Written by Rainbow on 23 March
“If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea, I’ll sail the world to find you”🎶
After a full recharging 10-hour sleep last night, I went onto the deck with my ukulele and a cup of hot coffee. A few hours before starting my next watch, it's a great time to enjoy some free time.
The sun was gently rising from the horizon, burning the sky and clouds into orange shades, while the wind continues to push us from the stern of the boat.
The Yankee 1 sail and main sail were flying beautifully at the gull-wing position in the dawn. On the port side, WAOW!! We saw TAIWAN!
The island profile of Taiwan was subtly sketched onto the backdrop of the light blue sky. We have made it to our first milestone checkpoint, cruising through the water around 20 miles off the southern tip of Taiwan mainland. Time for our celebration party!
Surprisingly out of our expectations as forecasted by the weather report, the wind decided to surge drastically as the sea surface heats up quickly by the rising sun. Since we have driven into the warm Kuroshio current, humid air is filling up the whole boat.
While I was thinking of doing a morning sunbathing or hair washing we had to put the Yankee 2 up in replace of the bigger Yankee 1 sail and reef the main sail together calling everyone onto the deck to help immediately.
The wind surged with waves a couple of meters high lifted behind and rolled toward our boat.
Well, the waves did get all of us wet, more fiercely than I've ever thought of. The wind was pelting us when we were trying to stay the course. On the deck where we were putting the sail down, globs of salty cold seawater came speeding at us as the boat smashed into the sea.
The apparent wind speeded up from just a few knots to more than 35 knots in just a morning. Trust me, the spray was actually quite cool (thermally cooling us down…) despite the fact that our hearts were pounding so fast and our muscles getting sore.
What a surprising morning. As soon as the sails were in position, we all took a short break enjoying the wonderful falafel prepared by Mama Jaimie and Mama Michelle.
A rip was found on the main sail… HOLY MOLY!!! What an even more surprising day!
But in Captain Amelia we trust.
April and May climbed up onto the mast trying to pull down the flapping loud main sail while the boat was rolling, sliding down the face of big wavessss.
All I could help at that moment was to provide body support as much as possible to May so she stayed confident to do her job.
It's been a long day compared to the calm gentle sea state yesterday. The emergency repair of our main sail was still in progress into the night.
Indeed, I enjoyed today a lot, though it was physically very challenging as much as you all can imagine.
Luckily before I headed to bed last night, I did a short reading of an article chapter by Jack Stillwagon, which I'd love to share with my crew and loved ones who are reading this blog at the moment.
"There is some motivation in us to push the envelope and to experience greater challenges.
Most of the time, we seem to seek the greatest comfort level possible and look for cures for any ailment.
Yet we also eschew modern tools to prove something to ourselves or others. Certo ergo sum? (I struggle, therefore I am?)"
Our lives have stayed stagnant in different ways, in work, relationships, personal goals, etc… over the past few years of COVID time.
Here on our boat, we are all supporting each other to embrace challenges, some of them are expected while some are not (like the shocking surge of wind this morning).
At this point I haven’t got the answer to the true meaning of challenges yet, hopefully, I can go back to this reflection again in my next blog.