Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The day I almost died, but lived

A lot of you are already aware of what's been going on the last few days, but for my future children and for the people who read this book when and if I choose to publish it, this is the day I almost died and lived to tell the tale of, in a more dramatic way of seeing it. This is what I wrote in my journal directly after the storm. "It was a bright, calm morning in West palm and we had checked the weather, the charts and the tides and were ready to go sailing. Our mainsail was up. We went through one huge patch of wind and big waves, but it didn't look like it would last. After a few hours, the sky got dark and lightning started striking the shore, and all around us. It came on instantly. My dads been in the US coastguard and captaining boats his entire life and he said today was the worst storm he'd ever been in. We were on a 9 or so hour day sail, and got caught off guard the eye of a huge 50-65 mph storm, with hail, rain, thunder, huge waves, fog and lightning. A tiny boats worst nightmare. We turned around only to be going into the wind. Lightning was our biggest concern because it was all around us, and it's not unlikely it would hit the mast and put a hole in the boat. We prepared for the worst, packed up flares, radios and special things in case we had to abandon the boat and rode out the crushing waves for the longest, most scary hours of my life. My dad held me down in the cockpit during the worst of it and we said our prayers. He reminded me a hundred times that this is happening because we were strong enough to handle it, and that this is the stuff no one ever goes through and gets to talk about it after. Even in the worst of it, we stayed calm. By calm, I mean I was shivering and crying like a toddler, but in relation to the situation, we were calm. Everything got thrown around. Our fuel tank went overboard. We were soaked head to toe for hours and pelted with hail and wind so strong you couldn't open your eyes. Every bone in my body was shaking with fear but we made it to a calm marina and everyone is safe. I'm so thankful we held on, it was a wild ride. I'm probably gonna make him take me to Disneyworld though." 

Life update, he took me to Disneyworld. The day after we sailed all day to my gramma's house in Stuart, Florida. I woke up to the sound of the engines going, and I knew there was a chance the same thing would happen all over again. I stayed, curled up in my cabin as long as I could until I felt like it was calm enough to go up, and there wouldn't be another storm like that. I usually don't let anything frighten me, so it takes a lot to keep me in bed because I'm scared of something. We made it to my grammas house, and got the boat cleaned up because everything had fallen over or spilled during the hurricane like storm. We played cards at my gramma's house and rented a car so we could have a little celebration day tomorrow. Yesterday, we made it to Disneyworld, and I have never been more excited. It's a been a week of emotions, let me tell ya. Sidenote, if you don't know me personally, I plan on auditioning to be a Disney princess in a few years. It's been my dream since I could talk. We went to Epcot, cause I wasn't feeling the ride lines and I like Epcot, cause well, I like food. We went to all the science exhibits and the butterfly garden, and I got some of those sparkly Minnie mouse ears that you can see from space, because I'm short and my dad could lose me, like he does in Costco. We stayed the night at a nice hotel and went to dinner at a scary Chinese buffet in a strip mall, just because it's a little tradition of ours. Not because we really enjoy subjecting ourselves to unquantifiable amounts of MSG and the atmosphere of strip mall cuisine, but just because it's what we do at the start and end of sailing trips. It's just a funny little thing we do. I went to the coolest Disney junky mega store where Disney souvenirs from the 90's go to die. I bought a bunch of funny key chains for my friends and we headed back to the room. 

Today my dad and I road tripped back to the boat for our last day of this adventure. We talked about life, and boys and politics and faith and listened to Stefan Molyneux pod casts. Highly recommend if you're into philosophy or care about anything. We're spending the day cleaning the boat, and we're gonna meet my gramma for dinner one last time. I've never felt this alive and blessed to be in a long time since that storm. It's nice to be going back to school and work soon, and seeing my little Alaska family. In the worst moments of it, I reminded myself of all the good times I've had and all the amazing humans I've got to meet and hangout with on a daily basis. I did my best to hang on and I thanked God, rather than asking him why me. He told me to think of the good.  That's all that mattered. 

