susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We're off!

Tuesday 11 July - a week late!

But off we went - the engine needed about 3 goes to start it, and it does smoke a bit, but sounds and works OK. My fingers are permanently crossed.

Up past Little Bell Island, Big Bell Island and then 'Nobly, nobly, Cape St Francis to the north-east died away' (I can misquote Browning with the worst) - and how different from the gale a week ago - little wind, overcast and rainy.

Then away north west between the Bay de Verde Peninsula and offshore Baccalieu Island, through the Baccalieu Tickle (!). Here be whales, well, one anyway, blowing, with gulls circling overhead. We had picked up a NNW wind and all sails were up, so we scooted past the whale. Hmmm - sailing? or whale watching? A conflict of interest here - guess where mine lies.

Loads of puffins bobbling on the sea, diving for fish, flying like animated black balls. I saw one forced into the sea by a gull - to make the poor little cute puffin give up its beakful, so the gull gets a meal at no effort. Puffins and razorbills are rubbish at taking off from the water.

We rounded the Peninsula, but the wind was now on the nose. "Start the engine" says Jack, and I try trice before making him do it. If it doesn't start at once, and it now never does, I am convinced it never will. But off we chug, under engine and mizzen - shame about having to get somewhere - it was a cracking sail - sun out and leeward rail under - 7+ knots - not bad for a chunky old lady.

A couple of fishing boats came out from our destination. And we had arrived at the fish dock at 5 - 10 hours, 50 miles.


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