I reach for her hand,
And dancing through the warm night,
I guide her to land.
It’s 10:45 on a Monday morning. We set our clocks back an hour today and will do so again tomorrow. In international waters, we can manufacture our own time, and when it should change, but need to arrive in the Caribbean under the formalities of civilization. Another reminder that the passage is nearing it’s end.
As that conclusion approaches, and I was helming this morning before a rising sun, it occurred to me that I’ve done little to help the reader appreciate the main character of this story - Falken. Yes, you understand her functions, and through accompanying pictures or video, you might get a sense of her layout or her features. But do you really know her? How she feels, cutting through the waves? Or how she makes me feel, behind her helm, leading her daily in a dance with the Atlantic? Shifting winds, and cresting tides forcing a new step, like changing music.
Mother Nature has been in absolute control of the playlist from the outset, and despite our strong desire to change tunes, our requests are never considered. We must simply dance the steps she demands across her watery floor. But, as Falken and I fell into rhythm this morning, as we have for more than two weeks now, I haven’t discussed the relationship I’ve built with this sailing nymph.
If it’s possible, my heart beats fastest, when I wake up on a Saturday, rollover in bed and observe Tara sleeping next to me. Her angelic face, peacefully at rest, is unstressed by the chaos that awaits her when slumber ends. If one of our kiddos didn’t end up in the bed overnight, which is more common than not, we are alone, together, and I just watch her breathing. Now, before you get all “dude, that’s creepy, lurking over your helpless bride”, just appreciate that feeling. It is a deep sense of love and tenderness that washes over me.
It’s with a similar tenderness, that I step behind the helm of Falken, two weeks in. I know how she’ll respond when a wave approaches her beam, or how she wants to turn into the wind when a gust surprises us both. We’re dancing.
Last night, the moon, still asleep below the horizon, left a black canvas for the stars to consume. Shining down from their dark expanse, they sparkled across the water - Zeus’s’ disco ball lighting the floor. Rather than steer toward a star off her bow, I simply guided Falken’s main sail between Venus and Mars, and watched her white dress dance between the two planets. We understood each other. I led, but she moved gracefully through the waves, knowing the steps, and dancing along.
Today, we are making better time than the last several days. The joke that we are consistently 6 days away from Antigua is losing its humor. We are certainly getting closer, and although the crew and I equally share an anticipation for arriving, there is this pit in my stomach that I’ve noticed, born from the next dance with Falken approaching my last. The beauty in knowing we are nearing our end, allows me to be that much more attentive to her each time I take her hand.
Do I exercise that same light touch, and appreciation for Tara, I wonder? What if I knew this morning might be my last with her? Would I cherish the moment more? Do I appreciate her as much as I should?
This absurd adventure, that she supported from the start, certainly takes its toll. Though Falken can dance through the night and on through the day, week’s on end, her partner needs a break. I can sleep. I can eat. I can rest, before guiding her once more across the floor. Raising four children was never a one-helmsman’s role either, and yet I’ve left my partner alone to dance around all the complexities of life on land. She is so deserving of a rest.
I am living in this dreamlike state at sea, soaking up all that I can from the trip, from Falken and the commencement of our relationship. But I’m yearning to return home, to that sleeping nymph next to me, who slowly opens her eyes, and smiles.
We're the Zimmerman Family!
Home Base | Denver, CO
A family of six that
LOVES to sail !
Follow our crew (Royce, Tara, Avery, Charley, Nora & Ruby)
as we blog our sailing adventures
Set Sail 4.22.23 | Las Palmas - Across the Atlantic - Island of Antigua
Set Sail 9.22.21 | Sweden - Germany -
Set Sail 7.18.19 | Newport, RI -
Martha's Vineyard, MA -
Nantucket, MA -
Thanks for reading !
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