January 30, 2013
The enormity of what I’m doing really hit me today for the first time as I sat in the reclining lounge, watching Ketchikan slip away to the left of the ferry. I watched the Alaskan flag disappear behind us in the windy, chilly afternoon, and I gave it the Hunger Games three-finger salute as I realized I wasn’t going to see it again for a long time. I haven’t cried about it yet, I think I cried all my tears for Alaska on my way out of Fairbanks, but the knowledge sank deep inside me like a rock. I’ve left Alaska. As I write this, we’re sailing through Canadian waters on the way down to Bellingham, and I already miss Alaska with an almost physical ache.
Otherwise, the day has been quite good. I managed to connect with Kit for a bit this morning before my cell battery died on me, since it was finally warm enough to be outside the metal hull of the boat for any lengthy amount of time. And I connected quite strongly with a family I met yesterday on the Sitka adventure; the mom, Amber, was the one said I reminded her of Sitka Rose. They invited me to join them for lunch, and I never quite left. Their little girl, Winter, has decided I’m her honorary older sister.
It’s fascinating to me how quickly I draw people in around me, as if something in me seeks to create new clans wherever I go. I just met this family yesterday, and we’re already trading e-mail addresses and promising to stop by when we’re in the area of each other. As I toasted earlier over lunch, to strangers, friends we haven’t met yet.
The teenagers have finally pushed off (no, I did not shove any of them overboard, as tempted as I was), disembarking in Ketchikan for some wrestling match or something like that. Having them gone is such a blessing, not least because they have left the couches abandoned, and I’ve shifted into the observation lounge to sleep on something relatively soft. After two days of waking up with a sore back and cricked neck, I’ll take it.
We’re out on the relatively open sea now, heading down to Bellingham. There aren’t any other stops between now and there; thirty-six hours straight sailing through winds screaming in every crack and rain pounding on the windows. This is the sort of weather that makes me grateful for my mugs of hot tea, my warm sleeping bag, and new friends to cuddle close with against the storm.
Not much else to write about today. Life on the boat continues, and except for a brief queasiness yesterday, my body has adjusted quite well to the constant rocking. The adventure continues, more than anything else. As I said to Mom when I called her in Ketchikan, I’m still having a blast, even as I’m fighting back tears for leaving my home state.
Sitting in the solarium writing with Kit on my phone. I almost look like I should be sitting around a fire, singing something.