The sun is so bright,
Land birds arriving in sight.
This is our last night.
11:30 in the afternoon. I’ve jury rigged the end of a halyard line, to harness myself into the cockpit seat on the high side. When a wave lifts up Falken’s stern, and tries to dump me onto the floor, I’m held in place…ish.
“Hey Einstein. Hey Einstein.” Staton calls from the helm.
“Yeah?” I respond, guarded.
“Why don’t you relocate to the low side.”
He’s right. With his erratic driving, it will take more than a few line wraps around my waist to avoid a crash landing on the floor. And I’m still shell shocked from last night.
I had just taken a military shower - defined as bathing myself with dude wipes. I washed my face, slicked back my hair, and suited up for one of my last dates with Falken. An evening of helming under the stars and then rolling over and going to sleep - she so gets me.
My attire had been waiting patiently for weeks to be donned. Thin performance pants and my favorite button down flannel, that says “I’m comfortable on a boat AND totally into Pearl Jam”. I was the bell of the ball. A few of the crew cat called on my way to the cockpit - or was that just Mia?
And not three minutes after sitting down for dinner, a rogue wave crested the side and embraced me in an unsolicited hug, my fresh bedtime attire instantly drenched. I jumped up, lost my footing, and crashed to the low side, in a compromising position between Staton’s legs. Ignoring his lascivious smirk, I stood up and took stock. My finger was bleeding, and I could measure my pulse by the throbbing in my fingernail. Ignoring the doctor’s concern, I stared down the helmsman, Bruce, and retired below with the little dignity I had intact.
So, thanks for the advice Staton. I will take the low side, and hope you don’t pull one of those Y turns again, putting me back in harm’s way, or into another crew member’s lap. We’ve talked about this, man. I’m not that kind of girl.
So, friends, we are about 200 miles from Antigua. Our speed is still such that we can cover that distance in a day, but now begins the game of jibing and tacking, easing and pulling, trying to get our vessel in line with our destination. Had I been a more agreeable crew in the eyes of the captain, perhaps my requests of turning on the engine and guiding this girl home would not fall on deaf ears. By the looks of it, we will get within a stone’s throw of Antigua by tomorrow night, after the lights of the harbor come on, but the neon sign of the border patrol go off. Which forces us to stay in a holding pattern, offshore, sober, for another night.
“We can’t enter Antigua at night” Chris reminds me.
‘Dude, you’re not a real captain unless you can ride this thing into the harbor, under sail and a half moon’ I challenge him, in my thoughts. “Understood”, I respond, defeated.
But Falken and Poseidon are conspiring to get me over my malaise. Last night was by far the most fun I’ve had behind the helm. Just as advertised in the opening pages of my constellation book, star gazing is like revisiting old friends. I didn’t see Orion, but all my other buddies were hanging out at Zeus’s bar. The Dipper twins, Polaris, Gemini, Scorpious, Libra, the Southern Cross, Mars, Venus…all visible because the man in the moon was asleep and the clouds had whisked away. I saw satellites bustling about, delivering Amazon packages and internet porn. Shooting stars were burning holes in the atmosphere. The waves added a background chorus to the scene, while her phosphorescence reminded us where we had just been, and Venus lured us toward where we intended to go.
I was on a surfboard for three hours. The cool breeze erasing my earlier ocean shower. Falken asking for all my attention. Realizing that this would be one of my last rides under a night sky, I checked my heading in the red glow of the compass, gripped the helm, and found my planets to chase through the night. Smiling at all my good fortune…in my second outfit of the night.
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 !
Previous Trip Posts: