Day 5, Year 5: The Rhythm of a Sailor
Date: Saturday, October 31, 2009
Weather: Hot and Sunny
Location: Rebak Marina, Pulau Rebak, Langkawi, Malaysia

There’s a rhythm of sorts in the life of a sailor and that rhythm is put on hold when you spend huge chunks of time on land. When a sailor returns to the sea, however, the rhythm doesn’t just begin again. It takes time to get it back. So that is what we are working on right now–regaining the rhythm. Part of the rhythm is remembering your organization system, remembering simple things like where you keep the salt, remembering which switch (which of course is not labeled) turns on the new deck light, remembering which set of lines belong where. When we left Windbird in April, everything, and I mean everything on deck was stored below. All of the lines that run through the mast and boom were removed and stored below with the sails and the jerry cans and anything else that normally sit on the deck. Linens were all taken out of their storage places and put in plastic bags. In fact, most everything was taken out of its storage place and put in plastic bags. So in other words, our world has been turned inside out and upside down and it is taking us a few days to get things back in place. The good news is that we can begin to hear the rhythm. It is the beautiful hornbills crying out at dusk and dawn. It is the realization that we are sitting in an idyllic tropical paradise. It is the realization that there is no food in the cupboard and there is no car and no store to drive to-so we need to do something about that. There’s no Family Foods down on the corner to run to when you need something. The sailor’s rhythm is planning ahead, it is the organization that keeps you sane when you live in a very small space, and it is knowing that your interactions with other sailors is much more important than whatever job you had hoped to accomplish. So plan ahead, stay organized, and put people first.

Today we didn’t make as much progress as we had hoped, but accepting that is part of the rhythm. Tomorrow we will get on the 9:30 ferry that takes us to the main island with Tina and Robert. They have rented a car for the day to go to Kuah and have invited us to go along. It will be Sunday here and that is the first day of the work week here. So shops will be open and we will do some major grocery shopping and reacquaint ourselves with Kuah. Tomorrow night we have invited Robert and Tina here for dinner, so I’d better end this log and get this main cabin presentable for company. It’s all part of the rhythm.