Atlantic Crossing Part II Days 39 – 41: Put a Little Leg in It

Monday July 28, 2014

I have no idea how I would handle living in the real world again, because my time management is completely out the window. Even for the simplest things. For example, making dinner. This has been my task ever since Matt and I got married and moved into our new house to start our new life together. In the beginning the food was regrettably abysmal and not well thought out (Oh, you mean you wanted a side with your meat?), but over the years we lived in that house they had improved. And at the end, I knew how to clock each item I was cooking so that everything would finish at the same time and just as Matt was walking in the door from work.

You’d think that with all this spare time on my hands for the past two years I would have mastered the timing issue. I guess I could liken that part to the rising and falling tides. Sometimes I am a genius of cooking where my rice absorbs the last of the water at the same moment my chicken is just cooked and spiced enough, while warm and slightly crispy tortillas are sitting and waiting under a covered plate. Other times I forget that I need to cook rice until my chicken is already almost done, and where the hell are my tortillas, did I forget to buy them?!

The past few days have very much been the latter scenario. I begin preparing dinner way too late, forget to cook certain ingredients, or forget to check that we have certain items before we start. And there is no making a quick Publix run out here. Last night as I stood over the stove at 7:30, thirty minutes before I was supposed to be in bed, and I realized the mahi I had cooking on the stove had been sitting in the fridge, never having been frozen, for about thirteen days now and was definitely no longer safe to eat. Searching through the fridge for new meats that could be quickly cooked up I realized that all of those were safely tucked in the freezer. I threw my hands up and went for the pantry. A can of soup it was going to be.

*On a sad note, our little bird friend did not make it through the night.  Matt made sure to give him/her a nice little funeral at sea during his shift this morning.

7.30.14 (1)

7.30.14 (2)

 Maybe I shouldn’t have spent so much of my afternoon messing around on deck instead?

 

Tuesday July 29, 2014

So 40 days at sea is how long it takes for one to lose their mind. Or maybe it’s 22, since I guess I can’t count that stint on the way from Miami to Bermuda since we did have that sweet little interlude of rest in there. And maybe I’m not loosing my mind, maybe it’s just not functioning to it’s highest ability lately. I don’t know why or how it has not happened once until this point, but multiple times over the past few nights I’ve been comfortably sleeping in my bunk during my allotted time and all of a sudden my eyes will fly open. I’ll look over and see Matt on the settee across from me, usually reading his Kindle, and maybe it’s because he’s in the cabin with me instead of out in the cockpit, but the first thing that springs to my mind is, ‘You idiot, you’re supposed to be on watch!’. And this isn’t directed at Matt since he’s seeking the comfort of a warm and cozy seat instead of being forced out into the elements of the cockpit, but is instead directed at myself. I then fly out of my bunk, search for my glasses on the nav station, and begin bounding up the steps on the companionway to look around and make sure no boats are showing on AIS, or worse, in person.

In my feverish haste to get back to my duties, Matt will just kind of stare at me with a puzzled look on face and ask, “What the heck are you doing?”. In my embarrassment that I was ‘sleeping on the job’, I nonchalantly reply, “Um…you know…just doing one of my checks…”, to which he’ll laugh and reply, “Yeah, but you’re not on shift”. Then it will all come back to me that, yes, this is in fact my time for rest, and I slink back into my bunk until the same thing happens 90 minutes later.

 

Wednesday July 30, 2014

We may have made many, many miles south and out of our way to avoid that stationary gale that has been sitting directly in the path between us and Horta, but I guess we haven’t gotten quite far enough out of the way to not feel any effects from it. Things haven’t gotten incredibly bad, but there has been a noticeable increase in wind and waves in the past day or two. We’re averaging 5 knots of speed now, which is great, but my body is trying to get used to this new rocking back and forth motion that normally accompanies sailing but we’ve been lucky enough to barely experience on this crossing.

