The long distance search for calm

OCTOBER 13th, 2016

It's Thursday afternooen, and we are about to leave Porto after spending a week here. When we arrived, our close friends from home, Karen and Silje, were with us. We explored the city with them, simultaniously saying farwell for an unimaginable long time. Most likely, we wont see eachother for more than a year. In the meantime, both they and we will have experiences, joys, sorrow. We will all have sleepless nights, laughter that makes us fall off our seat, caring hugs. It is undoubtfully the people in our lives that makes it hard to leave Oslo behind.

After the girls left, the two of us felt like the air went out of us like it does a popped baloon. We had busy weeks before leaving Norway, and we don't properly relax while having visitors for a week. We feel an obilgation to get where we've estimated, and to share expreiences that makes their vacation worthwhile. The most important to Karen and Silje, was to get to know the everyday life of Paloma a little bit, so we are well aware that this is pressure we put on ourselvs. We feel so priveledged to have close friends who have the opertunity and who want to visit us while we are away, thank you!

Anyways, we were worn out when they left. So we spent a few very lazy days in the sun, on the deck of Paloma. We read books to eachother and had endless discussions about anything and everything. We spoke about the meaning of life, of sailing, about sunrises, sunsets, dolphins. You might think we get tired of talking about these things all the time, and we might at some point, but that time hasn't come yet. We spoke about cultural differences, about how cultures influence and are influenced by eachother, how we consider and judge based on our own (limited) view of the world, how taking different things for granted makes for misunderstandings. We also spoke about out excitement for the next visit from home. Both Elises parents, Hildur and Gjermund, and Emilies little sister, Vilde, will visit in Lisbon next weekend. Vilde will sail with us for three weeks. Hopefully we will have gotten to the Canarys by the time she's going home, as that is where her plainticket home is from. Because she is here for so long, she will most likely also get to experience our lazy days and endless conversations without conclutions. We consider that a good thing. Vilde already knows how to sail, so we think she's the perfect choice of crew from the mainland through Madeira to the Canary Islands. We are excited about being three to share the day and night, so that we can both get where we need to go and also have enough time for sleep and food.

While I'm writing this, Elise is out for a careful run. I've walked out towards the ocean, away from the city. The forecast says we will have favorable winds during the evening and night, so we are excited about the prosprct of an airy sail. We have already put Porto down in our book of things and places that has changed us as long distance sailors. This is where we, for the first time, for selveral days, felt the calm that comes with no rush. We've waited a week for the wind, and that has been perfect. During this time we've done little other than waiting.

Well, that last statement is a truth with modification. We have done laundry, washed the boat, done dome maintenence work, gone majorly groceryshopping for provisions (and we were suprised we fit it all in the boat). We have also made friends with other long distance sailors from Ireland, Germany, England and Norway. It really is something else to be around others who have also put the known everyday life on hold. To get closer to the nature, experiece a little more adventure. Most people we meet, we instantly connect with, irrespective of age. (Altough we are countinuesly surprised by the about of sailors our own age!) Within minutes or days, we've made an incidental meet into a close friendship. Whenever we leave to go somewhere new, we never say farewell, always see you again sometime. We already have so many different group chats with different sailors, that it is rarely sveral huors between each time our phones ding with a message from someone who wonders where we are and where we're going. The combination of the magnificent nature and the wonderful people we meet, really does make this way of travelling something else. We love it!