to begin.


as wicked storms rolled into spring park bay tyler, mike and i would plop a 6 ft sunfish into the angry, angry waters. our knowledge of sailing was nonexistent, and our ignorance made us fearless. 3 high school kids were beyond capacity for this mighty boat. and when the gale force winds got the better of our overzealous heeling, we'd capsize.

stretch, stretch to save our fallen crewman, scramble on the belly of the boat, and then heave all our weight on the keel to flip the beast back over.

soaked and with furious gray clouds above, we sailed onward, only to repeat this joyful turmoil.

ooh the beginning.

the answer to a legit experience on the ocean sea comes from a 35 ft ketch named cappella. she's on her way home to sweden. as of 2.17.11 mats, the 45 yr. old captain, is awaiting my arrival in st. vincent & the grenadines.

the following gnarnia is an attempt to document the journey from the southern caribbean and beyond.

i am no writer, i've never sailed in salt water, i haven't journaled in years, i have no idea what to do when i return home…but…i just bought my first pair of shorts in like 10 years…so…

these entires are meant for myself and anyone remotely interested.

this is.

The Valinor Collective

Saturday, April 2, 2011

night passage #2 - martinique to dominica


martinique didn't want us to leave. rain and heavy wind delayed us til afternoon.

this crossing was unreal.

same watches as before, except this time i was wide awake and alert. i understand the instruments, got to steer, trim the sails, and attempt to tack by my lonesome.
we lost wind on my first watch and began spinning in slow, wide circles. boom slapping furiously, genoa flapping and cracking, shits beeping at me saying we'd gone off course. its pitch black, except for small town lights of humans away on shore. i looked up to check wind direction and caught a shooting star. a good sign. then all around are noises of giant air bubbles bursting at the surface. coming from the left, the right, then behind, this noise as i'm attempting to regain control of the steel boat. a glimpse of a dorsal fin in the reflection of a bright star gave assurance i had some company in my negligable turmoil. they bubbled and bursted and breathed at the surface for maybe 10 minutes and then peaced.

i woke up mats once the spinning got ridiculous and we motored to insane winds and swells off the coast of martinique. coming straight off the atlantic, from africa or some ish.

we were underway with like 22-25 mph winds, massive swells and a solid but vicious cruising speed of 6-7 knots. rain sprinkles were sporadic. and we hit this huge swell just perfectly, sending a wall of water into the cockpit and all over the boat. it would've been severely unpleasant if i weren't huddled under the little roof. water still dripping onto my lap and saturating the seat i was on.
mats releived me of my duty around midnight. i crawl into my cabin excited for rest, only to find my sheets soaked. my hatch wasnt locked. that gnarly wall of sea water found its way all over bed. thankfully, my pillow was salvaged. snatched it up and curled into an uncomfortable contorted position on the l-shaped seat of the saloon table.

i've slept better in my day. the wind howling, boat smashing, angry monsterous moise was relentless. i slept in 20-30 minute sections. the sound of the wind was unbelievable. complete chaos. suspected over 30mph winds.

my shift from 4am to 8am began with nearly no wind. dead calm. mats peaced out. he looked exhausted. and i was alert and determined to keep us on course. trimming the main sail and genoa like a champ, reading the instruments, singing to stay awake and steering like a baller. for the most was all good.

mats took over, i got some much needed rest, and when i awoke we were pulling into Portsmouth, Dominica. (dom-in-neeka)

                                              (hammock rigged in the bow, portsmouth, dominica)
here we are anchored. cheaper, greener, nearly untouched by serious hotels and tourists and gnar mullet has been tamed. alls well that ends well.


Teri said...

Ok Clooney,that trek was a little too much like a scene out of "The Perfect Storm"! Cubby even got scared hearing it!!! FRAAN!!!

Salderos. said...

oooh it wasnt thaaaat baaad

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