After waiting out the rougher seas and uncooperative wind direction, WIDAGO left Bob & friends at Southside Marina to complete the rest of our first real off-shore passage, with hopes of getting to Tortola. As the insightful reader will notice, the title of the this entry is “Turks to St. John”, not “Turks to Tortola”. So you can can guess what did and did not happen.
Rather than bore you fine readers with minutia of wind direction & speed, and wave height & period. Please allow me to simplify our five day passage:
- OK – this is Ridiculous.
We left Provo, the main island in the Turks, with great weather, running down the inside on motor power, as the wind was on our nose. Beautiful aqua colored waters – I can’t do them justice with my camera. We anchored for the night at the very tip of South Caicos, and were treated to a majestic sunset, calm weather, and a decent hot meal.
Day Two we continued to motor due to an unfavorable wind direction. The seas outside the safe lee of the Caicos Islands were somewhat annoying as we were going against waves and wind. Great news though, as Gordon “The Mahi Slayer”, landed his second fish of the trip, a 22 pounder. Yum.
Day Three we were able to head northeast a bit and put the sails up for a really nice ride. This is where things begin to get interesting… You see there is a reason 70s song writer Jim Croce wrote, “You don’t spit into the Wind”: that’s because those big slimy loogies will come back an slap you in the face.
Days 4 & 5 we were able to sail the entire time, but into the wind, current, and swells. During our final overnight prior to landing in St. John, I was very happy to have Guyon up with me during my shift. I’m pretty sure I would have wrecked. At one point the apparent wind registered 40 knots, and she was flying at 10 knots through the water with the main reefed and jib rolled up halfway. Luckily, it was dark so I couldn’t see how big the swells were. Thank goodness for small miracles.
Since there was no point in trying to get useful schoolwork work on a passage such as this, I had a lot of free time to between cooking, cleaning, and chewing my cuticles to think about how does one prepare both physically and emotionally for something like this. And then it hit me – not the wave, but the metaphor. The best advice I could give someone for how to get ready, is to have kids and raise a house full of Moseley boys.
- The Nausea/Constipation Battle: So the real question is do you want to puke or be backed up like The Washington Beltway during rush hour? Those are your options if you want to take the puke pills – but be sure to have something to loosen it all up on the other end. I tried toughing it out, and the annoyance of nausea beats out a log jam every time.
- You are always dirty: Let’s just say that it doesn’t matter how many times you change your clothes or shower, there is always the grit of salt at the bottom of the bed
- Laundry: It. is. never. done. ever.
- Circadian Rhythm Challenges: When it’s time to sleep, you can’t. When you have to get up, you want to die. Ahhhhh, remember those good old days of night feeding?
- Learn to sleep with one eye open: Preferably the top eye, while you sleeping on your side so you can still watch the AIS and Radar to avoid oil tankers and hurricanes.
- Noise: I know this is not unique to my family, but the Moseley Crew can register pretty high on the decibel scale. You know how after you’ve just put the kids to bed upstairs (in a real house), and are settled in for the night with your special someone to catch up on the latest Black Sails episodes? Then suddenly, you think the entire house is going to come crashing down through the ceiling, as the kids have decided that they should be practicing ParKour to make tryouts for the Next American Ninja Warrior? You know the sound. The vibration of the foundation. Well, that’s what’s it’s like on a calm ride on our sailboat. Additionally, Catamarans, unlike their monohull sisters, will occasionally (or in our circumstances all the f&*@ing time) have a “hull slap”, where the waves hit the boat’s nether-regions, like Barry Bonds on a ‘roid rage.
I know none of these things are Guyon’s fault. However, I still like to blame him for poor weather, inconvenient wave periods, the saltiness of the sea, and my constipation. He has assured me though that he has a cure for at least one of my complaints. Harrumph.
Oh yeah – check out a little feed from the past few weeks: CLICK HERE!