Red sky in the morning, Sailors take warning. “Is that red, or is that pink?” Leslie asks as day 9 dawns. Days 9, 10 and 11 brings heavier wind and a washing machine ocean. It’s no cooler than it has been, and now, we have to close up all of my hatches and portholes to avoid having water wash into the boat from on boarding waves. This is making it hard to sleep, and when Leslie doesn’t sleep well, she is cranky. I don’t enjoy her company when she is cranky.
I do, however, find it funny when she is drenched by an on boarding wave. (Hey! I’m not mean, these wave are warm and tropical!) She had to change her clothes four times over the 24 hour period of the 9th day due to being soaked. On day 10, she was so frustrated with the heat down below that she moved up to the cockpit to try to sleep. Stacking a couple pillows in the corner of the cockpit, under the dodger, she thought she would be safe. Soon, though, a wave crashed into the side of my hull and leapt into the sky. As if in slow motion, giant pellets of water hovered in the air above Leslie’s face for a moment just long enough for her to see it coming, but not long enough to do anything about it.
SPLAT. Leslie and her pillows are soaked.
Leslie grabs at the lapels of her lifejacket and writhes around, overtaken by irritation. “Grrrgh! Ghrrrgh! Grrraaahhk!!!” She growls, eyes scrunched shut, teeth clenched. She lays still again, resigned. Andrew watches her from his corner of the cockpit, completely dry. Leslie gathers up the wet pillows and goes back down below.
Andrew and I stifle a laugh.
The dolphins have been visiting at least once per day, sometimes twice. Leslie has been trying to get good photos, but Dolphins don’t like their photos taken. They are camera shy, and they think it is funny to jump and dive so quickly that the only thing a camera can capture is a spot of disturbed water. It’s a tough process. Leslie rigged up my selfie stick (the boat hook, with the go pro secured to the end) and this has resulted in some better dolphin pictures, though not ideal.
Day 11, the wind is still howling. We are able to stay mostly on course, but we are heading more southwest than would be strictly ideal. The waves are side on, and I rock back and forth when the three biggest past under my hull. The dolphin show today was outstanding. They would jump and clear the water with their entire bodies. One even did a full backflip! There is nothing like a dolphin show to boost crew morale.
For the remainder of the time Leslie just tries to wait it out like a good sport. Sometimes she is successful, most the time, she is not. Her list of grievances include (1) the time a wave threw both she and the cast iron pan across the galley (kitchen); (2) the complete loss of dignity involved in doing your “business” while on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride; and (3) any time Andrew’s insists that cooling bottles of water in the fridge takes too much electricity while he simultaneously takes a freshwater shower (made with…electricity) in the cockpit. Nonetheless, she tells Andrew to make room on his beanbag for her, and she snuggles up beneath his arm.
As the sun sets and “panic hour” is upon us, Andrew says, “You know, it’s like the soundtrack in my head identifies all my fears and chooses song lyrics based upon the fears.”
“Oh yeah? Like what?” Leslie responds.
“Like ‘Everything Dies,’ by Hank Williams III and ‘Somebody Once Told Me The World is Going to Roll Me’ by The Bare Naked Ladies.”
“That’s great.” Leslie responds, looking forward to sleeping in her bunk. I snicker. You have to admit that is funny. By Leslie’s watch that night, the wind had subsided, the ocean calmed down, and the stars were back out.