When we’re sailing, it’s impossible for me NOT to “live in the moment” – but perhaps my version of doing so is not quite like the popular sense of living in the moment. When we’re sailing, if the weather is good and the day is beautiful, then in my mind, all sailing days are wonderful, they all always were wonderful, and they all always will be wonderful in the future. And if the weather stinks? Sailing always did stink, and always will stink. (Okay, in my mind I’m using a different s-word than “stink.” But this is a nice newspaper, ya know?) Anyway … that’s what the trip from St Augustine to Charleston was like. We left through the Bridge of Lions (“bye-bye, lion statues, luvya guys, see you next time”) and started out the inlet. We’d ride the Gulf Stream overnight about 20 miles off the coast, bypassing Georgia and coming into Beaufort, SC the next afternoon; from there, it was only one day motoring up the ICW to Charleston. The ocean water was sparkling blue-green, the winds were just right and the sun was warm and soon we had the sails up and were skipping along, making good time northbound. The weatherman had promised the winds to continue from the south (a comfortable direction for our planned passage) and we were looking forward to a magical moonlit night on the water. Ah, I love my life!
Before midnight, though, we started seeing distant flashes of lightning and the moon and stars were obscured by clouds. The wind grew stronger, colder, and shifted from comfortably behind us to in our faces, kicking up waves. Now chilly fat raindrops were falling and the lightning was getting closer. I hate this! Never never again! Night passages stink, they always stank and always will stink! I never want to be on the ocean again! I started having fantasies of cottages in the forest, cabins in the mountains, in the desert … Sorry, Dan, promise me we’ll only keep living on the boat if we stay safely inside and only go out on the days with perfect weather from now until forever.
Until next morning, that is, when the wind went back to its proper location and a fair current whisked us on toward our destination. We saw the sea buoy exactly “on time” as I had predicted at 2 PM, and it guided us in to a sheltered anchorage for a placid night. Next morning after a lovely sunrise we continued north. I’m lovin’ my life afloat again. Good thing I’ve got a short memory!
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