The Burnetts are still biding their time in Gran Canaria. The Trades are still tardy this year. This is despite the fact that on New Year’s Eve some of our wonderful Austrian friends accidentally sacrificed eight kilograms of pork, and I mean pulled pork, to the sea in a difficult passing of a very large platter across a big gap between the boat and the land. Pork is a much nicer gift to Mr. Pissypants (Mel’s name for the Atlantic Sea God) than Mel’s wool sock, so you think we would have gotten something for our effort. But now Mel realizes that the Sea and Wind are not the same. So she has dubbed the Atlantic Wind God, “Master Oogway.” Master Oogway is teaching us patience at the moment. He’s probably mad the pork didn’t hurtle into the air.
Perhaps Master Oogway is busy watching all the January winter excitement back in Minnesota. It is quite gripping, after all. When you are walking around in your fleece pullover because it is 65 degrees out, hearing about the -10 degrees (Farenheit, my foreign readers) your friends are enduring fills you with overwhelming pity. Which is good, as it distracts you from feeling sorry for yourself for staying a couple weeks longer than you had planned in a beautiful resort island off the coast of Africa. Because that’s stupid.
Of course, Mel is struggling with other emotions in addition to self-pity. These emotions are confusing. The last time they prepped to cross the Atlantic (which was also the first time), they were in a busy frenzy everyday: making lists, shopping for things on the list, making other lists, fixing things on that list, making even more lists, and reading about how one should fix all of the potential problems on the list. Mel was quite good about coming up with disastrous scenarios and then finding sailing blogs where such disaster happened and recording how people dealt with that problem, just in case. She would then conclude each day by reading cat memes with inspirational quotes to calm her frazzled nerves. “Hang In There!”
This time around, however, because of the delay, we are not rushed. This is terrible. Hours have been spent doing nothing, touring the island, arranging the kids’ social calendars, or hanging out with other cruisers. The little yellow lined notebook lies shoved into the corner, neglected, yearning for multi-page entries with little checkboxes to be ticked off triumphantly in a giant store. Even Marvin isn’t doing much, with the biggest decision regarding him being, “Should we change the engine oil fifty hours early before the crossing, or not?” The Burnetts have thought on this for several days. Because they can. And with all this lethargy, it has recently occurred to Mel that she should probably be worrying about something before they cross. So she is. She is worrying that she isn’t worrying.
So below are the pictures of all of the things Mel is doing instead of going through the disaster scenarios in her head. Like having New Year’s Eve parties, visiting a rum distillery, taking Allie to the delightfully tacky Three Kings Parade, and climbing up a mountain to look at a giant rock. It’s exhausting, having all of this fun before a major crossing. But don’t worry! After posting this, to make herself feel better, Mel will go make a list. It’s a playlist of soft-rock hits from the 80’s she entitled “Cheese Factory.” But it’s a start!