward to the new improved Julie on my return.

We are currently in the USVI’s and plan on departing tomorrow for a 4 to 5 day passage to the Bahamas. This is the longest we have been out at sea on this trip so I am feeling a bit apprehensive. We also no longer have Alex to share the shifts with so this will mean less sleep for the three of us. The sail should all be downwind though so this is a huge positive. We won’t be leaned way over with the wind and splash in our face. Downwind is my favorite point of sail. We are also going to be sailing with Gromit which is always fun. We radio each other and compare speeds, etc. Nice to have another pair of eyes out there to.

One more thing I should mention is that yesterday for Mother’s day I awoke to a very unique surprise. On the counter was a face made out of oranges, paper towel and a banana. On the Banana Amelia had written Happy Mother’s Day and a nice message. It was pretty cool and reflected how unique she is. She also wrote me a really nice song. Right now for mother daughter bonding time we are at a very busy laundromat sitting on the dirty floor next to a wall outlet so we can plug in and charge our laptops! Shockingly we are both really happy to not be hand washing and to be getting free power ;-). There is even this nice OCD man who keeps folding and refolding our laundry.

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. My mom is off in Vegas living the life I am so happy she is able to! Love you mom.


  1. Sounds like the perfect Mother's Day. Just being thankful for the little things like a washing machine...something we all take for granted. That was very thoughtful of Millie to leave you such a unique Mother's Day message. Loved it!

    All that time to reflect sounds great. I think I know what you mean because I also found I was doing the same thing when I was in St. kitts. Everything seems clearer when you have the time to think. Also to be able to relax and not have the every day worry and stresses.

    Good luck on your next voyage. The Bahamas sound wonderful. Looking forward to your blogs as well.
    Love trese

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