Sunday, August 22, 2010
The boat lifts to the ten-foot wave, hesitates at the top with a flap of the mainsail, then dips as it slides down its back side into the trough. A shudder...water washing down the lee side from the foredeck, and then she lifts again. The movement is hypnotizing. I lie back and watch the stars swirl through the clouds in the night sky. Fifteen knots of wind from the southwest is on our starboard quarter. Things are going great. The Gulf Stream is just ahead and it looks as if we will have a gentle trip across this fickle river of water that lies off the East coast.
Just a few hours ago we were in the safety of the bay at Beaufort, North Carolina. Close to a hundred boats lay at anchor with us, all cruisers preparing for their voyages to the Virgins, Bermuda, Antigua, and all points south to escape the cold of winter. We had joined them in late October after traveling down the Chesapeake and the Intercoastal Waterway. The major topic of discussion among the captains on the docks was the weather.
“What do you think?” asks one.
“Dunno. The wind's to the north,” suggests another. “Might change soon,” hopes a third.
Our problems centered around crossing the Gulf Stream. It can kick up a mighty fuss if the wind blows hard from the north. None of us wanted to face a “fuss” so early in our cruise.
“I think Sunday will be a good day,” one skipper forecasts.
“Dunno, Monday might be better. Give the stream time to die down.”
“I've made this trip 18 times,” said another. “It's always bad and you're always on a port tack.”
“Maybe Monday,” I mentioned tentatively to Judy to see what her reaction would be. “Any time you think is good.”
That was not very helpful, because I did not know what would be a good time. What I really wanted was to have someone, a “Wizard,” tell me to go on such a date at such a time and to guarantee me a calm and safe voyage.
There were some who paid for such a wizard. They contracted a private weather service. We would gather around to look over their shoulders and ask them what the situation was. Waving their fax, they would say that today is definitely not a good day. We would all heave a sigh of relief
“What does it say about Monday?” I asked.
“Monday looks OK, but they recommend Sunday.” I felt disheartened because we could not leave on Sunday. We had yet to provision, so Monday would have to be the day.
The motion of the boat makes me drowsy and my head keeps dropping to my chest. The auto pilot is doing all the work. My mind drifts in rhythm with the motion of the boat.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
This book is comming off the presses as we speak. We are very excited about the way it looks and its ease of use. It contains the full melody, chords, words, and even a CD, by the Bitter End, of eleven sea songs. If you would like to see more click the link.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I am going to write the blog for this week. My pet Ames is being lazy and he asked me to contribute a few thoughts. First you ought to know I’m a five year old (42 year old in dog years) English Cocker Spaniel. I have moved around a lot, but when I was two, I moved from Alaska to Ames and Judy’s house. At first I wondered what kind of humans these were. They lived on a boat in a dismal climate in Washington. We moved to CT and life became much more fun. I like to play in the snow and go visit my friends in the dog park. Here is a list of some of my friends – I can’t pronounce their human names so I name them by their breeds. The biggest one in a Great Dane puppy (He’s huge for a puppy. I can walk under him. Then there are two beautiful collies (They are a bit standoffish.) Also included are an African Ridgeback, Rottweiler (Did you know there is no such thing as safe sex with a Rottweiler?), and lots of other dogs big and small. We play tag a lot. I also have fun when the “Grandpuppies” come to visit. Their names are Rachael and Austin. They like to play and walk with me. Well, I think I have shared enough about my life. Maybe you could share some about your life in the “Comment” section.
I like to listen to music also. This photo was taken while I was listening to my humans playing sea chanties with their friends the Stephensons in Maine