November 8, 2012 by Last Star blog
November 6- Election day. America starts a tumultuous day today, a tight race between two very strong ideas and opposing forces—it was same for us today on Last Star. I think I was in bed by 8 pm last night, I wanted to stay and watch the Voice, but I was so cold and so tired I crawled into bed. I was laughing at one point that I had on 3 shirts and my hat and I was still cold. The boat is cold soaked and the cold weather and water it sits on does little to warm the cockles. The other night we had a ‘lovely’ thunderstorm , we were anchored a little bit in the middle of nowhere so that was a little nerve wracking, or as Alek told me, “oh, how nice Mom, a LIGHT show!” My sweet boy. Some nights when we are in the salon and are watching a movie, having a cup of tea, it feels like a cozy apartment, not a boat tethered to life by a couple of links of chain and a coil of rope. Me: ever in denial. Needles to say we were awake early, early to bed early to rise. The cats sleep around me so I move very little in the night, and I woke with a searing pain in my right shoulder and hip, just cold arthritis getting the best of me. Breakfast and a fairly leisurely take off, as we knew it would be a stressful day but a fairly short one compared to the 10 hour day the day before. As predicted, it was windy and rainy. We rock and rolled out of our little harbor in the mouth of the beast. I am sure Hank will give you all the technical details like winds 15-20, waves 5ft…etc, but let me give you the girlie emotional version! Yes, the seas were the worst we’ve seen, yes it was raining, and yes it was windy! Whoever tells you fair winds and following seas is cursing you, following seas mean you are in a washing machine going up-down, right-left at crazy angles and speeds. Yesterday, there was water over the toe rails and water in the scuppers, which means we healed over so much that the boat edge was under water. YIKES! But really, that was fairly controlled and a blue sky and sunshine do a lot for this green lizard. Today as we got ready to raise the sails, we had a few little issues to contend with: there were waves crashing on us, there was the boat riding down the front of some of the waves, and then there was the wind rushing us along. You have to turn the boat straight into the wind to raise the sails and this proved a little more dramatic than I can possibly describe. Just let me give you this visual—Hank the spider. There are 6 cockpit cushions that you sit on lining the cockpit, and 3 square flotation devices we lean against plus the two cats in the cockpit with us. About the time I wheel the boat into the wind and Hank reaches for the line to let out the head sail—every single thing in the cockpit starts to fly around and Hank is doing the spider dance: Hands reaching, feet jumping, core trying to balance. I am laughing out loud right now, but at the time I must of have looked like a wide-eyed deer in the headlights: WTF? Of course, this was followed by Hank throwing all the cushions through the hatch below followed by the cats. I didn’t know cushions could be the ‘c’ word. (Later the boat was one too, and both cats, and both sails…)Then out came the main sail. They say trouble comes in threes, well, we accidently had a line caught in the mail sail making it impossible to get out—rinse repeat. Later it was time to tack and a loose halyard was caught in the head sail trying to bring it in—rinse and repeat. Half through the morning one of the jib sheet cars broke off—yes, while sailing! All this while riding up the waves, having the back of the boat swept out from under us, then healing over with water in the scuppers. I was green by 9:30. At one point I looked at Hank and said, “Ok, my vomit plan for today is over that edge there: be forewarned.” He was looking a little green around the gills too, for a fighter guy that tells you how rough it was. It was 6 hours of holding on, praying, watching the waves and fighting the tailwind to get to our harbor. I asked Hank if he thought scared shitless and butt clenching counted as a glute workout, he said no. Damn the luck.
We were putting away the sails, which after the trouble of three out of the way, went remarkably trouble free. However, as we approached the entrance to the harbor I noticed something black in the water, as I am always on dolphin lookout, I peered through the binoculars and saw it was a crag of huge freaking rocks—in the ocean! YIKES. The channel into the harbor was lined with these “mounds” as the chart called them. Vessel killers are more like it. As we entered the harbor we were welcomed by my dolphin friends, my response: “see honey, it’s all good now!” The mornings we are greeted by dolphin always seem to go well. Did I mention there were none this morning?
After lunch of hot soup and tostadas we were talking about the day and he turns to me and says, “Hard to believe 2 hours ago we were out there in that craziness.” Me: “yes, like childbirth, you think you are going to die and then when it’s over you are so like, oh that was yesterday.” We were also saying how exhausting a day like today is when you are physically cold and tight for hours on end and emotionally drained from the stress. However, I have to say Hank thanks me every day for my ‘hard work and help’, even after I stand on the bow screaming the f-word at him (well, he was asking the impossible, in my defense.) So, today when he thanked me, I just burst out laughing and couldn’t stop until I was crying. He asked me what was so funny, and I said, I have to laugh or I would be sobbing. And then I thanked him for bringing me on this exciting adventure in water hell. LOL. We both laughed. When’s happy hour?