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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Falmouth in the Sun

Rainy weather - so this photo (taken September 2011) reminds us Falmouth CAN be a lovely place!

Fal River seen from Pendennis Castle grounds
Larry is installing the new GPS. In lieu of his contributions to this blog, I've been encouraged - this week by Shelagh and Frida - to write about our life from my perspective. Signe (aboard SV Capabara) laughingly told me about a sailor who wrote a book entitled "How to get a Woman on your Boat".

In my case, it's been 20 years since I surprised Larry and myself by asking to do an "offshore" trip. I'd taken a few sailing courses previously and could sail, but had made a solemn determination never to sail again. With solemn convictions, it's surprising how often one is completely wrong.

I discovered the choice of Captain made all the difference after marrying Larry. However, as a strong feminist I decided to BE the Captain. I took out a group of women friends and we were all assigned tasks. Focussing on navigation, routing, weather and chart-reading full-time precluded my enjoying the things I wanted to do. I discovered a new respect for the office of Captain. All of these tasks are SO easy for Larry - after serving as a pilot for over 35 years, captaining our ship is second-nature to him. My job as Admiral is more important  anyway - I choose the destinations! Inheriting some talent for artistic things, I also control how the boat looks inside and out, provisioning and menu, most written communications, entertainment of friends aboard and choice of and editing of photos.

In 1991 and early 1992 we spent time sailing around one of the world's great "cruising grounds" - the Gulf Islands of Canada's BC, and the San Juans west of Washington state. However, in order to convince me that the "cruising" lifestyle would be a fun way to spend our retirement a  multi-night trip was necessary. Without applying any pressure, Larry managed to mention the joys of being in Hawaii on your own boat - a destination he had previously sailed to several times. So the idea for the trip seemingly came from me!

Traversay II was a 37' Jeanneau "Sunshine". We had no refrigeration - just an ice box. The trip took place from June 25-July 12, 1993 and I kept notes ... here are some of them ...

 We're in dense fog, I thought I spotted a "mirage" on the port-side just in front of the bow. I remember thinking "what's a water-skier doing out here?" when all of a sudden a big fin surfaced right next to me! Larry just missed the orca whale as it disappeared into the fog.

Larry set up our bed (we'll sleep "consecutively") amid-ships using lee cloths on the starboard sofa. We had a drink and he came out to stand watch (2000-0200 hrs) leaving me to try to sleep - too excited and worried about every bump!

I got up at 0200 for my watch. It was pitch dark (very few stars). There was a fishing vessel off the starboard. Later, I watched a huge freighter come in past the starboard side and slowly disappear far behind our stern - travelling towards the harbour.

I was really tired. Fortunately, it started to get light at 0400 hrs. I kept eating, drinking and visiting the 'head' so that helped keep me awake. At 0600 I got out the alarm clock, lay outside and set it for 15 minute intervals in case I fell asleep.  Poor Larry - I got him up at 0730 to add sailpower.

We're trying to keep the boat between 5.5 knots and 7.0 knots so we get there faster. It means constantly shortening and lengthening the foresail (thank goodness for roller furling!) and every now and then Larry has to add or take out reefs in the mainsail.

This Hawaii logbook details the joys of arrival along with my feeling that offshore sailing was "a better thing to have done then to be doing".

The trip over, we had a wonderful time in Hawaii. The people of Hilo (our first stop) were lovely and laid-back. We got to make REAL friends (in my case musical friends) like Buddy and David and George and "Mama" Naluai in Honolulu. What a wonderful introduction to the "cruising" life Hawaii turned out to be!
Seen during a dive

Molokai morning seen from Trav II


Buddy's piano

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