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.