I just returned from a soul-soothing trip to Catalina for 5 days and 5 nights. Catalina island has become a sanctuary for my heart and soul over the years. Whenever I need to escape the energy of the city, I am grateful to be able to sail 28 miles across the channel and into her magical realms. I am a country girl at heart, and I grew up surrounded by nature and wide open spaces and that is always where I need to return when I get off-kilter, or city life starts to get the best of me. The ocean provides deep solace, but I need earth energy to balance it out sometimes. Thankfully, Catalina has the best of both, reminiscent of my childhood home of Hawaii.
The day I left for the island, I was supposed to be racing (really, finishing a race), but I had to make a different decision. I have not been feeling 100% for some time, and I had to admit to myself that I was not up for it. The last two attempts to go offshore, and the resulting sea sickness, mixed with life’s challenges, have been taking their toll, and I knew it would’ve been too much. To admit this was very hard for me, but I also knew that it was essential to my well-being. The last two and a half years since my epic trip to Hawaii have turned out to be among the most challenging of my life. They have marked the threshold into the next phase of healing some old wounds, for once and for all. My trip, and the heartbreaking loss of my dear Haunani, collided with my mid-life passage which has provided an opening in my being for this healing. It has been HARD, but I see the opportunity, and I am very grateful.
Sailing is my solace, but lately it has started to feel more like a push I have started to feel the need to prove something, or do it a certain way. So instead of racing last weekend I returned to the sheer joy of sailing. I am so glad, because in allowing this, I was able to dig down and soothe some parts of myself that have needed love and tenderness and NOT pushing and proving.
The journey started with a night in magical Emerald bay, where I ran into, and got to share a meal with some of my PSSA compadres who had just finished the race. I then motored around to Cat Harbor early the next morning, where I moored for a couple of nights. The last two nights were spent in Moonstone Cove, where Cassiopeia was the lone vessel in the expanse of two mooring fields. It was beyond peaceful and soul soothing. My sweet soul sister Gabi joined me for the sail home on Thursday, where we had 17-22 knot winds providing a lively journey……with NO sea sickness thanks to Sturgeron!!
I have never seen the island so green and resplendent with wildflowers. Every place I looked seemed more magnificent than the last. There was hardly a soul around, and it felt like I had the place to myself. The island company offers a week for the price of two nights in the winter, so no one had to twist my arm to take the extra days to revel in it all. I took long, aimless walks with my Gracie, and also got to spend some time with friends. I ate simply and drank lots of tea on deck. I read, wrote, played my guitar, sang and just sat still. It was pure magic.
I became more skilled at beaching my dinghy alone (for dog trips to shore in the remote coves) with only a few of my famous beach wipeouts as a warm up. I spent my first night ever, alone in a remote place with no other boats (besides the middle of the ocean that is). I had 4/5 successful solo mooring pick-ups. And most importantly, I was able to emotionally and physically decompress in a way I haven’t in many months. The quiet and peace of the island seeped into my bones and soothed what ailed. As with every trip to that magical land, I started counting my days until the next trip before I even left.
I am eternally grateful for the blessing of my boat, and the beautiful sanctuary of Catalina Island which is always beckoning from right across our back yard!