Friday, January 21, 2011

“Sweetest Thing” Day 4

So if you are wondering what it is like to take a ride on a Catamaran in a storm offshore do this:

Go get a cake pan from your kitchen and if you have children grab one of their little Lego men (if you don’t have Lego men readily accessible substitute with a paper clip or any other small item from your desk drawer.)

Sit down at your kitchen table and imagine that it is the surface of the sea. Imagine waves much higher than the sides of the cake pan. Holding on to the end of the pan nearest you start to gently raise and lower the pan with your imaginary waves while counting to 5. Gently 1... 2... 3... 4... now the key is every time you get to 5... you slam the cake pan down on the table as hard as you can... it is only hard enough if the Lego man becomes airborne. Now you know what it is like.

The storm we knew was coming is here and it has been a rough and tumble night. The main is triple reefed and the jib has a deep reef as well. At one point in the night the reef in the main decided to slide out. The reef line runs to a winch but there is no cleat or spin lock to lock it down... that’s a problem and it’s a problem with every line at the cock pit. We have the lines all run to different things to secure their ends where they come off the winches.

The wind is forcing us east right now rather than south and east but that’s not a problem. When you are sailing to St Thomas the real problem is getting far enough east that when the trades fill in you can reach south. Often you end up sailing as far as Bermuda. Those of us who do this trip a few times a year call the 65 longitude line “Highway 65” because often once you reach that longitude you can head south. The weather guy tells us that we can expect north winds tonight and tomorrow so we will quickly make up our south at that point as well.

We sadly had to throw out some food as the freezer never actually froze anything... don’t worry... Dylan still has LOTS of food to choose from! On a note about Dylan. I spent most of my adult life working with and teaching teenage boys and I have almost never run across a kid with such a teachable and unflappable spirit. He never complains, is always available to help when you need it and is almost too brave. I would sail anywhere with him. He reminds me a lot of... Jimmy. One day I would love to do a trip with Dylan and my son Jimmy as crew. What a hoot that would be! Thanks again David and Lori for being the kind of parents who encourage your kids to stretch and grow through experiences like this one.

Well I have to cut it short... getting hard to type... I have to hold the computer every... well 5 seconds.

Slammin Offshore,

Captain Tofer, John and Dylan

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