Mouth of St. Law -68

En route to ILE DE LA MADELEINE // JUNE 3

6:42 am // My hair is mopped under a winter hat and explodes out the bottom, it wraps around my neck like a fur scarf. I look like a lion. People pay a lot of money for these kinds of things. It attaches itself to the velcro on my jacket. A few strands secure themselves to my bottom lip. I am on the morning shift. I’ve cracked a beer-mosa (Budweiser topped off with orange juice) and am dodging lobster pots. Out of character for me to crack a beer this time of day. But there is something about wherever I am, doing whatever I am doing, that qualifies this as an appropriate moment. Miranda Lambert is singing to me and she typically only does this when Luke is asleep. I drop the back of my Gill trousers and sit indian style off the stern, holding onto the backstay. This is my new bathroom. It’s more relaxing than any other box I’ve ever sat in to do the very same thing.

Lobster pots appear out of the fog and I miss them by meters. Feeling more and more British speaking in meters not feet. I see fishing boats displayed on the B&G AIS overlay. I do not see them in real life. In fact I can see nothing in real life until it is a Desirée’s length away.  I sit in the fog. We move forward under engine over a sheet of mercury. There is no wind. Not even a breath. The circle of visibility in which we sit in the center of, is 1/8th of a mile at best. It’s thick. In every direction I see a block of the same color. White. As if I was staring at a mountain of snow. The sun penetrates just enough to assist my body in heating up. The condensation drips from every surface facing downward. It rolls off of the boom and onto my head. I type words but do not look at the computer screen. Women are so great at multi-tasking. Pardon any typos.

I day-dream of what I will make for breakfast when Luke wakes. I only have one hour left of my four, but I am perfectly happy and wouldn’t mind sitting here for longer than required. A McGriddle. That’s what I will make. Mcdonalds at sea. I do feel the need to step up my game. Luke has prepared the most impressive boat meals I have ever tasted. I have been eating like a queen. He’s prepared Tournedos Rossini, Croque Monsieur, and Scallop Mac’n cheese. I place my breakfast ingredients on the counter in my head, and I like how they look. Pumpkin spice pancakes, with grilled ham and and a fried egg. Christmas at sea. Any diet I have ever considered is completely gone – out the window. My body is changing I can feel it. I don’t care. I am in survival mode. Give my carbs. Give me sugar. Give me a beer for breakfast. What my body wants is what I will give it.

33 miles ahead is  Ile De La Madeleine, an island situated on it’s own in between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. 130 miles behind sits Gaspe, Quebec, the mainland that we have finally left behind. People say Ile De Le Madelaine is where people eat lobster, make babies, and never leave. I’m not opposed to the trio. I’d happily take the first and the last, the second might not be the wisest of decisions. We are just miles away from reaching the Atlantic Ocean now. Sometimes I just want to scream, to shout, the celebrate “Do you have any idea how long it has taken me to get here?”

The fog lifts and I can finally separate sea from sky. There is no land in sight. The idea of being completely alone out here does not scare me. I know that people are out there, they are everywhere, everywhere but here. We have found a place where they do not go. Most of them not a clue we are here. Some of them anxiously awaiting our safe arrival. But right now there is no one. Just the birds. They fly parallel Desirée with curiosity. My curiosity is stronger than their’s because they move on too quickly, while I sit here wishing I could keep up.  Their company alone is almost enough. I know that disconnecting from people for a short while is okay. I know it is important. I know that in my normal land life, I am connected beyond explanation. I do find safety in people. It would be nice to find safety in solitude, but it’s not easiest of tasks.

The truth I have learned about double-handing, is that you are alone more often then not. I sleep. You sleep. I am on watch for 4 hours. You are on watch for 4 hours. I sleep. You sleep.  And so it goes. We do our best to cook and enjoy meals together, and when we do get to hang out for an hour it becomes the quickest hour of the day. The rest of the time we chit-chat in passing.  We speak in wind speeds and headings. I count down 240 minutes until I can wake him up.

We might be only 6 feet apart, which is mutually preferred over an ocean apart. But the word “solitude” continues to cliff note our current state of existence. Do not let this take away from the opposite, in which teamwork is every reason we are able to carry on. But this kind of teamwork requires one to be working while the other recovers.  You never want to wake the other up, even when you feel desperate. You understand how important it is for the other to rest. You understand how important it is to maintain your watch. It is in fact, exhausting and quite lonely.  And being the incredibly social person that I am, this is difficult. When I see something – anything – a bird, a seal, a dolphin, a bug, a fishing boat… I am instantly comforted by the existence of something else. These little things have become my greatest joy. I have become an emotional old lady, hunched over in her chair, who writes letters and waits for visitors.

Grandma over and out – onwards to Ile de la Madelaine.

Mouth of St. Law -66

Mouth of St. Law -67

Mouth of St. Law -65

Ile de la madeleine -4

Ile de la madeleine -2

Ile de la madeleine -5Ile de la madeleine -28Ile de la madeleine -29

 

13 thoughts on “The truth about d o u b l e – h a n d i n g :

  1. Jessie, Thank you for your words that ring like the sound of a bell, ringing in the air until the memory alone hangs forever in the ear. With much love, Judy

    On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 5:46 AM KATIE AND JESSIE ON A BOAT wrote:

    > katieandjessieonaboat posted: ” En route to ILE DE LA MADELEINE // JUNE 3 > 6:42 am // My hair is mopped under a winter hat and explodes out the > bottom, it wraps around my neck like a fur scarf. I look like a lion. > People pay a lot of money for these kinds of things. It attaches itself t” >

  2. Lol–and sometimes those little old ladies who look forward to company can’t wait for their company to leave so they can get back to their solitude! Thinking of you & Luke often. Thanks for writing this blog! I love reading the latest installment!

  3. Well done Jessie. I see you found Gannets. I love their flight and the way they dive from high above.
    I see Luke is reading the Boys on the Boat. Great read.
    Stay safe, enjoy. Madbob

  4. Nice post Jessie. You might want to check your weather. Just saw something on Facebook about a bad storm in North Atlantic.

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. HI Guys, I have been following you all along, Great stories and pictures! I am interested in following you on the Marine Traffic App. thru AIS, but I can’t find you there by searching Desiree. Can you help me?

    *Please acknowledge receipt, Thank You! Tracy Commandant, Sales RepresentativeBranch AdministratorRoyal LePage Lakes of Muskoka, Port Carling118 Medora Street, Box 338Port Carling, ON P0B 1J0Phone 705-765-6855Toll Free 1-800-763-3398 *

    On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 8:45 AM, KATIE AND JESSIE ON A BOAT wrote:

    > katieandjessieonaboat posted: ” En route to ILE DE LA MADELEINE // JUNE 3 > 6:42 am // My hair is mopped under a winter hat and explodes out the > bottom, it wraps around my neck like a fur scarf. I look like a lion. > People pay a lot of money for these kinds of things. It attaches itself t” >

  6. Aha…i am also reading Boys on a Boat….great reading re: perseverance towards one’s goals on the water. Love your words.

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