15 August 2008

Day 12: Squally World

The story on July 27 was rain. Rain rain and more rain. How the ocean maintained its salinity levels is beyond me. There was that much rain.

The day began with rain. I heard a commotion on deck, lots of running, angry yells and whatnot. This was a bit more than the usual roll back over and sleep a bit more noise so I hopped up and groggily tried to figure out my harness. I heard Darren very calmly say, "it's all under control". So I started to climb back into the spoon palace. Then the boat just started moving a tiny bit faster and Darren's voice (again, very calmly but with what I'll call urgency now): "let's get another reef in that main". The harness was back on and I made it to the steps before the companionway was shut and the boat was tamed. I looked up and everyone who made it up there was DRENCHED. My, what a squall.

When my watch started, Lissa looked at me like the savior I was, "it's 6A already!!!" She bolted down below. I looked over at Darren, "what the hell happened"? "Ah nothing, a squall about the size of Canada. I named it Canada" You know, I'd always heard they were a peaceful people...you can't always trust the news media. At roll call we found out that this same squall made a bee-line up the course, taking out spinnaker poles and ripping up sails. We got through it in pretty good shape.

This day does completely revolve around rain. My watch was pretty benign, sort of the calm after the storm -- Canada had sucked up all squall activity in its path. But it got good during Phil & Charlie's watches. Around 10A (remember, we were still keeping our watches on Pacific Time), the first post-Canadian squall made its appearance. We hadn't had much daytime rain activity, this was going to be good! We patiently waited for it, looking forward to a bit of wind. And we got nothing. But wet. We did get wet.

This set the tone for the day, light wind, a short period of sunshine, confused wind, rain rain rain, light wind, a short period of sunshine, rain rain rain. Rinse. Repeat.

The first 4 or 5 squalls we had fun. We'd joke around, get ready for it, try to sail in it. And then try in vain to dry off before the next one hit. The wind would get so confused right in front of the squall that steering was nearly impossible. For me at least; I nicknamed Charlie the Ultimate Driving Machine, he could steer through a {insert weirdest weather phenomenon on Earth here}. Seriously, the man can drive.

Near the end of the day, we all just sat in the cockpit glumly getting rained on. It's not like we could go down below and get drier...we were wet and were going to stay wet.

There were some positives to the day. We had a bit of sunshine. We had some rainbows (double rainbow even). Our foulies got rinsed off. And we were almost in Hawaii. At one point, Charlie and Darren were hanging out in the patio reminiscing about the start and it hit me, we'd been doing this almost 2 weeks! Can't let a bit of rain wash out 2 weeks of great sailing.

Based on the day's squally events and Canada the night before and that it was most likely our last night at sea, we decided to change the watch schedules to have more manpower on hand as needed. Lissa, Phil and Charlie would stand watch together; and Darren would join Garrett;s and my watch.

It was going to be a crazy night.

Next up: Day 13: We Made It.


Tillerman said...

Crazy night? That could mean anything.

Does it mean we will actually have some terror in the next post?

Or perhaps the long-awaited video of drunk naked sailors singing sea shanties?

Zen said...

YEah, my thoughts also