Friday, January 27, 2012


Noon Position: 33 04' S, 73 22' W, COG 235, SOG 5kts, Day's run 90nm.
Last night wasn't pretty. I was in a nasty funk of self-pity,
congestion and sneezing, chills, and nausea, so I decided that
discretion was the better part of valor and rolled the jib down to a
scrap for the night to ease the boat's motion, pumped myself full of
drugs, and watched my weekly wednesday episode of Dr. Who (a day late)
before passing out for a night of troubled rest. This morning Odyssey
had clearly decided that I'd spent enough time malingering and feeling
sorry for myself - "Hey You, the anchor's still on the bow, you didn't
tighten the lowers enough when the mast went back in, and the inner
forestay needs to be set up! Take care of me or I won't take care of
you!" I felt a lot better than last night, so I hauled myself into
foulies and onto the bow after turning downwind to get a bit of a
smoother ride. Not quite far enough, however, but a few waves down my
pants and one smack upside the head from the anchor locker lid later I
was back in the cockpit, feeling pleased with myself for having gotten
something done. I unrolled the jib, set the windvane back to close
hauled, and headed below for a much anticipated cup of hot tea that had
been brewing all the while, only to hear the whisper-thud of the the
genoa, then the main, gybing as the boat turned exactly the opposite
direction that I wanted. "Damnit boat, not something else!" "Ha, you
think that was enough?! One of the blocks on the windvane just broke,
you bum, and you were too lazy and shore-bound to even notice it! Get
back up here and take care of me! This is what you get for being such a
sad sack last night!" Tea delayed once more, I headed back on deck to
pull off one of my two Garhauer double cheek blocks that lead the the
steering lines from the windvane to the wheel - the rivet going through
the middle of the blocks had sheared off at the lower end. I'm not
quite sure why, but I do know that this particular block has always had
a disturbing amount of wiggle and play in it, where my spares don't move
at all - I think it may have been badly riveted from the beginning. A
rummage through the spares locker and several laz dives later, I emerged
back on deck from the bowels of the stern to the sound of an immense
breaking wave, and found myself staring straight down the blowholes of a
tremendous whale, so close that if I'd had a boat hook on deck I could
have reached out and touched it. "Look, look what good comes of taking
care of me!" I could hear Odyssey snickering to itself, as the whale
surfaced a second time then disappeared into the depths as I got under
way. My tea was, of course, by this time, lukewarm, and to add insult
to injury I promptly puked it back up all over the cockpit. I normally
don't get seasick, and I hadn't been feeling bad this morning, so I'm
not sure what's going on - the combination of a cold with being back at
sea again after too long on land? Either way, we're sailing again, at
least somewhat in the the right direction.

1 comment:

  1. Eric, The crew I sail/sailed with always talked about the "black box." I presume this is an old sailing term. Each time we "check this or that" before things get worse, we put "points" in the black box. Of course the points are used later when we are in dire straights. Good for you for taking care of her!
    Hope you're feeling better...