None of my fears have been realized (so far). Ben and Wolfe, our crew, are definitely not axe murderers. In fact, they are totally awesome, incredibly knowledgeable sailors, patient teachers, and lovely people, with excellent senses of humor. There has been no inclement weather.
My long underwear has remained in the back of my cubby. My foul weather gear has remained hung up behind my door. Every morning, the sun has come out, bright and hot, and before it has set, a full moon has emerged from the horizon. Conditions, some might say, have been spectacular, except (and this is a big exception), until just a few hours ago, there has been virtually no wind, and no wind is a big problem for sailboats trying to get somewhere.
From the time we left Hampton, Virginia on Thursday morning, until just a few hours ago, we were listening to the drone of the motor, sometimes motor sailing, but mostly just motoring, hour after hour, as we made our way into the Gulf Stream and 120 miles later, out the other side. We, along with most of the other boats in the rally, have decided to re-route to Bermuda for a few days, to refuel and wait for the winds to pick up again. We do not have the fuel or the inclination to motor all the way to Antigua- for the guys, that would be like sticking needles in their eyes, and drinking dark and stormy drinks in Bermuda for a few days seems far preferable than drifting at sea, rolling along, waiting for the wind to pick up and worrying about fuel consumption.
Surprisingly, I am very, very content. I spend hours reading and resting, so that I am not tired for my watches. I have learned the international phonetic alphabet (for mariners). I have learned how to send a message to our kids through our “in reach” mechanism. I have learned how to de-power the boat in 3 different ways. I have learned how to make cerviche and tuna tartar (cut tuna in little pieces, dice onion small, salt and pepper and an egg yolk and stir (to stir with love, says Ben)) from the two tunas we caught along the way, and I could have learned how to cut up that fish, bleed him out, and fillet him, if I hadn’t been such a wimp.
I have learned how to type on an IPAD at a 30 degree angle, I have learned how to quickly release the crotch straps on my PFD so I do not pee in my pants. I have learned I have no idea what the men are talking about (some technical sailing stuff) most of the time. I have learned that in the Gulf Stream, the water runs more than 13,000 feet deep (yikes!) and the water temp hits about 80F, and that you don’t want to be in the Gulf Stream when the wind is more than 15 knots opposite from the current (luckily, I did not learn this the hard way). I have learned to make pasta at an angle. I have learned that your dinner will most likely end up in your lap if you are not attentive. I have learned to watch for squalls and cargo ships on radar, and I have learned that there is no better time of day for me than for being on watch, alone, on a calm night, with a full moon from 0400 to 0600 hours. I have learned to think in nautical time, all the time, and I have been convinced there really is no need for AM or PM. I have learned to say “Roger that” instead of “ok”.
So far, so good, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Today, we are headed to Bermuda, sailing along in a beautiful 17 knot wind coming across the beam (sailor’s delight). We should have this beautiful weather for about 30 hours, when the wind will totally die again for about 3 days while we hang in Bermuda waiting for the next cold front to bring a bit of wind. Praise God, not too much.
That’s all for now…hoping to report only good news for my next post also. That’s all for now…over and OUT (spelled Oscar Uniform Tango, in case you didn’t know.)