Sunday, June 5, 2011

About Yesterday

This morning things were more settled but we were further north than I was happy with. I wanted to be further east in case the wind went east a it is want to do in these parts, because then I would have a reasonable angle to sail direct if an easterly did turn up. Being too far north would mean tacking into the easterly to get to Tubuai, which would take longer as well as most likely be less than pleasant sailing. As it is with a SAE wind we are having to sail close to the wind to keep on track. I decided to push hard today accepting there would be more mopping up of leaks to do, and there has!

Yesterday was an experience I cant forget. It was beyond anything I had experienced before and I was at the edge of my ability to cope with it - the waves seemed huge though by no means were they mountainous - maybe 20 feet high on occasion and often remarkably steep with foam at their crests, There was foam everywhere, even the tiniest ripples in the wake were having their r tops stripped off by the wind, and there was so much noise - from waves , wind, rigging and sails. I was immobilized by the sight of the sea in this state, no longer an ocean but a landscape of steep valleys, hollows and hillocks all seething and leaping and crashing about the boat. Remarkably, as I sat there doing nothing, the boat rode its way across the valleys and troughs, rising falling and bucking about but never once doing anything other than maintaining a resolute path across streaky cacophonous seascape. I had decided if things got worse I would heave to, and rest but managing to raise the storm jib and tack across the wind in those seas seemed like an impossible task - my theory and academic knowledge seemed pointless. Thankfully my theory was not put to the test as finally , after watching every wave and every movement of the wind gauge for hours it seemed looking for a sign of abatement, it finally happened after a couple of false dawns. I was finally able to go below to rest having hardly eaten a thing all day - but such was he state of my nerves by then sleep seemed impossible..

To so many kind people who have emailed in the last couple of days, I apologize but right now individual replies will have to wait till things settle down a bit. Please do keep writing if you have time..

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