Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 14: Over the Rainbow

A night with 15-20 knots of wind (YEA!) and occasional rain showers (we
prefer that term to squalls) led to a clean deck on a beautiful sunshiny
day with a steadier breeze and smaller swells. So we settled into
another day of sailing, hopeful that it would be an easy steady day with
no surprises, a following breeze and gentle seas.
People often ask what we do on a sailboat all day long, they wonder how
we can stand to go so slow. They imagine that our feet are up, we are
reading and taking naps. Well this perception is far from the truth.
Another phrase that I find laughable is "steady as the wind." Ha! This
wind is anything but steady. It gusts, it shifts, it is squirrely and
demands that we be constantly on our toes.
Sailing is an endeavor that must only be indulged in by those who
relish a challenge. The challenge – to harness the wind. Today we
started with two sails up, the jib and trisail. A little while later we
doused the jib and flew the Genoa. Next we took down the trisail. A
few hours later we doused the genoa and flew the asymmetrical spinnaker.
After an hour of that, we doused the geniker and raised the jib and
trisail again. Then after dinner we doused the trysail again. Each of
these sail changes took about 30-60 minutes to complete and at least
three people working together. It included bonked heads, tweaked backs,
torn sail gloves and weary crew who forgot to stop and eat lunch.
Why do we do it then? Because sailing with no engine feels a little
bit like flying. Through the water, 7 knots feel fast! Because to be
out here in the middle of the sea affords us remarkable experiences of
teamwork, strength, and comraderie. Because we feel closer to nature.
Part of the elements.
And then, at the end of the day, we get to ride a rainbow! And another
one. And another. We watch our children laugh and dance in the rainy
sunshiny deck with a full glorious rainbow behind them and their whole
lives in front of them.
That's why.
From 1,913 nautical miles off shore, 904 more to go.


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