Friday, July 20, 2007

Long Bay to Samana Cay, Bahamas

82.9 nm
Wind: E-ESE 15 knots, dying to around 10 on Friday morning
Seas: 6-8 feet, dying to around 3 off Samana
Latitude: 23°03.83’N
Longitude: 073°44.67’W
Maximum speed: 5.6 knots (under sail, running past San Salvador)
Average speed: 3.5 knots (perhaps against current?)

I’m reeling right now. Karl’s just breathed those worst of all words: “I’m finished.” He’s sick of this, he says, sick of sailing. His night last night didn’t have the incandescent beauty that mine did, or he didn’t experience the euphoria tinged with fear that I felt as we galloped over the green and heaving water. Instead, he felt only exhaustion. He’s sick of Secret, sick of worrying about our standing rigging, sick of living tilted over at forty degrees, sick of getting no sleep.

Even though the sun’s flecking off perfect blue water speckled with dots of coral reef, and the breeze blowing through the boat is drying my sweat, and there’s a perfect uninhabited island through the companionway, I feel like I’m in hell. Not go on? How can we not go on? Where can we go? What about Secret? I’m desperate, angry, frustrated. We’ve poured so much into this boat, into this journey, into this new life together. What is he talking about?

This is so out of the blue. I had no idea it was coming. He seems surprised that I don’t feel the same way, that last night wasn’t as stressful and devastating to me as it was to him.

After I wrote these paragraphs, we prayed. What else could we do? I cried. Then we were visited by two Bahamian fishermen in a little skiff who told us to hail a boat named Sea Hunter located inside the reef, that we shouldn’t stay anchored where we were, barely protected and outside the reef. Sea Hunter, a giant dive boat, had already hailed us and offered to pilot us into the anchorage, but we had turned them down, thinking the entrance looked too sketchy. But coming as it did, it seemed an answer to prayer.

The fishermen asked for some water and we gave them half a gallon jug full. “Just a cup of water in my name...” The anchorage does seem to be an answer to prayer so far. It’s calm and deserted, and Sea Hunter has offered to give us fuel filters to replace our clogged one, as well as some extra spears they have for fishing, and has invited us over for dinner. At least it’s a brief respite. We can straighten things out here, have a heart-to-heart. If nothing else, if Karl doesn’t want to go on, maybe we can just move here. The island is uninhabited, after all.

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