Anarchist Scott gives a little love…..
The smile on Susan’s face told me she was really satisfied. It was a great smile, especially considering that she had 4 broken ribs and hadn’t slept much in the last 11 days. We were one mile off the coast of Maui and had just sailed our Riptide 35 Terremoto! about 2,400 miles from Victoria, BC to Lahaina, Maui in the 2010 Vic Maui International Yacht Race. It was 22:30; Susan was sitting under the night-vision lights at the chart table. The red glow of the lights softened her features and made her look even more beautiful. It is a cliché moment that doesn’t read well on sites like Sailing Anarchy…I mean ocean racing is a man’s sport, right?! Whatever…it was real for me and I am glad I am part of the small percentage of guys in the world that enjoy racing with the woman they love.
There was something incredibly beautiful about Susan that night. The funny thing is I know Susan didn’t feel beautiful. She would have said that she hadn’t washed her hair nor had a real shower since the race started almost 2 weeks before – so how could she be beautiful? I know she saw me looking at her as I stood on the deck and peered down the companion-way opening. It was one of those “wow, I-am-so-in-love-with-you” moments guys have but never talk about…and there I was having one.
So why at that moment did Susan look so beautiful to me? I am no expert, but I would guess that having accomplished something we as a couple had fantasized about for 30 years had something to do with it. I couldn’t believe how courageous Susan was when 9 days earlier she refused to let us turn back to the West Coast after she broke 4 ribs when the boat broached unexpectedly 300 miles off the Oregon coast. She became the inspiration for many in the fleet as every night during the radio check-ins our competitors wanted to know how Susan was doing…and they wanted her to know what an inspiration she was to them.
Sure, there were other thoughts racing through my head as we finished. But, the simple fact of being the first boat to finish and then looking straight into the eyes of the woman I love and knowing that we had done it; we had sailed across the Pacific Ocean…it doesn’t get much better than that for me.
We are now back at home living like everyone else. You wouldn’t know we sailed across the Pacific Ocean and back just by looking at us. Susan’s ribs are healed and the tropical tans have long since faded. Life is more in ‘normal’ mode. But, I still have that moment etched in my mind; that moment when I looked at Susan and realized her strength and how beautiful she looked after sailing across an Ocean.
I am lucky to have a wife that loves to sail and is good at it. Been lucky lately?
[note: you can read and see more from our 2010 Vic Maui Race at http://team-moto.or