susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Monday, July 03, 2006

Oops, We Did It Again...

Left St John's yesterday, Sunday 2 July, sun, wind SW 4-5. One of my earrings jumped ship - preferred to stay here, obviously (not the diamonds) - and I dont blame it. Bye bye street art, street music, street people!

So, out through the Narrows, turn left, past headland after headland under reefed main going 5-6 knots. Saw usual crowd - puffins, black guillemots, razorbills banking round the bow showing off their fat white tummies and little black legs (aaah!). Then whales blowing near into the cliffs, slapping and slapping the water with their tails, frolicking round their caplin breakfast.

Wind picking up as we go north, and as we get to the top bit - Cape St Francis (Patron saint of travellers, BTW) - it's roaring away, as a guess 6-7, gusting more, and the waves are 2-3 metres. Hard to tell. We harden up into the wind to round the corner, and because we're coming off an easy reach, so Fortune starts her rodeo. Whoaaaaa! Already got the foulies on and footwear of choice - barefoot deckshoes; and J has put a second reef in the main. Weathering the Cape is a payoff between direction and speed - we go for speed, and go further offshore, where a tanker steams, by steady in the water.

We put a couple of tacks in, but to get on, the beast is started, putting the wind further round, so we can get by without tack, tack, tack. It's always going to be a trade-off - if we want to get somewhere before we drop, we motorsail.

(Note: because after all, Fortune is Jack's boat. "Pull it in a bit, Jack" - I indicate the mainsheet, following my alteration of course, coming into the wind. "No, bear off a bit," he replies. Which I do. Half a minute later, "Point up a bit more," sings out Jack, hauling in the mainsheet. Tee hee)

Now the wind is up again, and we have a cheerful gale in the sunshine! (Note the different attitude from the last one, eh, byes?)

So now it's madness and mayhem, all over again. All over again, the boat is swept and swept with green waves - and of course, guess who's always in the way? Yep, with mouth open, as well. Yum. Jack can't believe I find this funny; when he wants to alter course by Three Degrees (three, Jack?), I'm in the cockpit: "A woman needs a good man ..." clinging to the mizzen mast like a lover should.

We leap and lurch our way down Conception Bay, hard on that wind, trying not to luff up as the boat jangles sideways into a trough. And in the middle of all this, J decides he has to have a crap - I cannot believe anyone's system is functioning - mine isn't because it daren't! Each to his own.
J takes the helm while I brace myself in a corner of the cockpit, back to the waves, which slap and slash over my head. I can semi-sleep like this - still aware, but hugely relaxed, and 15 minutes of this later, I am ready to go again.

Having left St John's at 7 that morning, at 6 pm we finally make out the entrance buoys to Long Pond, Conception Bay South, round up, take the main down, and motor into the calm behind the breakwater, and the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club. We make a miserable sight at their pristine dock - a couple of drenched, bedraggled ragamuffins. I'm still buzzing, but J is, not surprisingly, tired out. We both shower, and he spends unwinding time quietly checking and altering the mooring lines. I check in get a G&T on a tab at the club bar, listen to Jim and Fergus on the CD player, do supper (see Boat Soup later). We both fall into our bunks by 9.


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