Day 44 — Finding Spirit

The sun comes early in Antigua, and so do the roosters, crowing. Baby breezes and a gentle sun. A new day. Coffee. Food. Electricity. Cell phone problems. Couldn’t find the bilge but took a shower anyway. I bailed the water out with a cup and an empty black trash can.

My girlfriend and I slept on a Farr 65. There was a naked man in the bunk. For sure, I didn’t know him and wouldn’t have known he was there until my escorts pointed him out, and then I only saw his bare foot, thank god, or maybe not.

I went down below and then came topside when I couldn’t find my sleeping bag. Honestly, I didn’t look that hard. But I knew it was time to go to bed. The night air was still.

Too many rum and Tings, and I’m feeling it this morning. All quiet, by myself, thinking, Are there some loves you never get over? I shouldn’t wonder. My girlfriend, who came to Antigua with me to photograph race week, said, “He’s taking another girl sailing.” She’s referring to my ex boyfriend, whom I’m learning to let go of.

She’s right, I know. But I can’t separate the man from the lifestyle. I miss both and don’t have either. Life, for me, is jarring. A seesaw between a life squirreled away in a basement apartment and a free soul exploring a new place, but for only a breath and an exhale, only for seven more days.

The Farrs, they’re beautiful sailboats—long and sleek. But they’re racers, not a home, and that’s all they’ll ever be. I’m searching for a home, but I don’t know where. I know I haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure how I’ll get there, wherever there is.

Coming here is spiritual, not in the religious sense. I feel it in my soul. A sailor’s life, how will I know it’s really for me? Join a crew and learn, literally, the ropes and the knots they tie. Is that the only way? It seems to be. Two sailors have told me that.

No one has ever suggested I take a class. To me, that is the traditional way to learn. But sailing is not a traditional way of life.

So a different port of call sounds. Will I be able to find it when the rum courses through my veins and the music pierces my ears at night? Or, do I find it in the morning after waking up in a skipper’s bed?

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