Yeah, I know. I know. I have not reported on my plastic diet for February and it is already late-March. There have been some successes and tiny gains but each time I go to a store, an event, the market or even to the mail box I am confronted with my inability to shun plastic of all sorts and types. It is constantly discouraging. Read more
As we near Point Conception, the ocean folds into a field of slippery hills, each wave piling an ever greater volume of the sea before us. I have relinquished the helm to John, clipped onto a jackline and lurched forward to cling to, and lean against, a trio of shrouds. They are arranged in a comfortable triangle, seemingly for my support while standing watch. Our impermanence is confirmed by each wave, a child of the vast communal body of water, of the same makeup but unique. They slip under my feet; under the deck; under my mates, sleeping, reading, cooking and perhaps playing Mexican Train; under our tiny dryish world. Each ridge slides under our puny mass.
For this watch, and the last, we have seen an abundance of jellies sliding past with the waves. Translucent orbs, milky with plum splashes, they wash past the hull trailing gelatinous lace. They’re a staple for Mola mola, a fish I would love to see. Read more
After bobbing near Balance Rock for over two hours, and ultimately throwing in the towel to end our sailing club’s annual ladies race, I was reminded why Ed and I belong to the cruising club and not a racing club. We have been married for nearly three dozen years, or as we like to joke; 68 years of wedded bliss—34 years for Ed and 34 for me. All that love went down the head over Ed’s inability to be the ubercrew I dreamt of having for the annual woman’s “fun” race, ironically named Sweethearts.
Once again, as happens every year, except for the few occasions we have had the good judgment to invite a referee aboard, we have had a call-the-divorce-attorneys brawl during Sweethearts. This year was especially godawful. I had my mind set on finally ending the decade-long string of Sweethearts defeats to Diane.
Sweethearts started badly with Ed refusing to raise the main the moment I ordered him to make it so.
He insisted instead—no, he argued—he must first prep the rest of the deck, messing with of all things …
the barber haul! Like I would need THAT before my main! Hello! Surely this was insubordination, if not outright mutiny. But I let it go, even though the other boats were already jockeying for the start and the thought of a corrective keel haul flitted through my mind. After much cajoling, Ed jumped the sails smartly. Good job Ed! But, dad gum it, the flag halyard fouled. Arghhh!
“We don’t need the flags! Leave them be!” The wind began petering out as if to aid Ed on his flag freeing mission. I know he cannot sail without our flags flying nicely. I would go so far as to say he has a fouled flag phobia. I have gone up the mast solely to clear the burgee block to ease Ed’s consternation. Flag fiascos seem to be oddly common aboard Bliss. So I can see it coming. In my view we should have left the freaking burgees in the truck. Everyone knows they cause unwanted drag. So what does Ed do? He leaves the deck, goes below, fetches the boat hook, perches on the boom—boat hook in-hand—and begins wildly swiping at the now limply dangling flags, just as I had determined I must tack to catch the narrow river of wind that Diane alone was enjoying.
“Get down! NOW! Forget the %#@ halyard! Ready about! Helms alee!”
Then the fight started.
For one week you can watch my interview with Jackie Mahaney on web TV. In the interview I explain how I came to write and publish Sailing the Pink Sea, and talk about breast cancer survival. Hurry, it is only up for viewing for one week. I have to warn you though…I have scary bad hair. (It is even worse than my normal uncombed messy mop.) It may be more pleasant to listen and not watch! It also shows vividly why even men should wear makeup on TV. I still say, “I have nothing to make up for!”