Our boat swings with the tide, waking us.
He slides inside. My very own Adam.
(“Original Sin,” p. 75)
The trip turns out to be more social than the couple had originally envisioned. Not only do Campbell and R go ashore for supplies and entertainment, including a couple of movies, but they meet up with friends along the way, and often two boats travel together for part of the journey. Sometimes the companionship is bittersweet, as R turns violent and flirts with a friend, Margaret. “I know he will / kiss her, if possible” (Birthday Boy, “ p. 64). And yet Margaret is a female witness to the violence Campbell endures, now that the love has gone.
Through the years since this trip was taken, Campbell and Margaret have remained friends, and Margaret even wrote one on the blurbs for the back of the Sea Trails. But life with R isn’t all bad. “His Jekyll has overcome / Hyde today and I exhale.” (“All Saints Eve,” p. 60). And there is also plenty of time spent peacefully as a couple — alone with their cat and the call of the sea. “We fall into the rhythm of sea and sky, / rising at dawn, asleep just after sunset (“Mother Nature,” p. 56).
I learn what heaven is right here
in these blue waters...
I learn how love
of the sea can rush right through you…
(“Sea Speak,” p. 39)
Campbell loves the open sea, but she “hates” the part of the trip that takes them through Florida, “between condo and expensive homes on each side” (p. 81). By this time, the friction between Campbell and R has increased. And now she loses her beloved sea as well, with brief intermissions.
A half-mile without a house
becomes a miracle, a benediction.
(“Sunshine State,” p. 78)
On most of the boats they meet, the women seem to know little about the craft of (boat) navigation. For Campbell, this is much of what the trip is about. She wants to do it all. Not only did she buy the boat --- her income was larger than R’s, and this is a bit of a sore point with him from the beginning — but she can pilot it as well as any man, although an old back injury causes her great pain in so doing as the trip comes to its end.