There´s no cure for falling in love with the sea. At times it can feel as painful as a love unrequited. And then at others, as rewarding as any day unburdened and free. But in either case, there´s a calling and a hope. For sunny days and warming winds; for a freedom unparalelled and stories anew.
Some of us are lucky enough to be born with Ocean souls, and luckier still are those of us who are granted the chances to cast them forth and set them free amoungst the waves. The Santa María is one such chance. Our home at sea when we hear the ocean´s call – and a harbinger of forgotten dreams, from times long past.
On February 17, a week and a half prior to this – We cast off from Fort Myers, Florida in an effort to sail across the Gulf of Mexico; aiming eventually to reach the mouth of the Mississippi on our way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Warm weather ahead and lightness in our hearts, we had a waxing moon to light our way, and a crew ready for any eventuality.
Our first few days proved near cloudless and vibrant. The deep salt blues of the gulf, a constant reminder of good fortune in a beautiful world. With good, fair winds to take us away – our foresail glows bright in the afternoon sun. It´s contrasting white and red on the horizon is a sight to see. You could almost forget it´s 2019. And we were not without a few pleasant surprises either!
There are few things more beautiful than Dolphins in the morning sun! They seem to know nothing but joy in life; and should they truly know some hardship and stress – they show it, not in the least. On our second morning, a pod of dozens came to race us on our westward way. Their splashes and cries called everyone out to join in the fun, and brought lasting smiles the whole day through! It never gets old.
At night , the stars were freckled aplenty across the sky; and with the full moon on the night of the 19th, the light was enough to illuminate the ship in full – so that nothing was left unlit and unseen. The sea came to glow a pale silver, and somehow even the night air felt warmer for it.
Like any tallship crew, we´re an ecclectic bunch! Travelers and artists. Singers and musicians; climbers, painters, poets – and passionate people, all! Getting along with eachother is always a part of the job, and it´s never easier than with a good hearted crew like this! As expected, the work is often demanding, but we manage it safely and well. And for my own part – the downtime in between has offered me all the time I crave to read and write, and climb. And I´m happy.
No surprise to any who knows me, the crow´s nest has proven again to be my favorite place! And though I can´t say it´s as relaxing as El Galeón´s (The Santa María after all, has a nasty habbit of rocking down to nearly 40 degree angles or more), I´m an climber at heart as much as a sailor! On a routine climb four days out, we made the crazy discovery that our cellphones got at least minimal service seven stories up.
It was then that the crew took to sending a bag up with all of em´ to catch a signal and reach loved ones ashore (and to get some more music to load in our spotify accounts, haha). Always a must.
Still… like any expedition at sea, it hasn´t gone without it´s unexpected turns. That, for us –
would´ve been when the fog rolled in…