Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Random Thoughts From Sea


I am not a sailor.  Growing up, the nearest body of water was my backyard swimming pool.  My parents were not members of a yacht club.  They were on a bowling league.  I grew up in Arizona.  Enough said.  I have the utmost respect for sailors who have spent years on the water in places like San Francisco where the wind is consistent and conditions offer a constant challenge. 

We took possession of Ohana on a sunny day in February in Seattle.  We were ready to move the boat from Seattle to Everett, then to La Conner the following day.  The boat broker asked me about the weather conditions.  Were we supposed to check the weather?  I have learned a lot since then…

I am still constantly learning something new on the water.  That is why I enjoy sailing.  My favorite point of sail is a close reach when I can trim the sails just right and Ohana glides effortlessly through the water.  Most of our Mexico sailing has been downwind though.  This has been a bit of a challenge.  We have a ginormous main sail that blocks the wind from properly filling the jib.  Therefore, the jib slaps and flogs around sending earthquake tremors running through our rigging.  Running wing and wing is just too hard to maintain, especially if there is anything over a three foot swell involved.  I have asked advice from many more experienced sailors.  “Pole out the jib,” I have been told.  Our pole is more like an accessory to the toe rail than a functioning piece of equipment.  Maybe someday we can experiment with this option.  “Fall off 20 degrees,” was another piece of advice.  That I have used many times.  However, it can be almost as frustrating as wing and wing with large swell.  Our autopilot has a hard time holding this course and keeping both sails full. 

So here we are on our way to Acapulco.  We need to run a course straight downwind.  The seas are from behind at 5-6 feet with short intervals between.  Falling off 20 degrees makes for an uncomfortable ride.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a headsail up?   I make an executive decision (with Captain Jake’s consent of course) to drop the main sail.  I can’t deal with two sails anymore.  With the main sail down and the jib full, I set the autopilot on a course dead downwind.  What is that noise?  I think angels are singing.  This is heaven.  We are gliding along at 5 knots on a direct course to our destination.  The seas are following behind nicely and everyone is comfortable.  Even the dolphins seem happy as they glide alongside Ohana’s bow.   Now instead of sitting in the cockpit stewing over the next ten hours of rough sailing, I am laying prone on the bow enjoying the dolphin show. 

Maybe I can be a sailor after all… 

1 comment:

  1. I am not a sailor but I do know exactly what feeling you are talking about... it's how I felt at Best Friends... like someone whispering in your soul "you are home." SO HAPPY for you friend.

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