I couldn’t believe that we were finally off!
After so many farewells and false starts and restarts; could it actually be that we were truly sailing out of Hout Bay?
Morwenna chugged out of the marina and we turned into the wind to set her sails.
There wasn’t much; but slow and steady wins the race.
Only it doesn’t win immigration times and in desperation; we fired up the engine.
We were only a couple of miles out of Cape Town when we heard a thud.
The engine began to violently vibrate and we shut her down.
We missed immigration.
Worst case scenarios of dread plagued the captain.
Did he have to hurl her out of the water to fix the anodes?
Or worse; replace the propeller?
She’d already burst her water pipe and was making it quite clear she had no intention to ever leave.
We tied up at the Royal Cape and after much deliberation about the coldness of the water and the yuckiness of the marina; the captain went swimming.
Turns out some problems in life are as simple as kelp and fishing line.
It took a whole windless day to leave Table Bay.
I sat starring at the water trying not to shift my gaze to the mountain that symbolized all that I was leaving behind.
Finally out of the reaches of land and cellphone connectivity,
I breathed in the blue and sat wondering what it was that kept drawing me back to this mammoth expanse of nothing.
I was only just getting into the vast bilges of my brain when the autopilot packed in…
Suddenly I was back in the Pacific;
hand steering day and night trying to keep a perfect course to keep our mast up; tired and hungry and caffeine deprived thanks to the lack of propane.
The flash backs plagued me… of Fifty Days of Sea.
Morwenna was a different boat, a different crew.
But… But I was lucky this was just a short leg.
And there were three of us.
And… I tied up the tiller; willed it to keep a bearing of 330 and ducked inside to make a cup of coffee.
It was five am and the pre-sunrise chills had sent my body into spasms of cold.
Sea life is beautiful; but it’s not an easy life.
There’s things you miss: People, mountains, running, hugs, the convenience of supermarkets, being able to put things down, sleep…
Tim had land withdrawal symptoms the worst: he couldn’t believe that he joined the only boat in the world that carries well over twenty types of tea; but no normal tea; or as he called it “reali-tea.”
Hurgen was so busy fixing things and climbing masts and savouring the random cocktails of bilge liquids (oil, diesel, salt and fresh water) that I doubt he had time to miss anything or even think about the epic adventure he had finally begun.
But for me, with a dead mp3 player and an iphone that refused to accept music without first installing itunes (there’s still no wifi at sea – talk about first world problems!!);
I was stuck with only a tiller and my thoughts!
My head is a scary place!
Especially when it has no idea where it’s going or what it’s going to do when it gets there.
It may have been cold and full-on; but the sail did have its moments of bliss.
As we crossed the Namian border; the seals and birds flocked to greet us.
The winds came and went but the sea roared with life.
853 miles; 230 hours away from Cape Town;
We moored in Walvis Bay in the last light of the setting sun.
Finally the time came to lick land hello again.
From a vortex of ocean to an abyss of desert.
Please be nice!!