susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sat 22 July

My daughter Kate’s birthday. I sang Happy Birthday to her several times in her direction. I hope she heard me. Still no signal on J’s phone.
Rain was pocking the water; the strong winds - a leftover from a tropical storm surging over us from far off Cape Hatteras in the south - passed over us in the night. We decided to go.
The hummocky islands, the cliffs and mountains green with scrub pines, my paradise of swimming and the flower valley, all dissolve into mist and memory, as we sail slowly up the invisible coastline. A small black hump breaks the still water, and vanishes. Whales are there, invisible like the land, but for tantalizing, tiny glimpses.
As we approach Cape St John, fragments of cliff appear in the murk. The rain slows and stops, and a weak pale sun is a disk in the sky. This cape is stupendous - the most impressive yet - sharp, spiked, towering, cruel - and its summits, for we seem to take an age rounding and rounding it - are hidden in veils of fog, and then suddenly silhouetted against a clearing sky.
As I watch this massive headland pass, I hear a blow behind me, and it’s a whale! Right next to the boat! It’s smooth back curves up, and then down, down as it dives. So close, then gone. I watch and watch, hoping it will surface - but of course it doesn’t.
By the time we come into La Scie (The Saw), a fishing outport of moderate size spread out around the long inlet, the rain has stopped finally, the sun is warming up, and we moor against a fish-and-fly dock, helped by two men, who make our lines fast. Never mind the smell, they can get us fuel delivered to the boat.
Another sailboat is anchored in the bay - a Swiss boat, a Swiss couple, Sonia and mark, who dinghy by to say hello, then off to shop.
J and I wander into the town, have a guided tour round an excellent museum in an old house, get oil and large incontinence pads for the Beast, and finish off with icecream and cappuccino at the garage. They have wooden benches inside for the convenience of customers - how thoughtful.
After last night’s supper out in the cockpit - curried potato salad, green salad with olives and feta cheese, tuna in mayo, hot cheese bread - tonight’s (down below, out of the smell) is a bit mangy - reheated leftovers, but they have to be eaten up. J is more than happy with this - till I tell him I threw the mouldy bread away! Extravagence! Wastefullness!


  • At 10:10 pm , Blogger Raybelle de Jour said...

    Sailboat? - Jack's terminology is catching!

    Apart from this comment, all i can say is WONDERFUL & BEAUTIFUL. About the place, about your writing and about you.



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