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Ahhhh - what a beauty of a weekend. Yes, the world may be going to hell in a handbasket with a global depression, a flu pandemic, and The White Stripes refusing to get back together - but, hey, we've got sailing.
Finally took the family out for an overnighter. And it was awesome. Yesterday we started with a steady 20 with gusts to 30 - and were completely overpowered with our 170 and full main. Smackmutha was at the helm and got to experience a couple of broaches before I heard Caleb's/Jody's voices in my head telling me that there was no shame in maybe one little reef. However, she was smiling ear to ear and throwin' down the "yeehaw" as we were laying over 45 degrees. I love that woman.
After crankin' down a reef in the main, we kept powering through for another few hours as the wind built a bit more. It was howlin! But the "Smacktanic" ate it up and whole family did really well.
We anchored for the night at a small island that had a really crappy anchorage - a shallow shelf of mud on the sheltered side of the island that dropped off a couple of hundred feet about 40 feet from shore. We finally got the anchor to bite on the shelf - but with the wind still blowin' 20+ I didn't trust it. So instead of pulling up and looking for a better place - I slammed a shot of rum, put a dive knife in my teeth, tied a line to my ankle and swam for it (a tiny bit of embellishment there). Tied the line off to a stump on the island and swam back - peeing the whole way. Hey, c'mon, who doesn't?
Anyway, then my 8 year old punk of a son wouldn't let down the ladder. I can still hear his voice..."Whatcha gonna do now Smackdaddy? Huh? Water cold? Why are your lips blue?" It was like having a cloned Sailingdog midget in my cockpit.
We fired up the bbq and grilled some stupid tasty filet-migs in honor of CD, polished off a couple D&Ss and watched the sun set. Then it immediately started blowing and raining like stink again as we bedded down. Hearing the wind in the rigging all night (barely audible over my 5-yo's incessant snoring) made me appreciate a bit more how scary it would be to be caught in a storm at night. Kudos to you dudes that have been through it.
Checked the anchorage several times during the night - not on a schedule or anything like a true seaman would - just when I woke up in a cold sweat thinking we were drifting toward the abyss known as "Carlos and Charlies".
This morning was like freakin' Seattle...cold, rainy, and STILL blowing 30 knots! The anchoring held. But I realized I had another swim ahead of me. Either that or cut the lines...and I'm way too cheap to do that. Did the deed - threatened my 8-yo with bodily harm if he pulled the ladder stunt again - and re-boarded.
Now - to show you guys how cool of a wife I have - Smackmutha was weighing the anchor on the bow. She kept saying how heavy it was - and I kept saying "Aaaaaa...suck it up woman!" (quoting TJK) as I dried off with a used napkin and fought off hypothermia. She sucked it up alright - then pulled the anchor to the surface - STILL CONNECTED TO A HUGE FREAKIN' TREE STUMP! What a monster that chick is...all 108 pounds of her! Did I mention that I love that woman?
We tied off the mess and finally got the rhode and chain unwrapped from the stump and motored on in.
This has to be some kind of sailing threshold we just crossed. No epic sailing per se - but definitely an epic weekend for us. And we can now officially say we're no longer just day sailors.
Sailing freakin' rocks. No doubt.
Last edited by smackdaddy; 04-26-2009 at 05:19 PM.