Safe sailing!
Maddi 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

"We have no plan and everything is fine mom"

Brought to you from Peanut beach, West palm, Florida, I'm writing this over a classy bowl of Ramen rations. Last night was probably one of the best nights of my life. Most people would say that after the craziest party, or maybe their wedding night, I don't know, maybe a night of lazer tag with your friends took the title. But for me, it was after a long day of sailing. We woke up in Stuart, Florida and motored to a dock where some gentlemen helped us put up our mailsail for the first time and fix the mast after we had a little debacle with hitting a bridge. No, you heard me right, we hit a bridge. The guys worked on the mast while I went to a little bar next door and ordered them all drinks for helping out. Then we set sail, and what I didn't know is that it would be the best little crossing I've ever been on. This trip is different from this summer, this trip is different from my childhood, and it's different from this Christmas in third world Bahamas. We have absolutely no plan. Mother, if you're reading this sorry to give you a heart attack. Also, dad let me try his cigar. I'm sorry for sinning.

When my dad told me when the trip started that we had no plan, I thought he had some vague idea of where a destination may be, but no. He didn't know that and I'm totally cool with having no plan. I feel like more people need to plan a trip with no itinarary and see where the days take them, not take too much charge of their days. I realised the sheer reality of my dad's "not giving a shit" phase when were halfway into this 11 hour crossing. He said "Bahamas or West palm beach". If we turn left, we can go to the Bahamas for a week, kind of third world, places I've already been recently and on the right we go to Miami where we spend the week in Florida. Also, I have about a minute to choose. The sail had been pretty silent up until this part of the journey. With my sudden unexpected increase in power, it became a screaming match of the pros and cons of each place. We turned around about twice and ultimately decided to go to West palm beach, I haven't spent much time in Florida lately.
After the decision way made, the night became serene. Light a candle, get yourself some top ramen, I'm about to tell you about the most perfect hour of my existence thus far. I've done some pretty crazy things, I've had some wild nights with some unforgettable people. But this came out of nowhere, there was no planning for this. The sky was the most vibrant pink and purple. The water was the deepest, darkest blue. There was not one other boat and no land for miles. I knew it was a good night, cause my dad broke out a case of cigars for special occasions only. Jimmy Buffet was playing on our radio. We turned off the engine, put up the sails and the only noise the boat made was the sides crisply cutting across the water like butterknives. I went downstairs and changed into a little black dress because this was the best date I'd ever been on, even if it was just with the earth and the sky and the sea. When I came upstairs a school of fifteen or so dolphins were dancing next to the starbord hull, so I sat down and dangled my legs in the water. They came right up to me, trying to keep up with the speed of the boat. We took very few pictures, and yelled at eachother when our phones came out. I don't think some moments want to be captured. That's probably why it happened so fast, as for us to savor every single second. My dad knew, everything he had ever done or worked for, was so we could have nights like this. Because every minute he would remind me, "no one ever does this" and "this is the absolute shit." There was no where I needed to be, no one I had to talk to and no pressure. It was life at it's purest. I think I like myself more when I have less. Less things, less baggage, at that moment I had nothing except a big peice of fiberglass to sit on and the ocean. It was a high no drug could give you.

The sun set as fast as it came up, and we motored for another six hours into West Palm beach. I fell asleep in the cockpit and I woke up surrounded by the city and all of it's business. My dad was exhausted from sailing all day, but i couldn't bring myself to sleep. I wrote poems all night in the notes on my phone, long, real poems that took me less than three minutes to write because every feeling I've ever felt became so much more vibrant and forward in my thoughts after that high dose of seratonin the Earth gave me tonight. I don't think I'll share them yet, maybe one day at a college poetry slam or maybe I'll just keep them for myself.
So here I am, in peanut beach, with no plan, and I can't wait for all the adventures to come this week. My dad's being an exceptional travel buddy and captain and first class homie. I'll be sure to upload this when I have an internet connection. What most of you don't know is I write almost all of my blogs on a word document and then paste them when I'm somewhere with a starbucks to post them in.
Safe Sailing!

Maddi

Baby's first flight

Goodmorning friends! I took my first flight alone. I've been on hundreds of flights, but this was my first two plane rides I've done solo thus far. My mom and sister dropped me off in the middle of the night to start this new adventure on the boat, aka spring break. I said hi to my friend's parents at the airport and turns out we were on the same flight, so we talked for a while. I felt so small at the airport, doing things for the first time. I did what everyone does at an airport I guess. I bought tea and a novel and avoided eye contact with every other breathing being. When I got to Seattle, it was early in the morning and I was in N gate. My next gate was A13. Another name for A13, is Timbuktoo because let me tell you, it took me about an hour to get to this gate. I've been to the Seattle airport many a time and I've never even heard of A gate. I took two shuttles, the trains, asked a bunch of people wearing name tags, and took what felt like the stairway to heaven in escalators. After all of the planes, trains and automobiles to get to this magical gate, I got there. It was a long white corridor filled with art and statues but no people. It was probably the abandoned part of the airport they reserve for random little girls going on sailing trips with their father. Sure enough though, at this end of this corridor to nowhere, there was A13, filled with people and the strangest stained glass masterpiece on the window and Christmas decorations that hadn't been taken down yet. 

The plane ride was five hours and I sat next to an accountant named Bill. What a riveting specimen. He played sudoku for hours, and said dammit under his breath every time he couldn't figure it out. He also had a dog named Skipper. I'm getting very good at smalltalk, can you tell? Bill, homie, if you read this, I hope life is treating you kind and you've gotten better at sodoku. I made it safely to my nana's house. She's probably the coolest lady ever, it's hard to describe her cause she's not like most grandmas. I'll try to give you a few fun facts. She makes homemade applesauce at every meal, she runs like a hundred clubs and goes to a million garden club meetings and she wears bright flamingo pink lipstick and visors. She's also extremely smart. I love her.
So, those were my first flights. Sorry it was kind of boring.
Safe Sailing!

Maddi 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

I'm not dead

I've logged back into this blog after three months of being totally MIA, and there's still new comments and people checking back up on it, and I never thought that would happen, so for those few people, you're real. And probably all related to me. Hello, I'm alive. I just got my wisdom teeth surgery. It looked like the most painful thing in the world, but honestly I highly recommend it. You get free drugs, free ice cream, an excuse to be ugly for a week. The day I got them out I don't remember anything. The drugs made me so emotional, I cried over how much I loved my sister, cried over buffalo wild wings, told the pharmacist how hot he was and demanded we played Hollaback girl the second I woke up. The nurses and doctor literally woke me up to Hollaback girl by Gwen Stefani and I can't love them anymore for that. I don't know what's in those drugs, but I would never hit on a pharmacist like that in real life. My sweet mother took video, don't stress.  I found out you're allowed to eat mashed potatoes after your surgery and mom withheld that golden piece of information from me, so we argued for like 20 straight seconds about it. My mom left the house for a few hours so I can do whatever I want, and as an almost 18 year old female I chose to watch stand up comedy on Netflix and cry and eat my long awaited mashed potatoes cause I'm wild like that.  I'm writing today because I'm about to embark on my third sailing adventure since being a tiny adult. It's going to be my first time flying alone, and I'll be meeting my dad to go sailing over Spring Break. The thing with writing a blog or a book or whatever on Earth this is, is I really hold back from swearing because my family and strangers and my parents friends that own businesses and important things read this. I want to be as transparent and real in these as I possibly can AND IT'S SO HARD TO DO WITHOUT SAYING BAD WORDS. When I was younger I never understood why people swore, and I was so proper and everything I said made me sound like a young British boy from an old movie, but now when I'm alone or when I'm with my close friends, I swear all the time and it feels great. It takes every feeling you're feeling and puts it into a word and I just love it, I'm sorry. I'm going to try to force myself to keep these entries as f word free as I can. But if you're wondering why I say shit all the time in real life, and I sound like the queen of England in my blog, I'm trying to be a better person, just support me dammit.
 The last few months have been okay. It's a new year and since my last blog post, life has been peaceful. I cut all my hair off and I now look like the mom from the incredibles. I still have the cutest job ever. I have 3 months left of high school and I'm mentally ready to be a hip artsy vagabond in art school. I go on a lot of little hikes and adventures with my girlfriends and I hang out with my choir homies. We're going on tour in a month. I went to the military ball with the same guy that's asked me every year since we were freshman and we had the best time. I had to abort the party bus we were on early because it had zebra wallpaper, a stripper pole and we were only playing Jamaican music. Not that that's not my scene, but seeing as the second I got on, I stopped being focused on having a good time, and became more focused on who's idea it was to go with the zebra wallpaper. I think I'm 100 years old. So, life has been steady. I've been healthy and I've been making myself happy and handling each day as it comes. I'm so ready for this next adventure on Monday and I'll be sure to write often from my little cocoon of solitude
 ( aka the hammock I rigged from the bow to the mast ).

