Hi <<your lovely name>> ,
have you ever heard the saying, Life happens while we're busy making other plans?
This pretty much sums up what happened in my little world in the past few months.
Instead of getting regular videos out, finishing recipe books & other awesomeness, and keeping YOU posted about all this, life threw me a few curve balls, with the latest one being chewed up by Nature and spat back out.
Here's the scoop: friends invited me to sail from North Carolina to Cayman Islands with them, what an amazing offer! I was planning on getting a bunch of raw-food-on-a-sailboat-videos, dolphin footage and more .. but the Universe / weather gods decided to play it differently.
We sailed out from Wilmington, North Carolina last Saturday, and it all seemed nice and smooth. I took on the 1st night shift at 8.30pm, as you always have to have one person on watch for weather or other boat traffic.
Around 11pm, the auto pilot failed so I started steering manually while Captain Ren tried to fix the autopilot. I think that's when he threw up the first time. Unfortunately , he could not get the auto pilot started again so I just kept steering and he went back to rest.
At 1am, I handed over to his wife Ashley, told her about ship lights i saw far away behind and the 3 lightings that had happened within the previous 20 minutes, and then went to sleep.
Next thing I knew, I woke up from Ash's and Ren's shouts, they were taking the sails lower and the storm was close. Or above. Wind, waves, rain - everything except thunder & lightning. Breakfast was only a few pieces of fruit, as soon as you went under deck, you'd get nauseous within a few minutes. I took over steering, and it's not just holding the thing (on this boat not a wheel but a stick, forward goes left, back goes right - port & starboard), but constantly adjusting. The others went to rest in their bunks.
At 11am, Ash came out asking about the noise she kept hearing - the pulled down sail was flapping against the boat - and she immediately woke Ren. Weather had gotten worse, and they did some sail things while I kept or tried to steer. Then the radar (a round box of 40 cm diameter) crashed from the mast, good we had a sunroof above our heads.
And then, the steering didn't react anymore - the current was going against the wind. And the waves were rolling like a roller coaster, only it didn't stop after the 3 minutes ride. That's when Ren looked out to the water and said "I don't like this at all" - which for me meant, better have my dry bag (with emergency belongings) ready in case .. - and he decided to turn around and go back to land.
The sail went back up halfway or so, and finally we started moving again. Or: crawling. Ren and Ash, who have 10+ years sailing experience both said, this is the worst they have ever, ever been in. And they took me off steering duty - I also told them, I can do day time but not at night. I started losing it a bit thinking of that. So I was really relieved when Ash said, I'm off, and that this is not what I signed up for.
The next morning, the waves were finally better - meaning, no more stuff flying through the boat (even though we had secured stuff). Ren had spewed 4x by then I think. I cleaned up the galley (kitchen) and made porridge for everyone. At 4pm, we finally docked back in a port, happy to be alive with the boat in one piece. The good news: no one got hurt and the boat can really take a beating. Not that we would ever want to experience anything like this again..
What did I take from this?
When the storm was at its worst, I thought, alright where are my big revelations, where are my huge insights? And one thing, that I realized was that - even though I do want to live much longer and do a lot more things - I would not feel like I missed out on anything if I died in that storm. It made me realize, that it was the right choice to get out of my comfort zone and move across continents, first for work, then for love, to change jobs and then quit them to start Rohtopia.com and freedive, to overcome my fear of deep water and go freediving, to open my heart to really be in a relationship instead of keeping my partner at arms' distance - so many things that scared me, and sometimes still are, they are so worth doing. Do they always work out? No. But I'd rather try than never know and regret later that all I did with my life was sitting on the sidelines (or facebook..), and watch others live.
Right now, writing to you : ) and then, getting back on track with work. I have some clips I recorded before going on this trip, so expect to see new videos soon.
And then I will do some regrouping and rethinking. I might still be able to fly to Cayman instead of sailing there, or could go to Mexico instead (no long boat trips involved!). Either way, I am looking forward to reporting back to you from there.
What about you?
Have you ever had an extreme experience like this? Have you ever had a big insight?
I would love to read your thoughts.
Until then, I shall create more content for you, and if you have suggestions on what to see next, let me know!
Take care and enjoy your day x x