Monday, October 3, 2011

What Am I Doing Here?

This is what was going through my mind, as I was rowing my heart out, naked,
against the wind, in pouring rain, at 1 am last night.


Here's the back story.

At 11pm, we awoke to a all-hands-on-deck fire drill. This is a regular
event. All Renova's crew are mustered, and work quickly to close every hatch
and port hole. It's raining. And, it's coming down hard enough to justify
the buckets, so we venture outside and hang our big laundry tubs from each
side of the boat where they will catch the water draining from the decks. We
quickly dash back inside, soaked. After a half hour or so, the rain stops,
we collect the buckets, and return to bed.

No problem. This is typical. It happens a few times a week. Sometimes we
deploy the buckets. Sometimes it's just a sprinkle. Rain water tastes better
than anything we collect from shore, so we try to take advantage of it when
it comes. And, it's free.

Anyway. Back to my story.

At about 1:30 am...another rain storm. This time, the boat is already closed
up, so the captain sleeps on. I go onto deck to deploy the buckets. It is
pouring. And I'm drenched within seconds. No biggie. I can use the shower.
But it's irritating to go back to bed with wet hair, so when it is time to
collect the buckets about 30 minutes later, I put on our rain hat. It's red.
Scotty gave it to us a few years ago, and it is our go-to-hat. Nice wide
brim. Super waterproof. Doesn't get as much use now that we're in the
tropics, but it is handy and will be in regular use again on our trip home.

So, out I go to collect the buckets. Wearing my wide-brimmed rain hat. As I
step into the cockpit, the wind grabs the hat and throws it into the water.
Poop. I look at it floating. It's moving fast. I need to jump in, but I'm
worried I will lose sight of it, once I'm in the water. So, I yell for John
- "John, I need you. Bring the spotlight"! This is not a typical fire drill.
He's on the deck in seconds. As he finds the hat in the beam of the light,
I'm looking at the dark, frothy, white-capped water. I have visions of
sharks (even though we haven't seen a single shark in this lagoon yet). I
decide not to swim. I go for the dinghy. But we have two lines holding the
dinghy to the boat. It takes me a few seconds to get it untangled and free,
then I'm rowing desperately towards John's light. But the light is moving,
he's searching for the hat. Oh no. I row around in the dark, searching and
realize I'm fighting a losing battle. I turn the dinghy around, and row
towards the boat, which has gotten really far away. The wind is howling (or
it feels that way), the waves are growing, and the rain is back in full
force. I can hardly see the boat, as I scramble to dig in and pull towards
the light. I feel like it takes forever. But, soon enough, I'm back on
board, bringing in the buckets, and drying off.

Just another day on Renova.

As I doze off to sleep, I realize that I will be happy to pay our water
taxes when we are back on terra firma, and I look forward to having water
appear magically from the faucet.


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Hi - thanks for leaving a comment on the blog! Cheers - John and Naomi