Our faith in Windy App is a bit shakey just now! Either there is a ton of local anomaly or they just get it wrong all the time. Whichever, the wind we’re expecting seems to be continually at variance with what actually is! So, as my captains in the Navy used to say “look out the window, sailor!”
I think it was the morning of the 28th, we got up to a strong NNW blowing us onto the lee shore of San Marcos island, the anchor pulled up tight. I said to Bernie “I don’t like this much” and got some sort of a grunt in reply as he was (again pretzeled) wedged on the nav station floor mending something. I went outside and started readying Momo for sea, not wanting us to be caught out not ready in a difficult spot. All the weather forecasting apps were giving different info, with Accuweather being least wrong!
Mid morning I went below and told Bernie I thought we should make tracks. The weather was looking increasing awful and I really do not like being blown towards rocks. Not healthy. He came topsides and decided I might have a point so he tidied up below and we lifted the pick around 11am, heading out on the engine. I took the helm and Bernie got the sails up but there really was little wind, bizarrely, once we got out into open water, though the sea was rough and confused. Another plug for lots of variance in local weather in this area. Mon capitaine (I might’ve mentioned he only likes to sail!) bemoaned the engine noise and suggested we turn it off, to which I replied it was up to him but I wouldn’t just yet! There wasn’t really wind in said sails and we were still not clear of the island which boasts grand rocky outcrops just begging over confident sailors to get too close! We kept motoring.
Initially the waves were quite big and coming from two directions, so not wildly comfortable, but once we cleared San Marcos and were heading east of Isla Tortuga, the sea was less confused and there was a decent breeze from the ESE. Bernie happily turned off the engine and we were sailing close hauled nicely on the auto helm. It was mostly overcast and we’d even got a solid, though short, bit of rain which freshened up Momo and ourselves. Bernie forgot to shut one scuttle in his cabin, though, and his bed got totally drowned. Luckily the couch in the saloon is also a comfy bed!
We sat together on deck for a long time, yarning, then Bernie went to kip and I stayed up till about 2100,when he took over watch. Having expected 20+ knot winds, we ended up having a lovely sail all night, with mostly 10-15 knots, sometimes even a bit less. I took watch from 0100 to 0500,then had a wee sleep before we stayed up together again as we approached the Eastern coast of the Mexican mainland. And very spectacular it was.
The closer we got, the more inspired by the rugged mountainous coastline we were. There was some debate about where we would be rounding into harbour. The deckhand was right 😜!!
Thursday 3rd September @2100
I’ll go back to fill the gaps but I have stuff I want to get off my mind.
Today was a pretty good day but ended in a rush of emotion I should’ve been prepared for.
We had an easy start with Bernie making crepes for breakfast, then we both worked online till lunchtime. Around 1530 we went ashore to go see a yacht which is looking for homes for kittens. We’ve discussed having a Momo cat and both of us are keen. Of course, we’re both soft as, so I was pretty sure once we saw them we’d end up wanting one! Turns out the two male tortishells (yes, I know that’s rare – so cool) are super close mates so naturally that’s what we want most. There’s really been almost no discussion about the wisdom of this move. I’m pretty sure we’ll just do it! We’ve been researching (well, Bernie has coz he’s like Matt and is the research guru while I just go “sounds awesome”) boat Cat bed /litter systems. It’s a thing – who knew. I have a feeling you’ll get photos before long. Of the new kids 😜
After that exciting interlude, we used the fresh water shore showers, not an everyday luxury we’re making the most of courtesy of Arena (they’re regalvanising their anchor cable so have to be on a berth).
Then went to have a few bevvies on Arena with Steph and Jamie. Had a great time but then I got a text from Brett saying he’d just done the marae visit on my behalf, receiving the taonga from Hope’s family.
I don’t know why it threw me but I did rather lose the plot. I knew it was on the 4th but its the 3rd here and I just hadn’t quite factored that in. I’m not sure if I explained before but Hope (the girl who killed my Danny) has an uncle who is a respected carver of Maori Taonga (treasure, things of value, usually culturally). He offered to make a piece to represent Danny and be a memorial. I so badly wanted to be there to receive it myself but can’t be. And I wouldn’t want to rush him in making something so special, to get it done before I left NZ. So my very dear friends Brett and Raewyn stood in for me. However Raewyn wasn’t well so Brett went on his own. I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures.
I’ve talked to Raewyn and Fizz since then and feel much better. Bernie’s gone to bed but I’m sitting on the bow. My brain is still wide awake. I’m listening to country music, missing my boys but in a better place. Fuck it’s tough, this road to learning life without Danny.
Steph and Jamie are just a gorgeous couple. They’re so kind, generous and I’m really happy they’re here with us. They have four adorable kids who are learning life in the most amazing way, just like Bernie and Michelle did for their girls. Ada is their oldest daughter at 14, then Riley at 12, Bronwyn is 10 and their only son, Lachlan, I think is 6. Steph is a nurse too, so we can swap notes! Then there’s the other yachts we’ve been anchored near the last few weeks. Utopia are an Aussie family (yay, cuzzies!) of Andrew and Karen with three of their four kids on board. Tristan is 19, Max is 17 and reminds me of Danny (he is who he is and adorable with it) and Ava, their gorgeous little sis! Love & Luck (Mark and Julie) I think have three kids and I haven’t spent enough time with them to get it all sorted out! Pretty sure it’s Fenton, Lucy and Heidi, but I’ve never been great at getting it right straight off!
Since I’m being all open and honest with rum on the bow by myself, I might as well state that I reckon Bernie and I have a good chance of making a great team going forward. Apparently he told Michelle that already, before I even knew he was thinking it! I arrived here originally after Danny died, not even knowing they had irreconcilable differences. I was simply crew. I came back in a similar mind set but have come to realise things are quite different. We have talked a lot and though it’s early days, we do get on well and are good, caring shipmates. That’s enough for now. I appreciate Michelle and the girls coming to Danny’s funeral very much. I think it would be wonderful if we could all be supportive of each other in our lives, though the dynamics might have changed more than I ever envisaged. God knows I realise life can change on a dime.
In a way its similar to the changed relationship between Richard and Sarah, and I. Danny’s death has brought us all together in way that would not have happened otherwise. I mean, I’ve always tried to work in with them, but it’s not entirely been reciprocated. But losing a child has a way of stripping away those petty games. For the first time ever I feel they’ve recognised I gave my every atom of my heart and being to my boys. I love them so very much and this has taken the pieces of my life apart and I don’t know how to put it back together. But I will. For Matt. For everyone else I love. For life, because we’re lucky to have it.