I came on watch this morning before dawn and Jack went downstairs to take a nap. Shortly after sunrise we were hit with a sudden wind squall that spun the boat around so quick I didn’t have time to get the sails under control. We had been sailing wing and wing with the mainsail held out to one side and the jib on the other, both secured with preventer lines. I called for Jack who took the helm while I went from one side deck to the other releasing the preventers and sheeting in the sails. We followed the wind around in a circle getting slammed this way and that by the big seas until the squall passed and the wind decided on a direction, then got back on something resembling our course and the sails trimmed. It was over in about 15 minutes but we were both exhausted and flush with adrenalin.

I offered to go below and make coffee while Jack kept an eye on things. I should have remembered that slamming into steep seas would shift the contents of the cabinets but it wasn’t on my mind. So when I opened a cupboard door the stack of my beloved little Turkish bowls toppled onto the counter, and half of them onto the floor and down the steps into the port hull.

I loved those bowls. I bought them at Harris Farm Market in Sydney for $2 each on a day when Alex drove Jack and me all over the city to knock off a bunch or errands that would have taken a day apiece had we used public transportation. Alex embraced every one of our quests and entertained us with life stories to boot. We ended up at Harris and when I wondered aloud if I should get four or six bowls Alex said to get the six. They became our dessert bowls, my yogurt bowls, serving bowls for nuts, olives, salsa. I associate them with Sydney and Alex and they made me happy. Three survived, not enough to serve dessert to guests, but enough for the salsa and the nibbles.

It took the better part of an hour to clean up the shards scattered so comprehensively throughout the galley and port hull that the effort left me queasy. By the time I delivered Jack’s thermal coffee mug to the cockpit I was ready for this day to be over. In fact I may have said I wanted to move to a farm. I’m not sure now what may have come out of my mouth at the time.

The day did improve after that, but I’m going to miss those bowls.

Flying fish routinely land onboard during a passage, but not usually on the cockpit cushions.

This fish was on deck after a particularly lively night of big waves.


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3 Responses to Flipside

  1. Annemarie Dahl

    Hi guys. It’s me Annemarie Dahl. I of course follow your every move and am so excited by your adventures. I never post anything but as a pottery collector I was so sad to hear about your bowls. Better get out those rubber le creuset ones I gave you!! Lots of love from Joe and I.

  2. Marce & jack from Ray & Jan Hatfield we have not been getting updates from you for a while could you add us back on to hear from you rayjane64@verizon.net thanks Ray&Jan

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