Right now life feels like a maelstrom!

It’s interesting that is the word that comes to mind because it’s not a word I ever use.

But it perfectly describes what I see, which is a myriad of different things swirling around me with me in the centre of it all – me being the energetic connection to all those things.

And it’s all happening so quickly that it feels as though time must be standing still at certain moments, because otherwise how can I fit so much in my days lol?!

But it’s all positive, all good and it’s nothing I can’t cope with. I know because I’ve been there before…on an ocean.

This feeling I have, the word (maelstrom), and the visual, immediately take me back to when I was sailing across the Atlantic.

As we got nearer the Caribbean we would almost daily encounter waterspouts which would literally just appear out of the blue, and life would go from sailing downwind with a spinnaker up but under control, to total mayhem as the mini tornado struck!

I wasn’t alone on the boat, there were four of us, but only 3 of us were sailors, the fourth was an elderly friend not equipped to move quickly and haul sails around.

When we were sailing downwind with the spinnaker it was mostly me that took the helm because I seemed to be most in tune with the wind and the sails and to have the lightness of touch necessary when sailing fast with a spinnaker.

It requires incredible concentration to keep the boat upright in that situation and you can see it on my face in the photos where I am at the wheel. I was astutely aware that we were in the middle of a very large ocean with any help days away should something go wrong.

We did watches mostly alone so the others could sleep, and when I was at the helm I had to constantly scan the horizon for any sign of a waterspout.

They move and appear quickly and you can’t avoid them. I would just literally yell “waterspout all hands on deck” and the other 2 would jump out of their bunks and collapse the spinnaker and whatever sails they could get down as quickly as possible.

When the maelstrom hit we would be rocked around helplessly as it passed through – so I do literally know exactly how it feels to be in the middle of a maelstrom!

I remember on one occasion when I was preparing food in the galley, a waterspout (picture above) appeared so quickly we had no time to do anything about it.

I was thrown to the floor as the boat crashed over on it’s side. Thankfully no one was injured, however the food I had been preparing ended up on the galley ceiling and my washing which had been drying on the rail had a second wash…

It’s amazing how, when you’re faced with big challenges, you somehow get through it…the solitude, the risk, the storms….and then finally calm waters…

And you suddenly realise that you are so much stronger than you thought…

That you have got what it takes. And you wouldn’t know any of this is you hadn’t chosen the challenge and stepped through that door to freedom.

Love Sue


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