Santa Anna Passage

It was a squally trip with uncomfortable seas ahead of the beam and winds ranging from gale force to barely a wisp. After so much downwind sailing, our bodies and emotions rebelled against the discomfort. On the morning after the first bumpy night, every part of me was screaming, “I’m done with this!”

Mark listened to me cry that morning about how I just missed my friends and family and how I wanted to be back on land - in a neighborhood, with a yard and all the conveniences of American life - take out food, grocery stores, solid ground, a home that didn’t bump and roll with every wave. I was weary from the movement - the rocking of the present sea state and the long-term nomadic life we have been living for the past 5 years.

As usual, though, when we dropped anchor in Santa Ana and were greeted by dozens of smiling children swimming out to say ‘hello’, much of those woes were forgotten. “It’s a lot like childbirth,” a fellow cruiser said as we stood onshore, “you forget how horrible it was.” We were happy to stand together on solid ground again, after each of us confessed to have been ready to quit on this passage. Much like sharing post-partum stories of C-sections and labor pains, I’d had many a post-passage conversation like this one, where another cruising momma and I would huddle together on a beach or a dock and lament about the fears, frustrations and fits that a recent passage had brought about. In that moment, I realize I’m not alone in this. That I’m not the only one who struggles through the storms of seasickness and homesickness and nagging worry that this sailing life rustles up. And I feel better. And maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.


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