We were sailing west, 10 days out from our last port of call, Bermuda. Our 39 foot wooden sloop, “Firewitch” had been our home as we cruised through the Caribbean from Miami to Jamaica and for the year previous when we worked to ready her at our home port of Coconut Grove, Florida. In 10 more days we would be in the Azores and began to worry as the weather threatened. We called Coast Guard station ‘Echo’ to inquire about the upcoming weather as the seas became much more turbulent. They reported a hurricane at our location. There was no option of turning back.
The sky darkened and wind picked up as the waves grew. For 3 days, our days and night looked nearly the same with the daytime being only slightly less black. The waves were now lifting our little yacht to the height of some 30 feet then dropping out with the next wave slapping the sides of our little ship with such force that salty piercing water would shoot through the smallest spaces and hit like a blow dart with no warning to dodge or evade. My captain and I were the only members of “Firewitch” crew. After 3 days of being tossed around, soaked with salt waves and thrashed by whistles of the hurricane force wind it seemed futile to care about my appearance but I needed a change of perspective so found some dry clothes and wedged myself into the tiny head (bathroom). I took a fresh water sponge bath, styled my hair in a new up-do and donned the dry outfit. The hurricane was still threatening our survival but now I was empowered to thrive. From that experience I have always remembered that sometimes how we care for our outside can effect our inside.
I am not sure I was brave as I did the bilge pumping, battening down whatever and doing what was needed to survive but am grateful I learned to never give up. I believe I showed bravery by getting back aboard to voyage on to Lisbon and the Mediterranean after our safe harbors in the Azores.
"'Enough' is a feast. Buddhist proverb
763 Maintenance Weeks