Friday, April 10, 2015

Cutting the grass

Fernandina Beach anchorage.
Kintala has found her way to Charleston, SC. In five days and three nights of sailing she has covered nearly 500 nm, lying now about 375 nm north of West End. Friend Kacey, who recently moved from IL to Savannah, arrived this morning for a visit. One of my brothers lives here as well and we hope to get together; something that doesn't happen near often enough. It will be a few days before we set out again.

I am glad of that for, truth to tell, the press to get from West End to here was not as enjoyable as I had envisioned. We have managed some good sailing, made our longest passage so far, handled unexpected conditions with a certain amount of aplomb, and not broken anything. A lack of wind forced the Beast to be awake for much of the trip, which meant hand steering. It turns out hand steering for a short-handed crew gets more tiring on an exponential curve. Hours at the helm later in the trip become multiples more difficult than those at the start. It just flat wears a body out. A day, a night, and a day is about it without an auto-helm. After that heaving-too for a few hours would be about the only safe choice. And that does not include the energy burned if multiple sail changes are required say, in the middle of the night in a sudden 30 knot blow.

Fernandina Beach sunset.

No more turquoise water. Gunmetal gray and cold.
A few days of resting, visiting, and catching up on sleep, food, and quiet times is a gift very much appreciated. We are roughly 1/3 of the way to where we need to be. When it comes time to set out again it would be good to be looking forward to the traveling rather than dreading the miles. If we had to leave today I would be dreading the miles, and that is a bit discouraging. Until these last few days I have always really liked being “under way”. Moving along, nav systems humming, making adjustments for the weather, tweaking the course, making an ongoing series of decisions about the route; to be under way is to be in a unique place known mostly to pilots and sailors. It is a free-form, flowing, evolving bit of life imitating art; creativity for the technocrat. But somehow these last few legs have been more like grinding out a report for the boss rather than writing a short story for the fun of it.

The only other cruising boat we saw between Fernandina Beach and Charleston
I guess I have should have been expecting that to happen. This is, after all, the way we live; not something we do on the weekends. Sometimes you get to plant in the garden. Sometimes you have to cut the grass. And usually, after cutting the grass, it is time to take a break.

Another hitchhiker. They always seem to be warblers.

I want to go back to de islands mon, where the water and sky be blue and the sand be white.

No comments: