The point of this blog is not politics, and so although Mel and Greg certainly have their own political opinions on what happened in America, don’t worry, good reader – you can escape from all of that here.
Well, sort of. Let’s just say that if what has recently happened to the Burnetts happened in Colombia instead of the Balearic Sea, one could extract a lot of literary significance from all of the magical realism they experienced. We are talking about foreshadowing, allegory, and symbolism, people!
Since our last post the Burnetts spent a day exploring Cagliari, reminding themselves that the Nuragic civilization from Sardinia was the CREEPIEST ancient civilization EVER. I mean, those people were WEIRD. (Fortunately, an understanding of the Nuragic civilization helps one understand modern Sardinian restaurant signage – see pics, below.) The Burnetts returned from their excursion to their boat after a 20-minute rainstorm to find that one of their forward cockpit cushions had jumped ship in the high winds, deciding to emigrate to Italy. Foreshadowing, anyone?
A giant blow from the west was due to set in soon, but a two-day period of “okay” weather popped up on PredictWind, and so the Burnetts set sail for Menorca on Nov 7, accepting that they would have to be disconnected from news from their native land for a couple of days. The trip was benign at first, motorsailing merrily around southern Sardinia. A little bird flew onto the boat and kept Mel company during the small rainshowers that popped up. It flitted around the helm, studying Mel with one eye and then the other, until Mel finally unzipped the enclosure and let it out just before they left the Sardinian shore. Cute little birdie. Little did Mel know that it was the LITTLE WARNING BIRDIE OF SHIT WEATHER.
And so when Marvin was in the middle of the Balearic Sea, the waves decided to be up to 2 meters higher than forecast, and the wind decided to be 25-35 knots. And it was all just forward of the beam. Rainstorms formed over us constantly. At its peak Tommy was running every hour to the sink to barf, Greg was hand steering to avoid the big beam waves, and Mel was incapable of walking across the saloon because the waves came jumbled, jerking her one way and then jerking her the next. The trampoline tore in two and flopped up and down wildly. At least it didn’t hit the jib, because the jib was double-reefed.
So during all of this, as Mel was lying in her berth, trying to rest before her watch…
Aside: So the family has had a discussion on how to properly describe what happened next so that people at home don’t get the wrong impression and worry. End aside.
…the boat LEANED A LOT. A wave had swamped the helm enclosure, temporarily blinding Greg from the second wave, which was even bigger and right on the beam. Marvin was in some disarray afterwards, with the contents of the owner’s hull on the floor, a broken cabinet door, and the kids and cat in a giant (uninjured) heap by the saloon bed. Meanwhile, America was voting. This may be the allegory part, if you like.
We arrived in Menorca this way at 2 a.m. as planned, finding an easy-access anchorage, just getting in before the even bigger blow that followed. And the next night, at a more protected anchorage in Mahon Bay, after coming down from the adrenaline high of rough seas and the subsequent exhausting emotion and thought emesis the election results produced, Mel and Greg drank their traditional post-passage champagne and then danced, danced, and danced to FantomenK’s “Dance of the Incognizant”, because, apparently, that’s what Americans do.