Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Big Galliot Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: NE-E 15-20 knots, gusting to 25
Seas: 5-7 feet offshore

We’re going on three weeks now without familial contact, and with the barest amount of outside human contact. We may turn into actual barbarians of the sea out here. The plan is still to leave on Thursday if the weather holds. We went to the beach again today and wandered around, checking the wind and the waves on the windward side, but still threatening.

It’s so exhausting trying to make this decision, especially feeling like we don’t have all the information we need. We don’t have reliable weather forecasting--not even a barometer. We’re dependent on some age-old Bahamian resident who reads other weather forecasts aloud on the VHF in the morning. Sometimes she skips whole sections, or doesn’t read it at all. I’m incredibly grateful that she does it, because otherwise we’d have nothing, but it’s still not the best weather resource.

We see other boats leave all the time. Another boat, a red monohull of about our size, came and anchored beside us last night and left before we awoke this morning. Are they just crazy, taking unnecessary risks? Or are we the crazy, overly timid ones? These are the thoughts that keep going through my head. Based on the weather we have, if we were to wait for an ideal window, I’d say wait until next Tuesday. Another week, though? It seems more than I can bear.

At least the sun has been out the last two days and the wind has moderated. It’s good for the psyche, if nothing else. I find myself longing for something, anything fresh: an apple, a tomato, a steak, cold milk. We ate our last chunk of cabbage tonight, cooked with weevilly pasta. We’ve more or less given up on fishing, after our margaret-fish head rotten in the sun as we both studiously ignored it. The sick-sweet smell of decaying fish wafting through the cabin was actually a pleasant change from ever-present head odor.

I try to sit and focus on zen exercises. Stare at the blue water. Study the clouds. Compare and contrast green land growth with white sand. Crouch by tidal pools and watch the periwinkles crawl. Follow crab tracks back to their holes. Try not to think about the glorious feeling of lifting sail, of eating an orange, of a wonderful meal eaten at a new restaurant in the company of friends, of the sound of my father’s voice. This isolation is, after all, what I wanted. Peace, serenity, and solitude. Paradise is always different than what one had imagined.

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