Tuesday, December 25, 2007


A Christmas Day in Bellingham spent sailing to Orcas Island aboard a late 60's vintage 32-foot Cal or Ericson (with the old-style winches). The harbor was calm the bay was a sustained 25 knots. When we passed into Rosario Strait, the wind picked up to forty-plus knots off the port bow with breaking waves.

So we decided to raise the reefed main, and realized it may not be such a good idea. I once asked an old friend when you should reef the main sail, and told me "when the thought first crosses your mind." Well the thought had since passed and we were too late. Our efforts proved futile: when raising the main we couldn't get the reef point set. After years of sailing (and times like these) I wonder what enjoyment I find in this leisure activity: Clinging onto the mast with one arm while pulling the halyard with the other, feet hanging as Somnium rolls through the five foot waves and you lick your wet upper lip to see if it is the fresh (and increasingly steady) rain, or the salt sea (which it is).

So we aborted the mission and head back to port. We will try again Saturday or Sunday.

Evening was to a friend's place and it looked like the weather was breaking. But it wasn't. Coming home was wind, heavy rain and cold, and - forgetting my rain gear - getting wet. But home to a warm fireplace with drying clothes strewn about (including foul weather gear) and Thelonius Monk; it makes for the end of a good day.

Happy Boxing Day northern neighbors.

No comments: