Monday, 14 May 2012

Innocent Afloat vi

6. OCD?

This is (vi) in a series on the voyage that could only have been my first. Part i is here

Relief at imminent landfall was swept away with a sudden squall, unnoticed as we gawped at the sight of land, and floated in our private fantasies of whatever that promised. Our repaired sails blew out. Quite a feat since we were sailing on the second jib, approximately a square metre in area. A mile or so out of Rarotonga's harbour, we hoisted our bright orange storm sails and listed into it, tying up alongside a rusting Indonesian trawler that looked only slightly less seaworthy than us.

While in part grateful to be able to step on land, I was buzzing, elated. We’d made it. We’d lost three sails, taken twice as long than expected, eaten tinned soup and beans for the last week, had two stanchions snap, and lost the heart and mind of one crew member; but we’d made it, without anyone falling over board, without hitting a tanker, without starving.

On the other hand, I’d learnt to steer through a storm, master the Sat Nav, read charts, plot positions, change sails, repair sails, cook without puking, chop veg without losing a finger, function on three hours sleep, translate clouds, recognise albatross, do very little for hours at a time, operate around other people in a confined space.

In short, I'd found I could rely on myself as an individual and as part of a team in a way I'd never experienced before. I had used body, brain and spirit to travel approximately 1600 miles, and all three had held together, proved trustworthy, connected and capable.

I was hooked.

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