After over a year on land, we are finally sailing and our first trip was Lærke’s first trip on Mara Noka. Saying goodbye to our home for the past year and leaving for the unknown evoked many feelings, so Lærke decided to put pen to paper… Here are some notes from her journal:
It’s 11 pm and we have just left Saint Augustine a few hours ago. The southeast wind is pushing us towards our destination - North Carolina. The last sight of light and land is gone and all there is is darkness, stars and unfamiliar sounds. Kiana is asleep and it’s me and Paul on watch. He is catching a ride up to Beaufort and neither of us has any sailing experience. We have both helped put this boat together for the past months with no prior experience in boatbuilding and seeing it all in action for the first time is exciting yet a little nerve-racking. The sails were put up just hours before taking off and our fresh-cut boom is swinging in the air above our heads. Will it stand the powers of the open sea? Kiana set up the sheet-to-tiller self-steering and just said ‘wake me up if something sounds strange’. It all sounds strange to me, to be honest, but I'm trying to stay calm and put my trust in this wooden ‘Tesla auto-pilot’ boat that apparently knows where we are going.
The first 4 days at sea gave us a great taste of sailing with everything from strong wind to no wind, waves, rain, sun, and seabirds. The strange sounds have already become familiar and our new home will be where the wind blows.
New crew doing the water world
The wind didn’t blow us all the way to Beaufort as planned but to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. As we are already used to things not going as planned, we immediately embraced the new chapter. Mara Noka being an old wooden black catamaran draws a lot of attention and comments at the anchorage: “Look at the pirates”, “that’s some water-world sh** right there”, “Look! a hippie commune!”, “Here is titty city” (they were right, we do have 6 breasts all together and covering up when it’s hot seems unnatural). With all the attention and some engine problems, we also attracted some helpful locals and we have felt spoiled with support for the upcoming adventure. After two weeks our camerawoman and 3rd crew member Alizé Jireh arrived, ready to capture the voyage with all her gear and her raw intimate eye.
Dream as big as the ocean blue
Alizé has never been on a sailboat for more than a few hours and getting used to her new home and being acquainted with Mara Noka was important. Here are some notes from her journal:
“I remember the first time I dreamt about being out on the water. This was a recurring dream that I've had since I was a young teenager... I would be laying on the deck of a boat and watching the water ebb and flow, as if it were breathing lungs, filling up and letting go. I would breathe in the same rhythm and be hypnotized by its immensity and fluid but potent dance. I remember wanting to be like her, one day be able to sway with her and be comforted by her power. This first week on Mara Noka has brought me the closest I've ever been to the feeling I experienced in those dreams. I feel held by the water, held by this beautiful boat, like a child held by a mother rocking her baby to sleep, allowing her to dream farther and deeper. And every day I am made increasingly more aware of how these living waters that have held me this past week require deep love and respect, and how excited I am to continue deepening my relationship with this boat, the ocean, and the women who so gracefully have been called to be moved by the wind and make their dreams come true.”
Preparing for the big Atlantic
With all crew on board, a floating boat, and most parts in their place, we are ready to sail to the Azores. Captain Kiana is watching the winds daily and waiting for the right window to set sails. The last days are spent making sure we have everything on board, getting provisions, water, and mentally preparing for about 30 days at sea with no connection except to the big blue.
SEA you on the other side ,
Kiana, Lærke and Alizé - women and the wind
Follow the journey on @womenandthewind