When we were preparing to depart Fiji I was voluntold that I’d be helping post our daily blog articles. “Okay.” I said. Jilly tells me we can do a he said, she said type of thing. And so because of the whole emotional thing post from yesterday, which I think is really sweet, honest and sincere, I offer the he said version of the wet locker incident.
It was the second of November the wind direction and sea state was awesome. The sea state was about half a meter with long rollers. What more could a sailor ask for? I can thing of a few things but let’s keep it real. After a great three hour off watch sleep, I get up and settle back into the cockpit. The afternoon Pacific Seafarers Net will start in about half an hour. I gather the information needed to make our report and head down below to answer roll call and provide our information.
It’s been a great day of sailing with no visible issues. Maybe this will be the day. Perhaps a day free of opportunities to work on Dazzler. One could only hope.
After the Net is over I head to the helm to take down sails and prepare Dazzler for the evening diner ritual of hoving to. As I’m in the process of hoving to, I hear Jilly shout out from down below that two hanging lockers are flooded. Let’s address the word flooded first. When I hear the word flooded I think of towns being washed away off the face of the earth or “Run! The levee is going to break”. Or in our case, “Prepare to deploy the life raft because we’re taking on water”. So, I rush down the companionway to assess the situation. The wood lined walls have some areas that are wet from a leak from outside the boat. Preliminary assessment indicates perhaps a starboard side shroud chain plate.
Yes some of my clothes got wet, but not all of them. Most importantly I was worried about my ukulele that I keep in my locker. It was okay … only a little water on the outside of the case. The rest of the stuff can be washed when we get to NZ. The coat, foul weather and accessory locker was mostly empty of the usually stocked 12 rolls of paper towels and 4000 rolls of toilet paper. I’m joking it’s only 1500. LOL The only visible casualty is our last roll of paper towels which was more damp than sopping wet.
No, the flood was not something that Noah had to build an ark for. Nor was it the walls of water that smashed down on the Egyptians killing them while they pursued the Jews. No! It was a leak. It’s hard to say how much water actually leaked but looking at the wet spots on my clothing it appeared to have not been leaking long.
While I’m evaluating the potential water ingress and possible solutions for repair, I notice Jilly in the galley area verbalizing the end of the world as we know it. We both joke about being the ones in the front seat of the roller coaster to hell when we die. Somehow it hasn’t sunk in to her yet that today is not that day.
I am in my typical stay focused on task persona. Get Dazzler and crew safely to New Zealand before that low pressure system. In other words, all business. We are in a sea that has claimed two boats this season and it’s not a passage to be taken lightly. With the weight of gravity on my shoulders for our survival, I begin to speak the truth. “We are not going to sink. Far from it. We don’t need an engine we have sails. We are going to be fine.” I hear, “What did we do wrong? Why is all this stuff happening to us? We are cursed because I posted that Halloween poem. That hat cursed us” referring to a ball cap I was wearing.
Hold it right there. “We are not cursed! We are not going to die! There is no bad karma here! There is whole lot of sea, weather and a well found bluewater boat with two souls along with Grape Ape and Wilson. We will be just fine.”
Apparently that’s where I went wrong.
When I was born and they were handing out vaginas, I was on the playground and forgot to get one. Who knew that 61 years later I would be called on to don it to handle a female emotional issue? The sky is falling and we’re going to drown. Who knew that women need to vent and be treated like the delicate creature that they are? Let’s recap a few choice phrases from the past. “I’ll kick your ass across the street.” Do you want some help? “No, I know what I’m doing. I can do it as good as you.” Okay, I think you get the picture. You want to be as tuff as me. This from the same woman that opposes transgender men competing with women. So put on the pants like your man and go out onto the ocean and be crew like your man. This isn’t about gender out here it’s about one thing. Have respect for the elements that are always dynamic. There isn’t time for all this emotional stuff. We pull up our foulies, strap them on and get through this passage.
Jilly even tells other women that while we’re making passage we are crew members. When the Captain makes an order she always follows it. I don’t remember there being a chapter in the captain’s coast guard handbook where they hold hands and sing Kumbya. Sorry for the hard line but Jilly accepted these conditions, professed them and has lived by them. I’m not sure where or if she even knows where all these emotions have come from. She has read several books about disasters at sea which I have banned now because her mind is racing like the Indianapolis 500 every time some issue occurs. It’s a boat! Things happen daily and sometimes not for a week. But that may only be because you haven’t noticed it yet. There will be lots of time for lovey dovey snuggling after we arrive safely in Whangarei, NZ. For now we stay focused on our arrival and fix those things that we need to fix along the way. Positive mental outlook is our best defense against anything happening. At least her locker didn’t get any water in it! Oh, I almost forgot, laugh about everything.
I’ll treat her like a woman when we get to shore. She’s my best mate and I love her.