Those of you who know me know my take on the book Eat, Pray, Love... bunk. If I was given a 2 million dollars advance to write a novel about what I decided to do after my divorce, I think I could come up with some similar drivel. If you write something knowing it is for others, like a blog, don't you write differently? Experience it differently? Make different choices? Don't you add and remove thinking of the reader and not the words or the experience itself? I have been doing a lot of contemplating on this concept lately. I look out at a scene and think, "oh, man, this will look great in my blog"... instead of just enjoying it- or NOT enjoying it as was the case of the overnight trip from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara. I am very, very grateful to be able to tell you that I am writing this particular Blog entry from the safety of the Santa Barbara Municipal Marina. In fact, we have been here now more than 24 hours and are just now starting to recuperate. The bottom line? Thanks to my husband's amazing boat handling skills and my oldest son's mettle (BIG LOVE for them both), we made it safely through the night passage from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara. 12 hours of NW wind, 20-30 knots with gusts up to 35 knots and 12 foot waves. That got us around Point Conception. Then another 6 hours to Santa Barbara. Unless you've been in a boat in those conditions, in a relatively small vessel, it is indescribable. The sea is so powerful, so vast, so large, so unrelenting. Let me be the first to tell you that I was sick almost after leaving the harbor and I was basically useless for the entire trip. We were SO unprepared. I was shoeless, without a coat or hat! Ben was in shorts! Samey was in shorts and a t-shirt! Blankets were below! No way to eat or prepare food (NO EATING). Woefully unprepared for emergencies at sea. Scarey to think back on how lucky we were, really. After getting sick and beginning to be scared about having her above deck, I took Samey down below with me and just concentrated on not going crazy or vomiting as she and I lay in our bed while wave after wave after wave after wave pounded the boat. The main cabin is directly under the cockpit so I could hear everything the boys were dealing with as I passed in and out of consciousness. Samey was so calm and so easygoing. She was amazing, too. Ben chose to stay above. He is SO brave. All were tethered. Ben and Max both were sick several times but Max really manned up. He and Marcus kept each other going. I know Max did not feel well but he stuck to it and did what was needed. The weather was so rough that we blew out our auto pilot. One huge wave just hit the boat in the right angle to put it out of service. This meant that the boat had to be hand sailed for the entire trip, even when, in the morning, the seas calmed down. Around 7, I felt able enough to go above deck and check on the battered sailors (I left Samey sleeping below) and I was able to take over for a little while so Marcus could rest. Dolphins abounded on both sides for several hours. Like a blessing. I had spent the night praying that everyone was tethered and that the night would be over soon. When Samey was hungry, I had to get up and get her some food. It was a herculean feat for me to do. I was SO SICK. I could barely get up and go to the bathroom, I was so pinned to the bed. By morning, Marcus and Max were wiped out. Even Marcus admitted to moments of NOT liking it. We headed to Santa Barbara so as to get to a marina to fix auto pilot. But it was a night like none I have ever experienced. BRUTAL. I will be glad if I never have to experience anything like it ever again. Santa Barbara looked like heaven. Beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, amazing harbor and marina. We spent the day attempting to "right" ourselves. Marcus - who held us all together and kept us safe - was exhausted. He is amazing. I find myself SO grateful that he knows SO much about this boat and about sailing and is making this trip possible for us. That was hopefully, the worst passage our trip south will include. Shall I mention, one more time, that I was USELESS?! Today, Marcus spent the day swapping out the auto pilot and greased all the pulleys and adjusted the holes where the cables were running because they were running. Ben and I did our schooling and then, in the afternoon, we went up to the beach and played in the waves for awhile. Our plan is to be here for a week or so. Not sure if we'll make it to the Channel Islands before heading to Ventura. The calm after the storm, I suppose.
|Brave Sailor Ben|
|Santa Barbara Yacht Club in the background|