Saturday, February 20, 2016

It's good to be a Weenie

I know we sound like weenies sometimes. Other sailors are at sea for days or weeks at a time and in all kinds of horrible weather while we port hop in the Sun and light breeze. That's cool. More power to them. If that is what you like to do then go for it. We have a totally different view on cruising.

We like to venture out when the wind is favorable and not on the nose. Our boat handles up to 20 knots without a reef in the main and the headsail at up to 100%. Most times we shrink the headsail if the wind builds. With a reef in the main she will sail flat in over 20 knots and maintain close to 6 knots through the water. So, the wind is not a problem, it's the waves.

Our comfort zone with regards to waves appears to be six foot or less and more than 8 seconds apart. We have handled way more than that at times and we do not like it. Debra gets a little seasick if we get bounced too bad. For some reason I only get seasick when down below reading a chart or cleaning up broken beer bottles. The gear gets bounced around and stressed and the interior turns into the morning after a Rave. If you are motor sailing into it then the engine is under more stress than usual and the sails are sheeted tight and the rigging is getting a workout. When we see waves 7 to 9 ft we stay in port. If we get caught out there we will adjust but we do not knowingly venture into it.

Why is that Charlie Brown?

First of all our boat is our home. We have no other place. This foating fiberglass hull is where it's at. Should we put her on the rocks or sink her in high seas we have no other place to go. Therefore, we are fairly cautious with what we do with our 44 ft of floating shelter. I know all of us feel the same way about our boats but it does make a difference if you have a house or a condo to go home to. You may be a little more adventurous is all I'm saying.

Secondly we made an agreement before we left on this adventure. No risk taking when we don't have to. If one of us feels the conditions are too much then we do not go. Yes there is some lobbying at times but for the most part we respect each others opinions on this. We are retired after all so why the rush?

The third reason is cost. We are on a low budget. It was the only way to leave the rat race when we did. Keeping expenses down keeps us out here. Breaking shit is expensive. When you venture out in conditions that remove the smile from your face then you risk breaking shit. Happens all the time. The last high seas adventure we broke a Harken block on our topping lift. I raced enough over the years to see rigging failures, blocks explode, lines break, poles bend, booms break and even lifeline failure. I clung to the toerail with my left hand and foot to stay onboard one season as the lifeline parted. The water was a cool 40 degrees and I was not going in it! The point here is that even racing boats with new gear, or gear that is maintained for racing and only raced 4 months out of the year still fails when stressed only once a week!

I don't want to see that shit anymore. We take it easy because I do not have a spare for everything. There is no spare Debra either. However I am easily replaced with Paulie 2.1. He's taller and the personality algorithm has been modified to reduce whining and anxiety and is easily programmed through your smart phone. No more pulling the finger to change modes from maintenance to cooking to woohoo!, etc.

I can still see the couple on TV who called it quits after cruising their entire adult life. They returned to England and the reporter asked them how they managed to cruise the world for so long. They responded by saying they avoided risk. The reporter asked them how they handled bad weather. They said they didn't. They stayed n port. They were about 80 yrs old when interviewed and were going to continue living on the boat in the harbour. They were too cool.

So basically we do not risk it much out here. We can't afford it and we do not like terror. We get enough of that just sitting at anchor sometimes (Derecho). Now off we go, the easy way, riding one slow moving front induced settled weather pattern at a time. It can get here any time now.

PJJB 2.0

The Paulie 2.1 also has lower fuel requirements so say goodbye to carrying 14 cases of beer on those long voyages. The 2.1 will function a full day on only 24 ounces! Now you can explore Islands without bars!

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


  1. Thank you for writing this post. Now when I get the inevitable question about why we're not going when everyone else is, I'll just point them to your post. You said it way better than I could.

    SV Kintala

  2. We're with ya! When we finally start cruising, we'll do our best to avoid a schedule and bad weather. We don't like terror and extra expenses either .. LOL!