The produce is stowed, the anchors secure. Tomorrow morning we take our last land showers for a month, call our families, fill the water and diesel tanks and go.
We’ll motor out of the breakwater here at the San Jose del Cabo marina where we’ve been doing our final provisioning, eating our last fish tacos and ice-cream bars and received the stamps in our passports that say we’ve left Mexico. We’ll turn right, put up the sails and head straight into the middle of nowhere. We are elated and terrified all at once. A lot of the time we are just nothing: simply working on the list. Check, check, check. All the boxes are marked, it’s time to leave. Our friend and crewmember Matt described this feeling perfectly: it just feels inevitable. Like this huge ball got rolling sometime long ago and we’ve clung on and suddenly here we are: poised to sail across the biggest ocean on the planet.
We’ve prepared the girls for the long trip ahead, talked a lot together about how this is the longest we’ve ever sailed by far. They seem to take it in stride, as they do nearly all our cruising challenges now. Someone at the marina asked Leah how long she was going to be at sea. She just shrugged like an old salt and said, “Oh, about a month.” I think they are excited to get their busy and distracted parents all to themselves for weeks on end. I know we are all looking forward to the togetherness time at sea brings.
We try to imagine what it will feel like. Sailing day after day after day. We’ve read the blogs of other puddle jumpers for years and now that we are at the starting line it’s very surreal. This time it’s us. I can picture the start, the first few days of exhaustion while we get our sea legs. I can imagine the end, when we see that first bit of green on the horizon and pick up the sweet odor of land and our hearts soar with wonder. I know I will cry. The in-between though, that’s a mystery, unknown. A friend told me recently that he was excited to read what I write out at sea. I told him I can’t wait to see what is written either.
Tomorrow it begins.