As you can tell I’m still processing my decision. It dawned on me today that this is the second best outcome possible for my (first?) attempt. Of course, the best was the obvious one: finish the course per the WSSRC rules. But coming all the way through the doldrums, and then suffering compromising issues close enough from home to repair, that a U-turn even makes sense. That’s really good too! It means an excellent shakedown cruise, and no repair/refit in difficult/expensive places. Of course, we’re not home yet. The stretch of water between Hawaii and San Francisco, with winter coming, can reserve some nasty surprises. So let’s not jinx it!
One day at a time
What else happened today? We’ve been motor-sailing most day, and only now as I write this and the night is falling is the engine off. We had a light wind about 70-90 off the port bow for most of the day, which worked out great! Now the wind is shifty, but I hope will establish itself firmly soon. Since we motored so much I had to refill the tank. The refill cap is at deck level, which makes this task difficult. I didn’t spill to much (I have absorbent mats) but the funnel extension fell into the fuel tank refill hose! I’ll have to fish it out some day. With light wind today I went up to first reef. I discovered that there was major chafe, and had to do a temporary fix on that. It’ll need replacement. I also bagged up the staysail (should have done that October first!), and moved the corpse of “Big” in the forepeak. I ended the day with nonna’s lasagna and a decadent dark chocolate cheesecake. Yeah! Now if the wind could stop shifting to the north everything would be peachy!
No, not the Singlehanded Sailing Society, instead Serenity, Seamanship, then Speed. So far I had not been at sea more than 16 days, and that was on a heavily crewed boat. Solo, my max was less than 12 days. I had forgotten some essentials. Or more specifically, I knew them but was not acting accordingly. Serenity: the skipper must be at peace so as to be able to focus on the task at hand with his/her undivided attention. Seamanship: everything must be kept under close watch, and if necessary, corrective actions taken swiftly. Do not leave anything for the hand of Neptune. He’s quite mischievous, and will play tricks on you that you hadn’t even thought of possible. Speed: when skipper is happy, and the boat ship shape, then pedal to the metal. Only then. Dang, still shifting to the north. Something will have to be done, and since I want out of the doldrums, I may start the engine again. Look up into the stars! Until next time.
4 thoughts on “End of day thoughts”
Oh, je viens de lire que tu as fais demi-tour! Difficile décision, j’imagine, mais qui ne t’abats pas et tu as bien raison. La vie c’est ça: des tentatives, des échecs, des succès. Et les échecs servent à préparer les succès de demain. Et comme tu as bien identifié ce que tu aurais dû faire autrement, tu es paré pour un deuxième essai. Bravo et bon retour à SF. A bientôt, je l’espère, pour suivre ta deuxième tentative.
Dear Philippe – After your last post about turning around, I had been meaning to write to say to you just the things that you yourself wrote here! Although a bit of an expensive shakedown cruise, what a perfect learning experience on so many levels. Yes, you still have a ways to go to get back. But the boat is still very seaworthy and the captain is still in one piece physically and mentally – as you said, it’s by far an outstanding outcome. I have no doubt that you’ll be off again on this adventure, and so much better prepared for what to expect, with a very good chance for breaking a record or 2 (rather than a boom ;-). Wishing you a safe a peaceful journey home!
“SSS” looks like a logical segmentation for a book. Hoping that you’ll consider sharing your experience in a future publication. Your thoughtful assessment of issues and risks provides a very practical primer for likeminded voyagers.
It’s been inspiring to watch, and look forward to the next adventure. It’s a lifestyle, not a single go-around. Sometimes you gotta scrub the mission like NASA.