These first hours on sea are always eerie. The mind plays tricks on your body. You can be hungry as if you starved for days, you can fall asleep so suddenly like a rogue wave hits the deck. You can be exhilarated, madly focused, madly unfocused. You can cry your stomach out or stare numbly into the horizon. Every sea sickness is different - but it is always a mysterious and often painful signal that we are entering a different realm. A realm that will change us, that will grasp our fragile selves and spit us out to land equally exhausted and reborn.
The realm of the ocean is ever changing, cruel and poetic, unstoppable and eternal at the same time. Your phones are losing reception, your body loses balance, your thoughts get all watery, mood unstable. Every time I wake up on the ocean within the first few days I feel like I’ve woken up inside my own head. I feel these seemingly borderless waters mirror my unconscious - the id, as freudians would put it. The sea opens the vaults of what is usually repressed and pours it into the the open waters of reflection.
Oceans talks in a language that our rational mind dismisses but the body feels. We are mostly water. Our blood, our brain, our fluids. The sea whispers to these hidden waters inside us in a code from outside of culture, that only and fears and desires recognize. During the first few nights during a long crossing my dreams are always similar - they fall apart into seemingly idiotic mesh of sentences, images, feelings from all over and then come back to me in a rush, their trajectories changed incessantly by sounds of the sea and the wind, the sounds that boat makes - cricks and cracks, songs of the lines, sudden thunders of waves.
I get what’s happening. It is the cleansing. Our minds are clogged with information, worry, stuff to do. I have to cut the cords to the concerns of the land before I am ready for the sea life.
As I hear the waves in the blackest of the night on my first „dog watch” I know I am in the precipice of the rite of passage that I have waited all year for. The Atlantic opens up. The ARC Rally has begun. For a few days now I will be a citizen of a blue planet, with no boundaries for the mind. I will be part of a Rimbaud poem. „Look! They have found it! What? Eternity! It is the sea that melts with the sun”