The Sun and the Sea
24 May 2018 | Edgartown, Massachussetts
It was April. The weather was heating up. The humidity too. Most of our cruising friends had already left. Some had sailed south to El Salvador or the Panama Canal. Some did the Puddle Jump, crossing the Pacific to the Marquesas. Some sailed north to spend the summer in the Sea of Cortez. And others, like us, were putting their boats to bed in Mexico and heading home.
We always have mixed feelings about leaving. Our cruising life is exciting, challenging and fun. Sometimes it is terrifying. Always, it leaves us with a sense of accomplishment. The downside is being so far away from home and family. I was homesick and ready to close out the season. Jay, not so much. “Why do we want to go where it is so cold?” He asked me on more than one occasion.
“I like weather.” I replied. “Sunshine every single day is nice, but it gets boring. Besides, it won’t last for long.”
In the first four weeks of being home on Martha’s Vineyard, the sun came out only two days. Two days! It was rainy and cold. The sky was overcast constantly. I woke up one morning and looked out the window. The fog was a thick white sheet hovering over the green grass and wallowing between the trees. Dew dripped from the leaves. The newly-planted flowers were stifled by the chill. I wondered if somehow, we had been transported to England. The depression that takes over from lack of sunshine and vitamin D had long since gotten to Jay. Finally, I too, succumbed.
Mother’s Day weekend Talia arrived and with her, the sun. We enjoyed the afternoon at our favorite local hang, Coup de Ville, overlooking Oak Bluffs Harbor. Our moods were enhanced both by the sunshine and Talia’s beautiful smile. There are certain traditions we adhere to when we come back to the island and each time we say, “Now we are home.” Hanging out at Coup de Ville is one of them.
The rain and cold reared its ugly head again the next morning. Just in time for our 5K along South Beach. Oh well. It just made us move that much faster.
When Talia left on Sunday afternoon, she called us from the ferry as we were driving back to Edgartown. “Did you know your boat is in the water?” We immediately drove back to Vineyard Haven.
There she was, Skipjack, our 18’ Herreshoff America catboat we keep in Martha's Vineyard. She was sitting at a mooring, gently rocking and just waiting for us to pick her up and take her back home, to Katama Bay. Jay and I were elated. Until we checked the weather. Cold and rainy for the next week. “What happened to spring?” Jay wanted to know.
“I think this is spring.” I said, sadly. “An endless spring.”
One week later, we were on our way to pick up Skipjack. We were on the bus, traveling on the road between State Beach and Sengekontacket Pond. “The island looks so different.” I said. For weeks everything around us had been a dull gray. Now, with the air dry and crisp, everything was perfectly clear. The water, on both sides of the road, was a vibrant blue. The shoreline, covered with the barren gray trees, contrasted nicely with the pond’s reflection of the sky. That is just one thing that is so special about Martha’s Vineyard; the ever-changing light.
On board Skipjack, we dropped the mooring and headed out of Vineyard Haven Harbor. I would like to say we sailed her home but the sea was flat and there was no wind. What little wind that came up, was on the nose. Of course. It didn’t dampen our spirits, though. The sun was shining. We were back on the water, on our boat. “Now we are home.” We said as we smiled at each other.