Anyone who truly loves sailing and boats will understand what I mean when I say that coming back onboard Celtic Song is like seeing a dear friend you have missed. The days and nights I've been lucky enough to spend on this beautiful boat have made us feel like companions. I love her wood accents, her sails, and her portholes... which this morning show only a view of open ocean on all sides.
The anticipation of this trip has been a bit overwhelming. Months of planning, dreaming, and excitement built up to our departure yesterday. My husband John and I are joining Captain Diane and the rest of the crew for the next 10 days, sailing from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas as part of the famous Baja Ha-Ha. Settling into our first 24 hours of this almost two week trip, I'm struck by how incredibly grateful I am to be here. I'm thankful that life has brought kindred spirits and amazing opportunities like this one into my world. I'm also grateful that I've been brave enough to say "Yes!" to creating the kind of life I truly cherish living.
This gratitude is front and center in my thoughts as we sail. And it happens just about every time I'm on the ocean. Maybe it is the way the frantic pace of life slows down on the water. Maybe it is just the way sailing makes you stop and be present, completely in the moment and your surroundings. All I know is that I love the way it makes me slow down. Here are a few of the wonderful things I've noticed after being back on
the water for only one day.
- Food Tastes Better on a Boat
Captain Diane says this all the time, and it is very true. Our galley is packed with fresh food and produce, and we have already had delicious sandwiches with basil, tomato and turkey, wonderful soup for dinner, and then fresh oatmeal and berries for breakfast. I savor every bite when I'm sailing... it all just feels more special somehow.
- Night Watch
Most people will tell you how much they love the solitude and tranquility of night watch. Stars really are so much brighter out here on the ocean! It is also true that it can be stressful at times, especially if you are in an area with lots of cargo ships or fishing
boats with no lights... but what I am struck by the most of this trip is all the little nuances of night watch that I love. When everyone on Celtic Song is asleep, it is a different world. The red lights we use to preserve our night vision cast a soft glow on everything. I love the ritual of gearing up for my watch shift -- warm beanie, PFD, hot tea. I'm usually still waking up as I make my log entry, checking lat and long, scanning radar to see what is nearby, reacquainting myself with the current bearing and plotted course. Even checking the barometer feels comforting and familiar to me now. As we change shifts, we chat softly in the cockpit. I look forward to getting up for a 2 am watch, and I don't think I ever would have anticipated that!
- Naps and Downtime
I love taking naps... but there is truly nothing better than taking a nap while sailing. I think there is something decadent about allowing yourself to rest and not feeling guilty. We get into such a beautiful pattern when underway. The crew gathers for breakfast and morning chatter, then everyone feels free to spread out. Napping, sitting on the bow and taking in the view, or maybe blogging. :) Unless you are on watch (or when we are putting the spinnaker up!) your time is yours. And having nothing to do feels like the most precious luxury.
Speaking of which, I'm logging off to go do nothing now but enjoy the view.
Diane Berol is an ocean adventurer and the captain of Celtic Song based in San Diego, CA.