Safe Sailing,
Maddi

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Resolutions and other fancy stuff

Before I write about today, I want to write about this year. Reflecting on moments to me is just as important as living in the moment, and since new year's is coming up and I think resolutions are a bunch of hooey that I never stick to, I want to just look back before I look forward. Honestly, the last 365 days have been the most pivotal days of my life so far. There's been moments of intense joy, and intense sadness but hardly anything in the middle of that spectrum. It was either incredible or awful. In the times I was happy, I was genuinely happy and no amount of pain or bad news would touch my joy. In the times of heartbreak, I don't know how well I'd be holding up if it wasn't for my friends, though they are few they are special people and my parents. My dad's been sailing for about 8 months this year but he's always been there to talk to me. And my mom, took me to Seattle for my birthday, just her and I when I wasn't having the hottest time and I needed to leave the surroundings I was in. I can't thank her enough for being that understanding. I want to turn this blog into a book so if I do I'll be sure to expound on these good and bad times this year had to offer some more, but for now I'll leave it to the imagination. People who read this probably just want to hear about sailing. But if not, drop me a comment if you want me to talk about something in particular and I'll be sure to give my two cents in the next entry. I do enjoy giving my two cents. I completed absolutely none of my resolutions this year and I'm not at all upset about it. They were surface things like loose weight, have more friends, the usual. I think I managed to keep less friends, but the ones I have are all I want and need in my life. This year I got the cutest job. I made swing choir president, which my dad calls queen of the dweebs but it's a real title. I made varsity cheer leading. In the grand scheme none of those things make me a better person but, This year I was kind to people. People got to know me for me and were kind to me more than I'll ever deserve and it was a year I'll never forget. If you want to hear about the last 24 hours, hello, what's good. I got about 5 texts today asking me where the heck I am, and to answer that I started the day in Pompano, Florida and road tripped to my gramma's home in Stuart Florida where for the first time in years and years and years and years I got to see the Berger family. My uncle rides Harley's, and he's basically the coolest guy alive and the biggest stealer's fan on the face of the planet. I mean this guy would die for that team. When I was a kid it was rumoured that he broke his flat screen tv throwing a bowl of chips at the tv when something bad happened for the Steelers. It was a good night, we laughed uncontrollably and that's really all you can ask for from people you see every half a decade. They gave me one of those adult colouring books that people give to people that need to calm down. It's supposed to relax your mind, but let me tell you girlfriend my hands were on fire trying to finish this thing. I've never coloured so hard in my life. I've never been this stressed. I stopped all interaction with my family for a long time to work on this thing.
The road trip was good. We stopped at a target because my packing skills are far below par. I packed nothing but Birkenstocks and three rompers because in my mind, rompers are shirts and shorts combined so it's like I packed 3 shirts and 3 pairs of shorts. I'm ready for adulthood obviously.
Tomorrow we wake up at 6am and fly to Nassau, Bahamas where we'll take a cab to the boat. I'm so excited. I've been craving new experiences. The cabs in the Bahamas are some of the shadiest cabs in the world, the last time I was in one the "driver" decided to take us on the tour of the island at midnight and I don't think speed limits or traffic laws applied to this guy. Tomorrow will be an adventure for sure. That's really all I can hope for, for this new year to be one giant new adventure. I wish the same for whomever stumbles upon this. Always set goals, but never forget what really matters while you're trying to reach them.
Safe flying, safe sailing.
Maddi

