Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Sleepy

Toast Takes the Helm
Toast Takes the Helm
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Author Note: Written towards the end of our recent passage from Seattle to San Francisco.

Doing the Neah Bay to San Francisco run feels like a cross between a major product release, finals week, and running a marathon. There is a slow drain of energy leaching out of the back of my head and through my toes which renders me progressively punchier, crankier, and smellier.

I have no idea how people do this for months on end. We must be doing something wrong.

We’re such beginners at everything big water that I would not be surprised to learn that we had essentially just conducted the most poorly mismanaged passage in the history of the fall migration of small craft from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico. I don’t actually know it is, but I bet there was something big we left out. For example, maybe we forgot to bring a Magic Energy Pill. Or perhaps we were supposed to simply shut everything down at night and stop moving. Maybe it is brain numbingly stupid to try to do this using a blue water route, straight-through with no stops. The idea that most tickles me at the moment is that I simply forgot the live, virginal sacrifice prior to embarkation.

Alternatively, there is nothing wrong at all, our exhaustion is normal, sailors adjust to long stretches at sea over time. There is evidence to support this theory. The first few days I did nothing but watch the helm, cook for crew, and sleep. Gradually, I added conversation and basic maintenance housekeeping. By the third day, I could play with the cat, do a credible imitation of David Sedaris, and bake muffins from scratch. The fourth day was absolutely breakthrough; I started typing and reading.

Yet here we are at day eight, and I feel like I’ve been run over by a tractor trailer. Exhaustion is naturally a byproduct of our watch schedule which has Jason and I tackling the entire graveyard shift. The schedule came about as a combination of design, desire, and natural inclination so I’m not complaining. Jason is a night owl, I’m an early bird, DrC can’t function between the hours of 11pm and 7am if his life depended on it. George appears to work reasonably well at any hour, lucky him. While I’ve largely adjusted to the shifted work-sleep schedule, some of my lethargy must surely be induced by whacked biorhythms.

Jason Takes the Helm
Jason Takes the Helm
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Let’s also remember one very salient fact about screwing with my work - sleep schedule. I do not work. I’m an unemployed, itinerant freelance humorist with no income, no prospects, and a completely dismal professional future. All this passage making, helm watching, crew cooking, and boat straightening feels way too much like work. Hard work.

Tomorrow we arrive in Emeryville where we are forced to dock for two weeks while we fix key pieces of the boat that chose to fall off during the passage. We can't move, anchor, or visit fun boating highlights of the Bay Area. Let me tell you, this breaks my heart. *yawn* No really.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you will be taking a forced rest too - you'll love it. We have been "stuck" here in Missoula waiting for our bike wheels to be rebuilt and... ummm.... well... I think I'm glad John's rims were defective!! It's been a great thing to have a few days off the bikes to rest and hang out - and get ready to get back on the road!!

Enjoy your rest!

Anonymous said...

Hey Toast! Sounds like you're doing the things that most only dream of. Fantastic. :) I dropped you a (now obsolete) note on LinkedIn, so check it out to get my address.


Tad-n-Tina said...

But you did it! Most people just talk about it and you are out there doing it! The payoff is the memories and even if you sleep-sail through a huge portion - it all comes back to you later - promise! :o)

We are rooting for you!

Tad & Tina

Shangrilewis said...

pardon me, but who is Jason...I've tried using that find feature but alas I got figure out who he is.

Did you take on another husband?

Toast said...

Ooo... that would be lovely. Not a new husband, moresthepity. Jason is a very good friend met through the Lagoon Owners lists. He and his wife Laureen live aboard a 47' Lagoon in the Bay Area. We basically shipped our Golden Gate pilot to Seattle to be our 4th crew member for the passage.