We’re in the British Virgin Islands, enjoying a bit of vacation and writing time for me. We are blessed to have a beautiful sailboat named Abundance that is our home away from home.
The winter often brings northern swells, high seas and cooler temperatures. Yesterday I woke up after a stormy night on board the boat, moored in the Bight, off Norman Island. It was if Mother Nature was ridding herself of the last remnants of wind and rain from hurricane season. The morning skies were ominous and I heard a voice warning me that we were going to lose the boat today.
After 20 years of sailing these waters my first reaction was, “Where did THAT come from? What a silly thought!” I quickly dismissed it and said prayers of gratitude, surrounding our boat with prayers of protection. Bringing the foul weather gear topside with me, and verifying the location of the life preservers, we set out for a 14-mile sail.
We reefed our main sail to accommodate for the strong winds and the heavy swells and headed out into the channel. After a quick stop around noon to pick up some blankets, we continued on our journey to The Bitter End, in North Sound, Virgin Gorda.
Several squalls blew past us, dosing us with rain and wind. One particular storm looked like a mushroom cloud (so I took a photo of it for you). At one point we dropped the sails and decided to motor the rest of the way, chugging through the ever-growing high seas.
About two hours later my husband, who was at the helm, abruptly turned around when he realized our dinghy was no longed tied to the sailboat. We headed back the way we came, retracing our course over the 7 miles since our last stop, scanning the grey waves for our tiny grey dinghy. I still wonder where she is, as we never did find her. She’s most likely having an adventure of her own somewhere in the open seas of the Caribbean.
For me this was a great lesson in listening to that inner voice instead of dismissing it. When I heard we were going to lose the boat, I assumed it was the sailboat and chased the voice away. In 20 years of sailing here I’ve never lost a dinghy, so why would I think of that boat! I was too focused on the stormy weather to take the time to listen, instead of focusing on the calm I knew was coming after the storm.
Just like so many times in life we’re too focused on the stormy times to take the time to listen. How many dinghys have we all lost by not listening? It got my attention. So today, I’m writing this from a beautiful beach bar in Leverick Bay where I’m taking the time to listen. Okay, right now I’m listening to European techno music in the background, but I can still hear the lapping of the waves on the beach and a bushwacker with my name on it calling me. More later.