Monday, May 15, 2017

Sailing Nights

Well this was a short season wasn't it? One more overnight hop and we will get hauled into a hot sweaty yard and perform two weeks of boat cleanup and storage work. I feel like we just did this. We did and it sucks to have to do it again so soon but life is weird sometimes.

As readers know we are not fond of overnight sailing. Weird shit happens at night.

Before we had autopilot we were doing an overnight down the east coast of the US. I commented to Deb about the high speed powerboats zipping around. Damn those are fast! We near a Navy base or something because those are definitely military. Wow! Deb says, "Those lights are stationary. You are turning the boat." Huh? I looked down at the compass and sure as shit I was turning. Good thing it was dark so my glowing red face didn't show too bad.

One night off the coast of the DR we lost all GPS systems. All of them. Even the handheld. The autopilot went nuts and so did I. What the hell is going on! I called over to SV Odin and they were like, "What the hell are you doing up there?" They never had the problem. Weird. I'm sure they looked at each other and said, Have another beer Paul!

There was a night I was on watch and downed a bag of Reese's Peanut butter cups. The whole bag. I was not right. I think I started hallucinating. To this day I can't even think of them without my stomach getting queasy.

Deb was on watch heading for Grenada and I come up and she has a strange look on her face. I ask her if there is anything I need to know. She gets up to go below and says, "A UFO and that big ship is heading for us". I ignored the sky for the UFO but saw the ship coming at us. Geezuz!! She went to bed.

Deb comes up to relieve me on our sail from Trini to Grenada. What's up? Nothing going on except that bird will not leave the Bimini. You can see it's tail sticking out over it right there. I point to it. It will not leave. I tried punching the canvas to get it to fly away but it just moves to another spot. Deb just blinked at me and I thought maybe punching the bird was bad so I explained that it shit all over the Bimini and I think it peed on my arm. Stupid shitty bird. I went below. Deb let the bird ride without trying to punch it and it hopped off within site of Grenada.

Deb was asleep in the cockpit while I was on watch. It was a little stormy so all the canvas was up and I was sitting up off the seat and next to the canvas. I had on a headlamp in case I needed light. I was just sitting there thinking of the usual weird stuff and a large something smacked into the canvas right next to my head. I damn near jumped out of my skin! I flicked the light on and unzipped the canvas to take a peek. As the rain and sea hit my face I could see a large flying fish flipping around on the deck. Holy shit that thing damn near hit me in the face! I went over to Deb and shook her awake to tell her and show her the fish but I forgot the light and she woke up to blazing LED's hitting her in her eyeballs. She thrashed a bit shielding her eyes and then told me I was an asshole and some other things I could not quite make out. I went back to save the fish but it was toast.

Off the US coast Deb says, "Damn that ship is big." I look back and see it's all lit up so it must be a cruise ship. It's heading towards us and moving fast. Nothing on AIS. Let's keep an eye on it. Minutes later. That damn thing is closer than I thought. I might have to call them to let them know we are out in front of them. Then as we are watching this "ship" the clouds part to reveal the moon rising behind us. There was laughter.

One lonely night of boring droning diesel motoring in flat seas I thought I would put the headlamp on and in the red light write a little bit. So I wrote something. I basically wrote a porn story about a sailor who has sex with a Mermaid on the deck of a sailboat while underway. I read it in the morning and I thought, what in the hell was all this about? Wow. It was a comedy of sorts but naughty as hell. I still have it but it will never be posted.

Deb was sleeping and I am sailing down Martinique. The wind is getting light. We had just enough to keep us moving at about two knots. Wait. Two knots going backwards! What the hell is going on here? I am pointing south but the GPS has me tracking north. Huh? My tired, sleep deprived brain could not get a grip on this. Before I started losing it I realized there is a current pushing north. We had just enough wind to keep the boat pointed south but the current was carrying us north. We started the diesel and continued...south!

I will try to sail in any wind before starting the diesel and Deb refuses to say, "Start the motor". No one wants to run under power but I am too stubborn to give up on sailing and Deb has this weird thing about not being the one to decide to power up. It can get strange as we drift along at 3 knots. Eventually I give in and then Deb frowns like she wanted to sail at 3 knots all day but Mr. Motorhead has to burn some dinosaur juice.

Don't sail with us. It's maddening. Ask our kids :D

We have another overnight in store for us as we head further south. I am hoping for a normal voyage but just once I would like to see the UFO.


"Sailing Nights"

Like the wind that carried ahab
To a far, more distant shore,
To a shipwreck that was certain
Long before.
I can see there's no use sailing
Among ships i've known before.
It will only bring me more,
And more and more
Lonely sailing nights, more,
Racing, dimming lights.
Lonely nights, and all too
Familiar sights.

Just as water seeks its level,
So i only seek to live;
Hoping somehow i can find
A way to give.
And the sea, it softly beckons,
"come and go where you've not been."
With the dawning of a new day,
I'm gone, again.
Lonely sailing nights, ... gone,
Racing, dimming lights,
Lonely nights,
And all too
Familiar sights.

By Bob Seger
posted from Bloggeroid