[This was originally published to our subscribers during our passage from San Diego to the Marquesas.]
It’s our first day at sea together!
The wind has slowed to almost nothing, and my light-air sailing skills developed on the crossing from Hawaii to San Francisco last October are only barely keeping us moving. The sun has not quite set, but the sky is shades of grey with rare tiger-stripes of blue. I can barely see the dark shadow on the horizon's edge that is our last sight of land for a month. There's a small black bird in the distance, flying just above the water. The ocean's surface is rolling no more than the summer lake I went to as a child. Zia is sleeping. It's peaceful.
In light wind like this (less than four knots),the mechanical windvane drives the boat better than the electronic autopilot. Thankfully, with my wheel brake working smoothly (after yesterday's pit stop), I'm able to engage Big Red. Her tall red paddle doesn't make any noise, unlike the whirrrrr-errrrmmph of the under-deck electric autopilot (who doesn't have a name but needs one).
This is the first voyage in which I haven't departed delighted and then cried hysterically as I pulled away from land, followed by throwing up for hours. This time, I felt determined, and only cried a brief happy tear at the beauty of an animal escort that joined us offshore. Dolphins were leaping out of the water in every direction that I looked, seals and sea lions popped up their cute little heads, or floated on their backs staring at Windfola. I managed to snap a few pictures and I hope you enjoy the one I've shared here.
I did feel queasy most of the afternoon despite the mellow sea state. In my experience, nausea is just part of detaching from land, and I think of it not as seasickness but as land-sickness. Really, it’s a result of land behaviors: not quite eating my best, stressing and working hard, and not sleeping enough. A couple of days into a passage, I stop feeling nauseous. It has always made me question how we tend to live when we are ashore, and if we can live differently.
Speaking of not sleeping enough, the light will be gone soon, and that means it will be time for me to begin to sleep. Sleep is irregular at sea, so my pattern is to go to sleep with the sun and wake up as needed throughout the night. Tonight we will be far enough from shore that I think it’s ok to sleep some, but we are still near enough that there will likely be some small fishing craft. I’ll set alarms to look around once every hour at a minimum. You can keep an eye on us through the night by visiting our tracker and entering the page's password.
Thank you for all of your support to get us out here. We wouldn't be at sea now without this crew, and I'm honored you'll be a part of this journey.
love and fair winds,
elana, zia, & SV Windfola