Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Ocean As My New Roommate

We’ve been off the grid for a while now and things to blog are piling up! A most significant topic is adjustment to life on the ocean. For me it’s like getting a new roommate you don’t know very well. She’s a wild card, not sure how much crazy she’s got in her…..Will she eat all your food? Hog the bathroom? Steal your boyfriend? The question looms, will you be able to coexist peacefully or even become friends?

The road has been a bit rocky at times. The first few weeks, I viewed my new roomie, Oceana, as a loose cannon. I wasn’t ever sure when she would “go off” on me. As proven in my first overnight stint (see previous blogs) she can be a real crazy bitch. But now I’ve seen her softer side, she can be tranquil even comforting at times…..and she’s got really cool friends that know how to party!

On several occasions she brought over a pod of dolphins so huge in number, I transformed into an 8 year old kid, squealing with delight. They frolicked and played around the boat as we all lay on the bow watching them swim along with us. I was literally yelling, “hi-hi-hi-hi!!!”. J.P.and Mickey laughed hysterically, tickled with my obvious enthusiasm. As I write this, she just introduced me to a huge Marlin who is jumping several feet out of the water, 50 feet from our boat.
Sometimes her friends are even allowed to sleep over.

A little green Finch decided to fly into our hatch and hunker down in the head (bathroom) for an extended nap. We eventually had to ask him leave due to his refusal to use the toilet and making a mess on the floor. Ben gently escorted him out to our cockpit where the little guy hung out all night. It’s gotta be exhausting, being a little bird on the open ocean.

However, some of her friends are not so welcome, like the crabs Ben and I stepped on or the flying fish that boldy jump into our cockpit at night.

Oceana also proves to be stubborn in sharing her bounty of food, teasing us occasionally with an opportunity to reel in a bite off our fishing pole. We are still awaiting our first big score of fresh Yellow Tail and Mahi-Mahi as our sharp knife, soy sauce, Wasabi and seaweed wait to be utilized by the onboard sushi chef (this role has not been determined and there have been no volunteers).

I’ve also learned quite a bit from my new roomie as she has educated and reminded me of several important things. A school of approximately 100 small fish swam around our boat while we were anchored out in isolated Bahia Santa Maria. It was so cool to see them swim gracefully together as a group, synchronized perfectly. It was peaceful to watch…….until a group of bigger fish rang the dinner bell and started jumping out of the water, snagging the little buggers one by one. It went on for at least a half hour. I swear I heard the song from the Lion King movie, “The Circle of Life” playing in my head as I witnessed the carnage. J.P. finally turned to me and said, “this kinda makes me sad!” A great opportunity to talk about life and death, the food chain, and a gentle reminder that even though our youngest son is a pistol and quite stubborn, he is truly a sensitive soul.

She even gives us presents to keep; like the enormous sand dollars we found while walking a pristine and isolated beach. Captain Ben promptly made them into necklaces for all the crew using random end cuts of sailing line.

So I’m finding my roommate to not be all bad like I once thought. I think we’re even becoming good friends and like all quality relationships there is a healthy respect and affinity for each other. I have no doubt we will be friends for a very long time.

We have a hard time downloading pics to the blog, so when we have better internet connection we will post some photos.