Friday, September 15, 2017

To those who lose in Hurricane Irma

Last time I saw "Dee" in the water 
“People you thought were friends, or at least friendly, will show themselves to not be so. The good news is that other friends will come into your life, indeed the kindness and generosity of even complete strangers will overwhelm you.” - Charlotte Kaufman, a founder of Women Who Sail page

Back in 2014 when the Kaufman family had to abandoned their boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because their younger daughter fell ill, at that time many people criticized them for not being responsible, or for being ignorant parents who put the life of the kid in danger. Some days later I wrote a post Here about how completely different people on “land” think about us who lived full-time aboard on our sailing boat “Dee”. Whenever I heard stories of cruising friends, or just people we happen to cross paths when we were sailing, that their boats sunk because of the reefs, I always end up heartbroken. Because I know how all of them put efforts on their floating houses, how they create their dream, and how they lived. Same as many of our friends who lost their home, their business and their everything to Hurricane Irma. I was deeply down. We keep trying to find out if our friends in the affected are safe.

I would say we are really lucky that “Dee” is safe from Irma. We spent two seasons in the Hurricane area (Hurricane Bertha and Danny) but this time it is the biggest Hurricane ever recorded and “Dee” is safe in Curacao. Even we didn't lost our only home, I also been fighting with other concerns, specially my health. We assume that if we have a very healthy lifestyle, eating fresh fish from the ocean and breath the purest air from the sea, nothing will happen to us. However, I had a healthy life and I was diagnosed with Cancer! Friends and many other people lost their home to Irma, I almost lost myself to sickness which cause me to lose all my confidence. What you need in life apart from the basics is health, that's why most of the sailors decide to cut the lines and go sailing while they still can.

I tried so hard to adjust my life when we moved aboard. Many times I told my story when we met new friends along the way. One of the stories was that “I almost divorce my husband because of our sailing life”. My background was one of a luxury life which I could get anything I want without second thoughts. I had a helper who took care of every single housework except cooking because I'm quite picky about food. In the beginning it was so hard for me to wash the cloths for three by hand, cook with the boat motion, no more shopping, no more pamper myself and in the same time looking at my bank account getting empty. That was because I was still stick to whatever I used to have, until I realized that I value what I have more than material. All steps I had made, in the end I found I was sick and kept asking why me? When I found out about the Cancer, I never cried and I know it's not time for me to die yet, even so I feel that my life on “Dee” will be ended.
Every time I look at the photos of our sailing friends enjoying their paradise islands, someone talking about sailing or when I think the day I will go back to “Dee”, it's “Zero” and I ended up with a face full of tears. Many times after we moved to Portugal, I bought nautical related items with the words “I need this when I go back to the boat” which I don't know when but I keep buying to fulfill my dream and commit that I will get back to her.

One year later after time heals my sickness and my feeling, we already start planning our new chapter. It's not easy but it's possible. Cancer taught me to be patient what I should learn more from living on a sailing boat. Like every sailors who lost everything to Irma, I'm still struggling with emotion, so much that I even requested in the hospital to have psychological counseling. Little by little our friends and people who lost all will regain the dream, journey and life again as same as the beautiful places where were devastated will become wonderful again. As we often say time will heal everything...
Noel with BVI background



I am sure time will heal everything and that you will have your wonderfull moments again aboard " Dee".

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