Tuesday, June 17, 2008

French Wells, Bahamas


My mom had predicted it would take us one day to clean and organize the boat. I thought that prediction far too ambitious and optimistic, but I claimed all along that we brought her along for her optimism, so I kept my mouth shut. Surprise of all surprises, she was right! We spent most of the day wrestling with our old sails, which Karl and I had stored in the main cabin, a necessary precursor to bending on our new sails and getting Secret ocean ready again.

Andy left his fishing boat rafted up to ours, which gives us a great platform for organization and trash disposal, as well as shade from the sun. My parents have agreed that we’re far less isolated than they had expected, mainly because of the overwhelming generosity of Andy. Fishing boats buzz by every so often, which I had counted on but they had not. They agree that I have not oversold the beauty of the surroundings. Deserted islands ring us on all sides, and a beautiful white sand bar breaks free of the tide every day at slack low. Mom and I are going to swim to it tomorrow.

I spent most of the day putting away old and new gear, going through my dishes and books and tools, my heart singing every time I saw an old candle holder or tank top or fishing lure. All these precious things I had counted as lost feel like gifts given back to me. Even my orange-and-white hibiscus sarong is intact, hanging from its old spot of the fire extinguisher, faded a bit by the sun. For the most part my books are undamaged by water, and the most important thing, my writing folder, is intact with only a little mildew lurking in the corners.

I’m even writing with my favorite green pen right now, of which I had stored a full box down here. I knew I couldn’t buy them in the Bahamas when we set sail from the States, so I knew enough to stock my boat with them--I didn’t know I’d be too cheap to buy a new box of them in the States when I left them in the Bahamas. Too cheap and too stubborn.

Tonight Secret feels more than ever like home. Everything’s put away, the wind has died down, I’m burning a candle rather than starting the generator, and the fond old smell of the mosquito coil rises from the vee berth. When I lit it tonight, my mom, remembering Thailand and harassed by mosquitoes, said, “It smells like heaven!” It does: the heaven of my childhood, and of our sail through the Bahamas.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, in so many ways,
to YOU.

A Good Friend

Anonymous said...

I've never commented before, although I've read your blog right along (suffering through the droughts lately ;)

I just have to write in to say how good you sound, and how happy. Great idea to bring folks along to help motivate you, and to let you do your best with their help.

You go!
Sea Sister

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for everyone's encouragement and support (and for suffering through the droughts, and sticking with me). I am happy, for the first time in a long time. Six months, to be exact. I hope it can continue, whatever happens with Secret.