We are 6 at anchorage, arrived with a few hours interval, all talking on the radio to figure out what to do.
Every single one having different weather forecasts, every one having a different idea about the situation and the next move to be taken. Slowly the wind turns, slowly all boats turn around their anchor, all facing to the exit of the bay, all realizing that with that wind the waves will come straight from the open sea leaving us with no protection. In 20 minutes flat every boat has his anchor pulled back on board, we all leave the place without a doubt about the wiseness of the action, in less than half an hour the anchorage is empty, without a single trace of our passage. A six pack on the move.
With boats on every side we enter the night, when I wake up for my watch, in the moonlit night I have one boat behind me, and one far of on portside. It is cold, I stay in the cabin on the seat that is most protected from the incoming wind, I wrap my body in a feather sleeping bag, every 10 minutes or so I pull myself from out of the warmth to peek outside and see one boat behind us, one on portside, but far of. The full moon is behind the boat behind us and it is a very pretty sight, but it is night and windy, unpleasant really so I don't linger more than necessary.
On the screen of the GPS there is one fat line, it shows me what is the course we should be on, then there is a finer line with a little arrow showing the precise direction of the boat, our course, of course they should match. The arrow is pointing a little bit to portside, and so we are going a little further off the coast than intended. I can make minor changes about the direction of Mardek, but with the sails there is quite a tight limitation. I check the GPS, then I start fumbling with the wind vane. The wind vane is an autopilot that works with the wind. It is a mechanic devise, with ropes no buttons. I pull a little on one rope, then wait and see the reaction, if I like it, which is very unlikely I fix them in that position, otherwise I fumble a whole while, till I am satisfied. this time, I can't get Mardek back on course because the wind has changed and so the sail position should be changed as well, I know how they should be, but can't make the changes, so I put Mardek the closest to the edge of her sail possibilities, before the sails start clapping, before the wind can't fill them any longer. We're a bit off course, so what, we're going deeper into the open sea, I've got no worries about the shore, and Hakan will change the sails when he wakes up. one boat behind us, one portside, I go back inside, trembling I put my head under the feathers until I feel a lack of air then stick my nose out and inhale, the coldness reminds me of when I was a little girl, in the cold winters, my nose is tickling. I follow the memories, I reproduce my room my bed, my thoughts and feelings of the far gone past, I get lost in time travel. suddenly an irregularity of the sea brings me back to my watch, I get up, out of the warm feathers, look out, one boat, far behind to starboard side, no one on portside, my blood stalls, where is the fucker? Where where where? ...Right in front of us, if we're faster than them in a few minutes we'll crash right in their bottom, aaaargh, what to do next? i go down and check GPS, go up fumble with the ropes, try to understand our speed compared with theirs. I am horrified at the complete change of positions, because i have not been away a long time, 10 minutes, 15 at the most. My brain can't put it together, although I know about this theoretically I have never seen a thing like that before. Normally I see a boat, then I make a mental note about where it should be when I check next and they fit, they're always where i expect them to be. But here, near collision... new fumbling, the wind has changed, the other boat is probably on an electronic autopilot that keeps the course, not the wind. I do what I can to get out of the way, what if in the other boat they are asleep, what if on the other boat the one on watch is as incompetent as I am? Why was there no radio call, saying, hey! Watch where you're going! Why can't I make the sail changes? My mind is rushing, accusing me, harassing me, making me feel unworthy, unreliable, dangerous to my life and theirs. I beat myself up, to pieces.
Hakan takes over the watch, I tell him what's happened, he changes the sails, tells me that I should wake him if we're off course, but we were off it when I got on my watch... Then the day comes up, we're still surrounded by these boats, a new south wind is getting at us, we have to enter a safe haven. with the penguins, and the wind starts blowing again, this area is just wind, so much of it that nothing can grow on land, just rough shrubs and lichen, a few rough animals and that's it. The wind is there, the shore again out of reach. How long will we stay here? I'm tired, realize it is more tiring to hop from one place to another than just go on sailing. The rhythm is broken, my body can't follow, or is it the beating I had last night that tires me so?
At midnight we're leaving again, the whole day I've had a lingering headache, feeling as with a hangover. Hangover from what? Near collision maybe? I don't want to sail, don't want to watch, don't want anything, the sea is very rough, remains from the last south wind, I'm flying in my bed, uncontrolled liftups, then sudden crashes in the mattress, every takeoff sucks all the heat gathered under the covers, I sleep (yeah right) not. A very big wave throws a few things about, but most of all spills some of the kerosene from the stove on the floor. Excellent! Now I live in a freakin' gas station, my deepest ambition... My head is pounding, my blood is infuriated, why do I put myself in these kind of situations, I must get out, must find solutions, I must most of all sleep get this headache out, my head is pushed in my pillow, hard and noisily, will never find sleep, will never free myself from this nightmare because I'm not even sleeping, baaaahhh,....., zzzzzzzz, I am asleep.