Well, Dana jinxed us with his comment about sailing to weather. We are close-hauled with a double reefed main, heeled over and banging through waves. The bow is playing “over, under” with the bigger waves. This is not dangerous, it’s not really very windy (22 knots), but it is more than a tad unpleasant. You just want to find a spot on the low side and sit. Yesterday I took to calling Liz “low side Liz”. Not really fair, as her intrepid spirit would put most of us to shame, but she had one of those days where lethargy attacks. Our beautiful Moondance has even started dripping saltwater from the main hatch when the more persistent waves wash across her. The winds are from the NE, and we are going East. We are hoping for them to clock to the North. The seas built overnight and the waves are running 8-12 feet. Jackie wants us to bear off, which would be fine if we wanted to go to Morocco. Oh well, every good port is earned.
You may notice on the chart that Portugal juts out Westward from Spain and creates an overhang for those traveling to her south. We are 130 miles away from being in the lee of that overhang and hope to see calmer seas at that point. Otherwise, we are pressing on.
If you are not a sailor and go for a ride on someone’s sailboat, the worst part is the lingo. As all of my kids know, there are no ropes on a boat; only “lines” with various names. “Sheets” make sails go in and out and “halyards” are used to raise and lower them. This vernacular is not designed for trickery or to make sailors feel superior, but to avoid, in a pinch, having to yell “not THAT rope, the OTHER rope.” Anyway, one of the many things I learned from my patient and wonderful wife is that you should endeavor to determine, as soon as you get on the boat, the direction from whence the wind is blowing. This is because sailors will direct you to steer relative to the wind direction, as in “head up” or “bear off”. One time Mary flatly refused to change direction, despite a growing urgency for her to do so, until I abandoned the lingo and simply said “go left a little bit”. It turns out she did not know where the wind was coming from, a point that still befuddles me, as to me that is as natural as breathing. On a related note, I needed to quickly learn not to “bark” orders at my family crew, or any crew for that matter. They are on the boat because I want them there, with me, so I should at least be polite. This rule has led to some comic relief, as in “Sweetheart, dearest, if it is not too much trouble, and only if it is utterly convenient, could you kindly unravel and ease that pretty red and white line from the winch right there, so that I may bear off, or turn to the right a wee bit, so as to avoid us being run over by the Steamship Ferry in about 15 seconds? Thank you so much.”
Time for my noon watch. Love to all.