Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big Galliot Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: NE-E 15-20 knots
Seas: 5-7 feet offshore (according to forecast)

Our torpor continues. We’re stagnant here. I try to pretend otherwise, but if this is a test, we’re failing. What do you do with limitless time? I don’t know. Even writing seems to have fallen flat--how can I stay motivated when it might be another month before anyone reads this? Keats said he would write his poems anyway, even if they were burned each morning. I’m no Keats. I have to convince myself to write for myself alone, myself, no one else. Everything boils down to that out here, in complete isolation. If I want to do anything it’s for myself. There’s no one to impress.

Except Karl, of course. Tomorrow he turns thirty. He chooses to ignore the milestone, and gets annoyed when I mention it, but it’s a big birthday. We celebrated tonight with couscous and kielbasa (yes, the kielbasa that’s been stored unrefrigerated in our icebox since Florida), and I used the end of our flour to make a giant flaxseed loaf stuffed with cherry-pie filling. It’s not a cake, but close.

We’re planning to leave tomorrow, again, based on the offshore weather report we received from a catamaran anchored nearby, but despite the forecast, the wind is howling through the rigging again at what sounds like at least thirty knots. Georgetown has taken on the mythic quality of the speed of light. The closer we get, the farther away we are. I’ve begun to doubt that we’ll ever make it. No, we’ll still be here in another thirty years, listening to the ceaseless northeast wind whistling through the halyards and wire. I have to believe, right? I set the alarm for six tomorrow morning. The dinghy’s not on deck, we have two anchors out, and we haven’t reefed the main. We’re not mentally prepared, not staged. There’s a tremendous amount of inertia after a week and a half.

What dooms us is that I’m not convinced we should go. The wind’s still too strong, and it hasn’t stopped blowing. There’s a very good chance there’ll be a “rage” coming into Georgetown, something everyone talks about, but I’m still not sure what it is--something about current against swell. The forecast is still for eight-foot seas and 25-knot winds, potentially. I’ve been in 25 knots. It’s not fun, especially close-reaching against a lee-shore, no matter what our new French-Canadian friends on their catamaran say.

I feel like Hamlet, or, worse yet, someone from a Beckett play. To go, or not to go? To wait or not to wait? To take sail upon a sea of trouble and, by attempting, end it all?

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