Saturday, October 1, 2011

Climbing the Mountain....Where Are the Sherpas??

I've heard accounts of people climbing Mt. Everest and as they ascend the summit they experience a euphoric state. Along the way, there are Sherpas who act as guides on their quest. I found this description:

"the Sherpas are usually happy and easy going....You will need them to carry oxygen, etc. Many solo climbers actually bring Sherpas with them all the way up. Sherpas are a valuable aid to us, as the climb will be hard enough for you anyway, in not being genetically adapted to that kind of altitude by birth."

So my question is this.....where in the hell is my Sherpa??? And when will I get to the summit??

I sit here snuggled up in our home, listening to the wind blow outside, halyards rhythmically clinking against the mast, smiling to myself that we actually have pulled this off. I just went up on deck to tuck in the sail cover which keeps me awake sometimes (this would be the Sherpa's job, if I had one), stopped to look out over the marina and thought, "dang, I'm am so lucky!!". We have moved aboard and although all of our things are not quite stowed away, I am excited and relieved our adventure will finally begin. In other words, I'm at base camp and excited to start my ascent to the summit.

Now, since this blog is written in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, let me share with you that 48 hours ago, this lovely bliss I just experienced, was quite the opposite. Sheer and utter nervous breakdown/anxiety it whatever medical term you'd like. Maybe on Everest it's "altitude sickness", but let's just say, "the girl LOST it!" I won't bore you with the details, but it involved sobbing hysterically in a van outside a storage unit. The kind of cry where you can't catch your breath...can't talk....and at one point I thought, "I think I'm having an anxiety attack!"

Now, most of you that know me would chuckle at this. I'm a Libra (as are Ben and Mickey...which goes to show that executing this trip is a true miracle....we tend to be easy going....and don't like making decisions) and I try to approach life with a "no worries" mentality. In my early 20's the Bobby McFarren song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" hit the Top 40 charts (maybe he was talking about the sherpas?). It spoke to me, people!! And I adopted it as my creed.

Alas, this mentality was utterly forgotten as I wailed in my van watching miscellaneous items fall out of our jam packed storage unit. Ben carefully approached me, gently put his hand upon my shoulder and said, "You can't have a nervous breakdown, I need you now!" Sherpa (Ben), that I was counting on to get me up the mountain, abandoned me! Much to my chagrin, I realized he was having his own crisis and was saying so eloquently, "buck up, I'm having my own meltdown, we'll get through this" (meltdowns are very different in a male body!).

So here I sit at base camp (Emery Cove Yacht Club) amused at the range of emotions I have experienced in the last week, with many more to come. I'm not sure where and when my Sherpa is going to show up, but I'm confident he'll be here when I need him most.

Itinerary: Many of you have inquired about our plans or itinerary. We plan to sail out of the Golden Gate on Sunday (we have encountered delays since we underestimated the challenges that can occur when leaving the country). From there, these are the only solid plans we have so far:

Sunday, October 2 - October 20th - sailing down the California coast
October 23 - November 4th - Baja Ha Ha cruisers rally, San Diego to Cabo San Lucas

These are our only set plans for now, although we hope to be in La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, and many different locations in Mexico for a while. Then hopefully through the Panama Canal, Central America, Caribbean, Cuba, and the East Coast of the U.S. All of this is tentative and subject to change.

So there you have it! Thank you for all of the well wishes and continued interest in this crazy odyssey!! We will miss you tremendously. Onward and Upward!!

Quote of the Day: Ben back from his first marina shower here. "My shower was was magical! I smell good and I'm a sailor again. I'm getting happy -- I'm getting reaaaaallllll happy!"

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