Sailing Over the Ocean Blue

Dock life is different than anchorage life is different than being underway.  You worry about different things, prepare yourself differently, think differently.  Even where stuff is put away in the boat changes depending on the condition of motion or stillness.

Shifting from comfortable complacent dock life to uncertain, possibly wretched mobility brings a certain amount of anxiety – which goes away once you’re out there and quickly forget you ever were tied to a chunk of floating wood called a dock.

I spaced out taking any seasick meds for the “quick” trip to Oxnard and consequently had a nasty time on what should have been a friendly daysail.  Boo.

I wanted to enjoy the ten hours to Marina del Rey and so inhaled my Bonine and ginger with fervor.  The swells were pushing us as fast as 10kts at times and the wing on wing sails were unstable and needed constant tending.  The autohelm was overwhelmed by the radius of swing and tried to round up several times before I told it to take the day off and hand steered the rest of the way.  I should have gone closer to shore as my buddy boat did and used a more comfortable point of sail, but I was in a kind of trance, watching waves, watching sails, mesmerized by all the motion.

Within sight of the harbor entrance, the wind died but the swells did not.  Now flogging helplessly, the sails had to come down.  This is exactly the conditions in which my beloved outboard is least productive.  For the last two hours I steered facing backwards, timing a serpentine swivel of the tiller to coincide with the top of the big swells to keep the prop in the water.  Like turning on the mogul when downhill skiing.

This took all of my concentration and muscle and if I listened to my buddy boat yelling at me “what the hell are you doing?” I would lose the rhythm and the outboard would cavitate tragically.  And thus we entered Marina del Rey (MdR) and were guests at the lovely Del Rey Yacht Club.  Austin has fared well on all of our trips, and philosophically calculates that the relatively short periods of discomfort in travel are more than made up for by the new smells, cafes with bacon, and beach runs that come after.


One Response

  1. YAY Bacon! Go Austin!


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