Monday, 21 December 2015

Mom jeans in paradise

Flying from Alaska to Florida, I'm finally able to wear shorts and sundresses again and I forgot what my legs looked like. It was quite disappointing. I put on a cute pink floral romper thinking I'd have Sofia Vergara calves but I ended up looking like Paula Deen. I think I'll stick to mom jeans and turtlenecks while I'm here for a few days with my cousins just because I look like a vampire compared to my 11 year old supermodel cousins. We had two flights and made it to Fort Lauderdale where we're staying with our cousins for a few days, then heading over to stay on the boat and sail all over the Bahamas. I watched way more movies than a human being should in the course of 15 hours on the plane. I finally saw We are your friends, and the director, aka love of my life, Max Joseph did not disappoint. It was riveting, highly recommend. I found out that I won't have Internet or cell service for about 11 days while we're in the islands. I mourned for about five seconds, but then I remembered that I really don't do anything of any significance on my phone anyway. I talk to like two friends and try to beat my high score on tiny wings. Experiences are way more important. I think phones are incredible, just the fact that something so teeny tiny can go to space and back and hold so much information just boggles my mind, but nothing compares to putting it down and being in the now. Like, it bothers me so much at restaurants and parties,when people are all on their phones. All your friends are with you! Who are you talking to! What could you possibly be clickidy clacking that's more important than your family, ask your friends for their wisdom or life advice when you're with them, I dare you. I was at dinner with my choir last week and I was sitting with some of my close guy friends and all of a sudden we all stopped and they asked me what my advice was for them, they asked me about sailing and what I think life was all about. Then they told me theirs. It was a short lived conversation to have with two teenage boys but it was nice to know how others think so differently and sometimes so similarly to yourself and I'll never forget what they told me. 
 I found myself in the most uncomfortable situation at the Alaska airport before I flew here, I was sitting on a row of seats with no one but this older man who I believe was homeless since he didn't have any bags packed and he kept murmuring to himself. I was eating my highly nutritional breakfast of a Starbucks bagel and tea and I was checking some political article and this guy was doing NOTHING. I mean staring into space, but he kept looking over at me and asked me where I was going finally. We talked for a bit, and he said he was going no where. I said "I've never been to nowhere before, what's it like" and he laughed way too hard at that. But his name was Mike or Matt or something, and I'm glad I stopped reading that article to give him a laugh. It's a little thing, but little things add up and he thanked me for talking to him before I caught my flight. So, 11 days with no phone will be nice. I'll call my friends from payphones in third world countries like in those spy movies. Florida is ridiculously hot. Today we went to Chik fil a for the for the first time, life changing. Ill probably spend the rest of the day painting rocks and beach combing and swimming and trying not to die of heatstroke. The usual. 

I hope you're all having a killer winter break. 
Go outside. Get off the twitter machines.
Safe Sailing
Maddi

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Round Two

Dwellers of the Internet, fear not, it's back. May the blogging continue. I don't know why I'm talking like this, I just watched some star wars re runs and that's probably why I've been communicating in an entirely different dialect. But hello, if you stumbled upon this blog post in an attempt to search for the Jimmy Buffet song, "captain and the kid". This is not it, and sorry for the disappointment. However, if you enjoy entirely true yet strange stories that happen on my day to day living on a tiny sailboat with my dad, welcome. Let's be pals. To catch you up if you're a regular here, I started my senior year of high school. I'm slaying in the grade department and I completed my first semester of swing choir and my last season of football cheer leading. I hang out with very few people, but the ones I do see on a daily basis mean the entire world to me. My dad's been sailing the majority of this time trying to deliver the boat places before we embark on this adventure starting in 13 hours. My baking skills have improved. I have not grown, nor do I think I will in the future. I found out that there's a shrek cereal. My sister is now in high school and we spend nearly every second of every day together. She holds my hand in the hallways and gives me kisses on the cheek before going to her classes, and it's made school so much more comfortable of a place having someone you've grown up with to hang around all day. I got into my first musical, Cinderella and that starts up when I get home. I'm not theatrical at all, I have no idea what I'm even doing, I'm just trying to fill my life with lovely things and people. That's really my only goal. However, If you're new, I started this writing extravaganza back in June when one of my birth givers and best friends, Paul and I spent two months sailing the East coast of the United States. I highly recommend going back a few chapters just to see what went down. It was without a doubt, one of the most positive experiences I've had in my wee life and we're doing it again! However, this time we're taking my primary birth giver, Becky and my little sister slash closest companion, Kel. We're going to be going to Florida and all over the Bahamas in our teeny tiny sailboat visiting family, even the ones I haven't seen since I had a Dora haircut and had imaginary friends. It's gonna be a tight squeeze on the boat, so I bought a hammock from urban outfitters to string from the mast to the bow and I intend on sleeping there every night. I'm currently at my desk, in Anchorage, Alaska where a blog post has never been written before. I was checking my blog for the first time in months because I thought hey, remember that buffoonery I used to write on the Internet? Let's start that up again. And I realised in doing this that this blog had WAY more views and reads than I thought it would get. I want to turn this into a book one day, or maybe just have it collecting dust on the Internet after I die so people can look back and see all the cool things that happened in the world before flying cars and hover boards. I'll be spending a ton of time collecting shells and memories and new friends and new experiences, but that hour a night when I get to curl up in the hammock, I want to spend creating and writing and filling in all my friends back home whom I love so dearly about how it's cracking over on this side of the world. Thank you all so much who diligently tell me you like what I write, and hello hello to all the new people I haven't met yet who I'm going to get to write about. Feel free to leave comments, or talk to me, I'd love to hear about your adventures and share my own. The human experience is so much more wonderful in my opinion when shared.

My flight leaves tomorrow. I've packed nothing.
Safe Sailing!
Maddi