[This was originally published to our subscribers during our passage from San Diego to the Marquesas.]
Defying all expectations, today’s conditions were completely mellow. After a windy and rolling night, the winds and seas calmed around mid-morning and have been moving us along in gentle, perfect conditions ever since. The sky was a clear, gorgeous blue. This left me wondering, what’s the weather doing ahead of us and when is it arriving?
I tend to sail conservatively since I’m alone and relatively inexperienced. I try to make the most responsible and informed decisions that I can with the hope that this will keep us safe(r). I sometimes wonder if my restrained and cautious choices seem silly to more experienced sailors. But, as I’m already taking enough risk doing this solo, why encounter that which might be prevented?
Then the unexpected arrives, and I remember what the ocean teaches me every time I’m out here. No matter what’s forecast, you have to sail the conditions you are in.
She teaches me this when unexpected winds crop up and linger. I think, “This isn’t in the forecast; it will probably pass before I can put a reef in.” But it doesn’t. She teaches me this when the winds lighten and I’m hesitant to shake out a reef, knowing conditions are forecast to worsen soon. But they don’t. She is reminding me that we are in this moment, right now. We must adjust sail for both the expected and the unexpected. If we worry too much about what’s coming, we will miss out on enjoying the clear blue sky overhead and the gentle rolling swell below.
Once I remembered this, I relaxed and shook out a reef. Zia and I savored the day, wandering the foredeck together, watching the birds, and hunting for flying fish in crevices of the cockpit lazarettes. Since e-mail was still down, I had time to read a book for pleasure. I chopped and pickled onions in lemon juice and white wine vinegar and prepared a giant salad for dinner. It was delicious. Today was unexpected and perfect.
with love and serenity,
elana, zia, and SV Windfola 💕
P.S. You can reply to this email to reach me again! 😀 I would love to know what you want to hear more about during our final days at sea.