We flew home on Saturday from the British Virgin Islands.
It’s hard to imagine that last week I spent hours staring at the water and horizon, mesmerized by the line in the distance where the sky blue meets the liquid. I studied the subtleties of the color of blue – the sheer blue of the shallow water with a sandy bottom, the deep liquid blue out at sea, the opaque blue indicating a rock or turtle grass somewhere beneath the keel.
Now that we’re back, I’m catching up with friends and trying to somehow explain the magic of the past month.
I have a friend who’s a numbers guy. He asks the height of the mast, the engine’s horsepower, how many tons the boat was. I shrug, clueless.I start to tell him about the shades of blue, how astounding it is that the gradations of one color became my whole life. I want him to feel the way that shimmering clear aqua water makes something inside me burst as I jump off the stern with fins to snorkel. Or the moody deep blue of a stirred up ocean that indicate we should reef the mainsail.
His eyes glass over a bit.
So I’m assembling a glimpse of our trips by the numbers, for him and any other math folks reading.
Here’s a trip summary, by the numbers:
One close call with the British Crown returning through customs without following British law requiring captain’s to check a boat and her crew out of the country before leaving. They could have fined me $10,000 and taken the boat, but luckily let me off with a warning.
One time we were boarded by another boat and a woman named Mary flew across our deck to yank up a dragging anchor single-handed, earning our awe for the rest of the trip.
Two times we sighted pods of dolphins swimming off the bow while we sailed.
Three bottles constituted our weekly rum allotment.
We went through four tube of sunscreen in an average week, one tank of diesel and twenty-one gallons of drinking water.
We took six water samples for the ASC Microplastics Project and spent two days cleaning up beaches.
We visited twelve islands during our month of sailing.
Nineteen nights we anchored overnight, only twice did our anchor drag and the boat drift.
Over the month, we had twenty-one bikinis on board.We saw twenty-five sea turtles, thirty wild goats, and three sharks, plus some wild donkey, roaming roosters, and diving pelicans.
By all accounts, our month of sailing was a resounding success. The crew never mutinied and we left a lot tanner and with a hell of a story.