We launched. We gathered all of our efforts from the last year and held our breath and launched out of New Bedford for the open sea. We landed first in Block Island, where locals were hunkering down for the winter in earnest. We spent two nights there and launched again to spend three days/nights offshore, my longest sail ever, and the first time I spent any significant time out of sight of land.
I originally wanted this blog to be a place where I could let my biology training produce…something… as I journey on this boat. OK, so how will this work?
There we were out in the sea and the wind died. I was kind of losing it to begin with. My friend Loren had just given birth to her son a week before, after 40 hours of labor. I had no idea how long 40 hours was until I spent that long tossed around in a little plastic boat, seasick and exhausted. At the end of the second day the crew outvoted me and we kept on pushing for Norfolk in one shot. At the end of the third day, however, the wind died, and I rejoiced.
We were heading in. Hot shower, here I come. Feet on the ground. Food in a restaraunt.
On land I felt like a failure, a wimp. My crew were lobos del mar, seasoned captains who were reliable on watch, making repairs in their spare time, cheering me and telling me jokes instead of sleeping. I, on the other hand, felt broken, scared, overwhelmed. I barely spoke at dinner and shuffled off to sleep.
The next day I woke up in Wachapreague, Virginia, a town tucked in behind a winding salt marsh, where folks busy themselves hunting ducks, fishing for flounder and shucking oysters out of the mud. I sat up in the dark at 5:30am, and crept out into the town. As luck would have it, there were a line of junky beach cruisers in the parking lot for guests.
This town has a plankton farm for crying out loud! I drank coffee with the early morning hunting crowd, and tried my best to convert my recently-perfected south coast New England accent into a slight southern drawl. I ate pecans from a bag that definitely smelled like tobacco. I was in Wachapreague, dammit, and this thing was finally rolling.