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

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

passage #4- antigua to st. martin

early, 6:30, we peace outta Falmouth Harbor. finally an island in good spirits to see us off. perfectly sunny morning, scattered clouds and a strong  breeze. 16-20 knot winds from the ESE, we unfurled only the genoa. with a course of pretty much NW we were cruisin madd with an average speed of like 6 knots. as we passed the lee of antigua, the gnarliest rolling swells were being kicked up all the way from africa or gnarnia or some ish.
 i dunno how to measure swell height but these blue, blue beasts were absolutey insane. they would roll in astern, capella in the trough, this wall of blue appeared aft as if to swamp and crash over us. but, capella would effortlessly mosie up and atop this monstrosity, surf down and this blue, blue beast would pass far and beyond.

this passage didn't win super gnar points, but it was no doubt the rolliest. constant bracing, grabbing and securing everything down. constant. incessant rolling. uneasy tum tum cured through deep yogi breaths and staring at the horizon as my body gyroed and absorbed each rolling and rocking motion.

we threw out 2 troling lures and caught one!! saw the son uva bitch jump high into the air. and it was biig...our pine wood 2X4 with meers of heavy line served inefficient in reelling in the bastard and mats' excitement made the fish spit out the lure, or we yanked it out of its mouth. the few minutes of exhileration was worth it... even though we were fishless....lure #2 was found bitten-broken off at 2am during my watch as i brought in the lines....fishless again...but not giving up

i proposed to let fate decide our watches for the crossing. i crumbled up 3 pieces of paper---one reading 12-4, one 4-8 and one we all chose at random...i drew the 12-4. the 3 person watch system makes all the difference. i nap, watch the sunset, nap, eat a snack, think, look, observe and when my midnght to 4am watch rolls around i'm wide awake. able to dance, hum, sing and groove to the live albums on the ipod and enjoy the clear, starry night.

the strong, constant winds forced us to furl in the genoa slowing Capella down to like 2-3 knots. we were way ahead of schedule and ariving in an unfamiliar harbor under the shadow of darkenss is a real bitch. just after day break we arrived just outside St Martin, but we had to wait for the bridge to open to let us into the gnarly huge bay. at around 1030am we dropped anchor on the french side of St. Martin and 101 nautical miles later in about 24 hours, we were settled.

we cleared customs with the lazy french. the marina and little town looks like it was picked up from france and plopped here on this island. stores, fashion, stores, cafes, narow streets and the sound of french overheard everywhere. unlike martinique, there's no reminer that you're in the carbbean. this is effin france.

another passage in the books and we await provisioning...the crossing is the next hurdle...more on that soon

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