A journalized account of our non-stop sail through the Windward Passage from Long Island, Bahamas to Port Antonio, Jamaica.
There was a nice surprise waiting for me this morning at shift switch, and no, it was not a severed head. We were scheduled to do three hour shifts. Mine ran from 9:00pm to 12:00am then on again at 3:00am to 6:00am. Ren woke me for my 3:00 shift at almost 6:00! This means we were further along when I woke up than expected, a welcomed surprise indeed. The sun is rising right now which is huge for the mental component of the sail. Waking up tired at 3:00am is a lot different than waking up to a rising sun at 6:00am. What this really means is that I got to sleep through the night, for the most part. I am not sure if I ever entered the deep sleep phase of the sleep cycle but I definitely dreamt for the first time since being on this passage. I think this is the first time I have had time to dream. To really stretch my sleep legs.
My Mom and I were walking through a dusty little town. The place had an Eleutherian feel. This vision must have been the product of the time we Ren and I just spent in the Bahamas, no doubt. Actually the town looked exactly like the part of Georgetown, Exuma you have to walk to get to the community trash receptacle. I only walked there once. Funny how even the most insignificant details imprint themselves into your subconscious. Eager to be considered important, worth recalling at a later date. Imagine all the information that must be stored in our brains if only we could recall the stored bits of data on demand. Wow! I’m blowing my own mind here, and I digress.
Mom and I were walking through this town during a small festival. We were trying to get a handle on the local flavor. We wore big smiles and talked to everyone. We attempted conversation but were readily rebuffed by the locals. Their noses turning up at the site of us, or maybe at the sound of our voices. We walked into a big ping government building to get a drink of water. A tall white woman with bright red hair, green eyes and a green sequined evening gown hung up a sign advertising her newly missing dog. The big grin on her face did not match the anxiety she should have been feeling over her lost companion. Her smug smile in sharp contrast to the sympathy she tried to elicit. Dream sequence ended. Suggestions?
Oreo greeted me with a lot of tail wagging and rolling over on my feet this morning. Amazing how such a small mammal who contributes nothing to conversation or the necessities of the household can make you feel so loved. It is kind of like the alcoholic brother you have living on your couch. You can be damned if he is going to send a few bucks your way to help with rent. He is not going to get up early and whip up some breakfast for you before you’re off to work. But the guy is funny and you love him because he is your brother. Anyway, Oreo greeted me happily and I responded happily especially when I learned that we only had sixty eight miles to go. As of right now we have fifty eight nautical miles left and are averaging almost six knots. It looks like the end is in sight. As a matter of fact, I think last night was my last night shift. We should be in Jamaica in about 11.6 hours, roughly 6:00pm, and this is a conservative estimate based on only five knots average. I cannot believe we have managed to shrink a six day passage down to four. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Another hot, hot, day, another nap (two hours), and another dream this afternoon. I will spare you the details of this dream but let’s just say this, we were traveling the world by horseback. A white horse with a blue trimmed saddle. I woke up mad at Ren for having gotten two tattoos without even mentioning it to me first. The worse of the two being a hug snake covering half of his back. In real life neither of us have tattoos. In real life, as in my dream, a huge expensive surprise tattoo will not be a cause for celebration.
I awoke to only thirty two miles to go. This should put us in Port Antonio at dusk or just after dark. Jamaica does not acknowledge daylight savings time so we are gaining an hour of travel time. Imagine that, they do not amend Time to fit demanding work schedules. Sounds like a bunch of backwards people huh? I bet they say, “hello” when they mean “goodbye” and I bet they walk on their hands too. We shall see.
Ren is fishing again, hunting mahi. He has been having a great time as we have been traveling the perfect trolling speed. This is the hottest part of the day. Usually we try to sit as still as we can and read, fish a bit, write something, anything non-physical. Any workouts or chores to be done must wait until at least 3:00. At this time, not only is the heat starting to subside a bit, but our stomachs are perfectly settled from lunch too so we get pretty productive. No worrisome digestion getting in our way. Training for this record has made me intensely aware of the digestive process. It takes thoughtful schedule management to make sure breakfast has had time to digest before the dive. If the digestive schedule is considered, the dive is much more comfortable and a lot easier as the body is not wasting valuable energy on a process it could have taken care of earlier. This principal works for anyone, not just freedivers. Avoid midmorning indigestion or unpredictable evacuations by eating on time and slowing down. Do not eat on the way to work, eat well before you get there. Chew your food, a talent inspired by our friend Lance on EZ. I’m still working on this one. The body already knows what to do, learn to use your body properly and will not leave you feeling used.
This place is lush and green…and mountainous! We cannot wait to explore Jamaica and take lots of pictures. More to follow…