Sunday, June 03, 2007

Big Galliot Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: SW 15-20 knots
Seas: 3-5 feet offshore

We didn’t leave today. Surprised? I’m not, but I’m absolutely sick about it. I feel like vomiting. I don’t care anymore. I’ll beat as long as you want me to, cavort upwind in 25-knot wind and thunderstorms, laugh in the face of eight-foot crosscurrent swell, coming into a coral-strewn harbor against the tide after dark--I don’t care! If Karl said, “Up anchor,” I’d say, “Aye aye, captain,” at this very moment, even though our day’s light is almost gone.

It’s a beautiful day, fifteen-knot breeze almost due west, and every time I look at the blue sky and the few scattered mare’s tails I try not to be sick. Why didn’t we leave? Why? What’s wrong with us?

Karl doesn’t seem to be affected. He’s peaceably reading a book in the vee-berth. I don’t know how he doesn’t let these things get to him. Of course, he’s much more in control than I am, being captain and all, and it was his decision not to leave this morning. I, as mere crew, can only question in dumbfounded silence.

I fear this interlude is driving a wedge between us. I understand how couples have a hard time out here. I didn’t agree with his decision this morning, and I don’t agree now. Still, someone has to make the decisions. Maybe he’s right. Or maybe we’ve just become craven, huddling day after day in our little hole, like Narnian Talking Beasts who lose their ability to speak. (We’re on to the Chronicles of Narnia in our collective reading, the one bright spot in our lengthened days--Go Team Aslan!)

It’s probably just the all-around filth. The humidity today is 100 percent, according ot the radio, meaning that I’m covered in that sticky, salt-crusted sweat that only an hour-long shower will remove. My last one of those is so far away as to seem like a dream of a far-off land, or like the sun to those in Plato’s cave. I stink, even though I changed clothes today. My stock of clean clothes is rapidly dwindling. I noticed today (after choosing to ignore it for some time) that my sheets are covered in yellowish-brown slime from weeks of salt and sweat and dirt and grime. Flies were landing on my pillow this morning. The dishes are piled up in unwieldy heaps. I can’t seem to bring myself to face the conch slime. Our last four gallons of freshwater have cloudy clumps of algae in them, despite our attempts to kill them with bleach.

I need to make a better effort to not complain, I know. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe we did come too soon, maybe we did need an SSB radio and more water jugs and buckets so I could do some freaking laundry and a windmill and maybe a reverse-osmosis water filter. I can’t allow myself to think that. I’m just more of a Type A personality than I had realized, and God is obviously trying to teach me patience in discomfort. We’ll come out stronger, better able to predict weather, more ready to grab windows when they happen. I believe that. Lord, help my disbelief.

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