They say, when sailing, you will get to know your limits. I have last night! Feels like shit, when you hit it, and everything around you comes crashing down. That is what rock bottom is. On rocky bottom no anchor holds, so you put down all the chain you have as weight and pray it will hold.
I don’t know, if I have any chain left. Right now, I feel stuck in a place of doom. Everything went to hell recently and it all started two years ago with my fathers death. Then I discovered cancer. We still held onto the dream of sailing around the world, which got me through all the therapies. We believed strongly, but the last months have shown, that we don’t have the mental or physical strength to do it. Not right now. They say, once you admit to failure, you’re free. I don’t feel free right now, rather I feel doomed. All my last money is in the boat, I love her and the lifestyle, but I just can’t do it.
This is an epic failure for me and hard to admit, but after 38 hours of passage with the last 10 hours holding onto handrails not to be thrown around, my arms are so week that I am writing lying down. My fingers barely can hold a knife, they are hurting so much. I am physically so exhausted, that I can’t even imagine a way out. Here I thought, that we will spend more time in Mexico, but now, we don’t know, if we even want to spend time together at all anymore. I am too tired to think about it right now, can’t imagine how I am going to make it through that.
Radu and I are barely speaking, we are both deeply disappointed in ourselves and in each other and just want to get out. This is the most hopeless I felt in decades. And there is no safety net. No money left, no jobs to go back to, no place to live on land, few belongings strewn between Berlin and LA.
What to do? Where to start? I am not sure what is next, but I am drowning in the mud of doom right now.
The day after
What a difference a day makes! After a good screaming fight and a good cry followed by a good night sleep, the world looks better already. We will need time and recuperate from this one and, no, this will not break us up. As a good friend said, nothing a Margarita can’t fix, we will persevere once again!
I am curious about all those other cruisers out there and how they deal with it. In our interviews only one revealed that for him cruising life was eighty percent tedious, hard work and twenty percent fun. The others just love it, all the time? Our interviews with cruisers were supposed to reveal the reality of cruising, but they far from describe, what we have been experiencing. Maybe others are tougher, more athletic, have newer boats or they are in denial or masochists or both.
We see a lot of cruisers mostly staying in marinas and choosing weather windows without winds and they motor from marina to marina. Few describe sailing on passages or see themselves as sailors. We got some, but too few, good sails in these last months, because the reality is, if you want to go to a specific destination, you will motor there, because on very few days are the winds just right.
Maybe we got it all wrong so far and should choose a good weather window without big storms and let the wind dictate where we go. Letting it all go and go with the flow? Like on that last passage, when we got banged around. It was our own fault, really, because “we just had to go north to Mazatlan instead of going west to Cabo San Lucas, where the winds wanted us to go”. Using the winds, we would have just sailed, with a furled headsail, maybe a reefed main, because of the strength of the winds, but no bashing, no flying around, just healed on one long tack across the Sea. Food for thought.
One week later
The storm has long passed, but we are still reeling. We are walking the streets of Mazatlan’s picturesque old town and regaining normalcy. We are recovering from the ‘sell-the-boat’ impact the last passage had on us. Fighting against waves and wind and seeing the lights of Mazatlan for hours, while the waves were stopping the boat every four minutes, left us exhausted and nearly ripped us apart. Now, that the experience has faded a bit, we can think clearer again. We are trying to get more information on the health of our mothers and to feel out what our next steps will be. A weather window opened up with more westerly winds, perfect for crossing the Sea of Cortez and further up to La Paz. Where we go from there, we don’t know yet.
The journey continues.