Day 6 Fiji to New Zealand
Today starts out as a picture perfect sailing day. We had fantastic ESE winds running 12-18 knots. The swell was relatively kind to us with a longer frequency than we’ve seen in days. We had all three sails up and were cruising an average of 6.5 knots for the better part of the day. It wasn’t even that cold. I particularly enjoyed my afternoon watch and was pleased that Dan slept for a good three hours. Yes, things are looking up. Finally!
At 0300 Zulu Dan got on the radio and reported our position and other information to the Seafarers Net. I was sitting around the table smiling and enjoying the fact that we were having a truly wonderful day. After the net Dan went topside to put us into the hove to position so I could heat up the Beef Stroganoff we were having for dinner. This is the 7th time we have gone hove to this trip. Yep…working on a record.
I walked in the galley and realized we were out of paper towels so I headed to the coat locker hoping to find one last roll. I reach in and yes! There is a roll sitting near the bottom of the locker. I grab it and my heart sinks. It’s wet! No, not soaking wet but pretty damp to be sure. I immediately grab a headlamp to further investigate. As I move the coats to the side I see the entire outside wall is wet. “Oh for crying out loud! Seriously! This is getting freaking ridiculous now!”
I start pulling the coats and a few other items from the locker. Then I look in Dan’s locker because it’s right beside it in the bunk room. As soon as I open it I see there’s water in there too. I pull all of his clothes out. Some are really damp….others just feel like they’ve been sitting in a sauna for a while. I go to the companionway and wait for Dan to finish with the sails.
“We have a big problem” I tell him. “The coat locker and your locker have water in them.” Of course he comes down immediately. By this time I have clothes and stuff strewn all over the table, our bunk and the settee. I just move to the side and step into the galley. There’s nothing left for me to do but watch and oh yes, have my nervous breakdown. I’m standing in the galley in tears as Dan assesses the situation. Apparently in his mind it’s not nearly as bad as it is in my mind. He believes we may have a leak around a chain plate and considering the fact that we’ve been healed over to the starboard side for days, the amount of water is minimal. In other words, there’s really nothing we can do about it out here. The water will run down into the bildge and be pumped out. As he said, “It’s not going to sink us.” Well let’s just do a big ol’ happy dance on that now shall we? I’m being facetious of course.
It’s at times like this that I think of my dear friend Roger Sutton who, upon hearing that I was going to embark on this journey to sail the world, told me the first rule of sailing. Keep the boat in the water and the water out of the boat. Well, Roger, I love the sentiment but I guess sometimes you just have to deal with what God puts in front of you. Trust me, I don’t like it and it freaks me out a bit but we have no choice. We’ve still got six more days ahead of us and we’ve got to keep this ship sailing.
Dan, as wonderful and kind as he is, has reached his limit with my doom and gloom attitude. I understand. I know it’s not helping him and I’m usually very strong. We have an affectionate discussion as he’s trying to tell me to buck up and I’m telling him I’m over it all. I’m physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Now I know all the women out there will understand when I say that sometimes when all the shit has hit the fan, we just need to take a moment, have a breakdown and then have our man scoop us up in his strong arms and reassure us that all will be okay. We don’t need him to get all agitated and tell us to “suck it up buttercup.” No. That is not at all helpful! You men are surely rolling your eyes about now but it’s true. Acting tough and telling us to “buck up and get over it” only makes things worse. It would be most helpful if you all could stop being so darn practical and try thinking like a woman once in a while.
For the next half hour while Dan deals with his clothes I heat up dinner. It’s uncommonly quiet on board. He takes his dinner to the cockpit and I sit below at the table. After dinner I do the dishes and harvest ice while he continues to look at the water issue. Finally he comes over and hugs me. I apologize for being such a wreck and he calmly explains what he thinks is happening, where the water will go and why I shouldn’t be worried. Honestly, a hug and an “it will all be okay” would have sufficed but he’s an over achiever. Now think of how much easier it would have been if he’d have just done that in the first place. Just saying!
Before we start on our way again I tell him that I’m breaking the rules tonight and having a cocktail before bed. There’s no vodka on board so it will have to be a Tequila drink. My nerves are shot and this is going to be my medicine. I can see he’s not overly fond of the idea but he doesn’t say a word. I think he realizes that it’s probably the best thing for everyone on board.
Dan heads to the cockpit to get us moving again and I make a stiff cocktail and sit down at the table to relax before it’s time for bed. I also make a pact with myself that tomorrow I will begin searching for those hidden cameras.
Until next time…
Jilly & Dan