Monday, 2:30 pm, 90 miles from Sotogrande

If this otherwise sublime experience had a nadir, it was yesterday.  The waves and wind from the north were relentless.  Winds topped at 30 knots, waves kept washing over us.  Everything got wet.  We shipped waves into the cockpit measuring in tens of gallons on several occasions. The new cushions were completely drenched. The hull kept falling off of waves and crashing, shuddering the entire 56 feet of Moondance to her core.  Dana noted that he now understood the meaning of “shiver me timbers.”  The motion below was equally disturbing.  It actually made you angry.  The exception, notably, was Jackie, who baked bread below in these conditions.  She is cut from very tough stock. Everyone else was seasicky and grumpy.  It is amazing how much time you can spend simply being petulant.  At 10 pm I ignored Jackie’s warning (“that operation takes three hands”) and attempted to open the small fridge and extract a simple yogurt.  Bad idea.  We hit a rogue wave and I tumbled across the saloon, along with all the contents of the fridge, landing, fortunately, on the setee, albeit totally upside-down.  The eggs catapulted directly into the setee across the boat, without hitting the floor, and shattered.  This anti-gravity feat requires some genuine angle of heel. I cursed eggs, which I love, cleaned up, and sulked off to bed.  The crew was angelic and helpful through my blundering ways, helping with clean up.  Nice people.

Later in the night the wind abated, and we spent midnight until 6 am weaving our way across the Gibraltar lanes of tanker traffic.  Bill, our hero, stayed up all night at the NAV station and gave us courses to steer to avoid the traffic.  Closest we got was about .6 miles. Good visibility too. The wind totally died so we motored for a few hours.  We spotted Bill his 8-noon solo watch and were rewarded with gently filling southerly breezes and flat seas.  Spirits soared as the motion smoothed and we had a dry-out morning.  We conducted a long-planned fuel transfer operation, using Bill’s ingenuity, a 25-foot clear hose, and Cam’s lungs to blow into the feeder tube to get the siphon going.  Yay gravity.

So now it is music in the saloon and cockpit, dry out of everything on deck, easy sailing and grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch. Mother mother ocean, I hear you calling me.  Happy Monday to all.

MJ

Sunset Sunday
Sunset Sunday
High seas
High seas
Water everywhere, Jackie down below baking bread
Water everywhere, Jackie down below baking bread
Ahh, smooth waters
Ahh, smooth waters
Drying out, note quality of billow
Drying out, note quality of billow
Avoiding tanker traffic
Avoiding tanker traffic
Music man, loading up some Buffett
Music man, loading up some Buffett
Grilled Cheese and tomato soup for lunch!
Grilled Cheese and tomato soup for lunch!
Fueling operation, upstream
Fueling operation, upstream
Fueling operation, downstream
Fueling operation, downstream

8 thoughts on “Monday, 2:30 pm, 90 miles from Sotogrande

  1. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures so much! I really truly miss the updates of your voyage, pictures and stories about the crew and the TED talks. Enjoy the last leg of the trip!

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  2. Those are some plentiful AIS targets. Seems everyone is mixed together coming and going, surprised they don’t have lanes, or maybe they do but closer in. Always a great sight passing Gibralter and one huge water catchment on the the Eastern side if I remember correctly. Next up Paella…😊

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  3. Wow this was such a suspense filled post! Good girl Jackie ! I am sure ur bead was the high lite of the troubling day! 👏🏻😘 how much longer til u get to ur destination ? Hoping for smooth sailing from here on !

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  4. It’s so good to read your blog today and know that your wet ride yesterday is behind you. Reminds me of our rainy camping experiences. One time the boys were actually floating in the water in their Army pup tent! But everything dries out and all is well again. I’m glad you have skill and technology to help you avoid ships! Happy sailing the rest of the way to Sotogrande.

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  5. Wowza! That’s a lot of traffic.
    Continued wishes for safe travels! Love you and miss you! … looking forward to seeing your safe arrival on shore and then seeing you back home safely … and soon! Xo

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  6. adding, re: the traffic into Gibraltar … have every confidence in all of you! Looking forward to reading / hearing all about it! Love you all! xoxo

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  7. I’m glad the high seas occurred at the end rather than at the beginning of your voyage. You have had so much wonderful weather for most of the trip! The refrigerator story reminds me of our motor home stories. Once when rounding a mountain curve the fridge flew open and ejected a gallon of milk that poured out on the floor. Fun!

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