I should still consider myself lucky that I can move about the boat at all, considering that basically every passage we’ve made before this one has left me nailed down to the cockpit, incapable of doing much more than making it back and forth between my bunk for sleep shifts. So today as we got back to feeling the motion of the ocean, those past memories barely registered with me and I thought, ‘This would be a perfect time to make bread!’. Long story short, I was able to actually complete this task, but it was done with lots of difficulty and lots of grabbing on to different surfaces to keep myself from tumbling around. I’m just surprised I was able to do all of this without getting sick, which is nice because it means that my body might finally be adjusting to the sea, but I think I may have lots of new bruises to show for my efforts.

After pulling my freshly baked bread out of the oven and finally going back to resting on the settee, it suddenly hit me why my legs have been so sore the past few days even though I don’t remember doing anything besides sitting on my butt. It’s been all that time I’ve spent bracing myself in the galley while I cooked or did dishes. Right foot back; flex; wait. Step together; rotate; left leg to the side; brace. I’ve been getting a first class workout and haven’t even realized it.

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7 thoughts on “Atlantic Crossing Part II Days 39 – 41: Put a Little Leg in It

  1. For some reason, this one had me cracking up. I have been guilty many times of the “wake up in a complete panic, oh shit, who’s in the cockpit, are we gonna hit something” moments. I can also completely relate to the cooking thing. Glad you realized the mahi was bad before actually eating it, though. That could have been less than pretty.

  2. Melody, even though that’s the first time it’s ever happened to me on passage, I don’t think it’s ever failed once that when we’ve finished a passage and have been at anchor, I’ll wake up the first night and go, ‘Oh my god, who’s on watch?! Why are you laying next to me, get out there!!!” :)

  3. I can imagine the work out anyone gets on the boat while trying to stabilize yourself. Not always a fun way to find muscles you didn’t know where there. lol

  4. I have just spend the past few weeks reading your entire blog. What a great read!! I’m disappointed that I’m all caught up!! Congrats on all your accomplishments…I look forward to hearing about your travels on the other side of the pond. :)

    BTW…I know it’s WAY too late for it, but my only wish is that you would give lat/long of some of your favorite anchorages in the Bahamas, Exumas, Caribbean, etc..

  5. Thanks for following along Matt! Good news for you, since I’m about 2 months behind on the blog right now, I’ll be posting just about every day to get myself caught up. So you should have plenty to read at least for the next month or so!

    I can definitely get you the coordinates to some of our favorite anchorages, I just flipped on the chart plotter this morning and grabbed them off there. That being said though, still study your charts to make sure these waypoints are good (I recommend Explorer charts), I just took numbers from the chart plotter that looked close to where we anchored in these areas. Ready? :)

    Bahamas
    Exumas
    Allen’s Cay – 24.44N 76.50W
    Sampson Cay – 24.12N 76.28W
    Big Major’s – 24.11N 76.24W
    Blackpoint Settlement – 24.06N 76.24W

    Long Island
    Thompson Bay – 23.20N 75.07W
    Dollar’s Harbor – 23.11N 75.15W (This is a tricky entrance, make sure you have VERY good charts, but it’s also VERY worth it!)

    Jumentos
    Water Cay – 23.00N 75.43W
    Flamingo Cay – 22.52N 75.52W

    Ragged Islands
    Buena Vista Cay – 22.25N 75.50W (This is where the photo for our current header was taken, gorgeous beaches!)
    Double Breasted Cay – 22.18N 75.46W (Another tricky entrance, but again, very worth it)

    Grand Cayman
    North Sound – 19.21N 81.18W

    Belize
    Cay Caulker – 17.44N 88.02W

    Mexico
    Isla Mujeres – 21.14N 86.44W

  6. Your writing skills keep getting better with every read. I laughed while reading this one. So funny! Keep up the good work!.

  7. Thanks Jessica! These are perfect!!!

    When reading your blog, I have google earth open and I try to follow along to get an idea of where exactly these places are! My plan is to have a big connect the dots line of your travels. I’ve read other blogs too and plan on doing the same for them in hopes that one day I will be able to make a trip like this too.

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