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 

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