This past month or perhaps even the past eight months has been a reminder for me that life happens even if you are sailing around the world. It may also prove true that life seems more magnified and events feel more significant when you are thousands of miles away from home. You may recall in February I had a nasty fall and as a result I have a new Australian smile with crowns on three of my front teeth. In May, while crossing the Coral Sea Starship was knocked down by a huge wave, which destroyed her dodger, resulting in a two month unexpected delay in Noumea, New Caledonia. On September 22 my right eye decided to come to the party which resulted in an emergency trip from Vanuatu to Sydney to seek medical care from an eye specialist.
Over the past month while I have been dealing with this latest event I have had a lot of time to think and ponder life. Especially as I struggled to lay face down 22 out of 24 hours of the day post surgery for five days. I was originally told I would have to perform this pretzel defying feat for ten days. I was sure after being sleep deprived and every muscle tied into a knot my eye might be better, but I would surely be a crazy woman. It was proving to be one of the ultimate living in the moment experiences I have had so far in my life.
Today is five weeks since I first became aware of the blurriness in my right eye. It has been two weeks today since I had the Vitrectomy. I saw Dr. Downie last Friday and he said “the retina seems to be in the right place as far as he could tell”. As far as he could tell is the disclaimer I guess for how difficult it is to get a good look at the back of my eye due to the size and shape of my pupil. I was experiencing some pain on Thursday and Friday and discovered that was due to the pressure being quite high in my eye (again). He increased the number of drops and put me back on a pill to lower the pressure. It is down, but I don’t believe it is back to normal yet. I will see him again this Friday. All of the gas has dissipated as of today, which is nice, it was like looking through a liquid fog at first and then circles that got darker as they got smaller. I now have to wait several weeks before the stitches in the front of my eye dissolve and then I should be able to wear my right contact lens again. I have been wearing my left contact lens and relying solely on that eye. I did wear my glasses some, but I found they magnified the blurriness. As of today I am feeling good about the healing process and my attention is turning towards what’s next for Starship and her crew as we wait out yet another cyclone season.
Starship and her surrogate crew (Tony and Patrick) arrived in Koumac, Northern New Caledonia on October 20th, after a 48 hour passage from Port Vila. They left Koumac on Friday, October 24th after waiting for a weather window. Leaving on a Friday is notable because it is the first time Scott and our boat has left for a passage on a Friday. It is a nautical superstition that it is bad luck to leave on a Friday and we have thus far chosen to observe this belief, as well as no bananas on board. There are several other superstitions we have made exceptions for either knowingly or unknowingly. We usually have bacon (pork is supposedly a no no) and recently we were told umbrellas are bad luck and we have five. As of yesterday Starship was 716 nm (nautical miles) from Newcastle, Australia. The crew is all doing well and Starship is sailing like a champ. They could reach Newcastle as early as Saturday or as late as Monday.
Since our plans for this cruising season were very unexpectedly interrupted Scott and I have not had an opportunity to even discuss what we will do during cyclone season. I am looking forward to having my home back. Although I have once again been reminded how blessed I am to have such amazing friends I am looking forward to at least feeling grounded by being back on the boat. I am also looking forward to a little more variety in my wardrobe; the options I packed are feeling a bit slim.
So, as I have said this journey has been the ultimate opportunity to live in the moment and to stretch my edges. And, Alexander Graham Bell said: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” I am not looking upon the closed door, but wondering what lies beyond the one that has opened.