Sunday, April 15, 2012

Watch your back

Its quite rightly so that sailors are looking in the direction f the wind, the clouds and the sea, its not often that they worry about what has passed or what's behind them........ but there are exceptions !
South Pacific sailing and anchorage's are stunning, and lull you gently like the warm trade winds and the incredible pacific blue waters which cant be compared with other oceans.Whilst at anchor off Pitcairn Island which is not always renowned as being one of the favourite and relaxed anchoring locations as it is an open roadstead (meaning that there is no harbor or protected anchorage), Xplore swung at anchor with a light easterly wind. The forecast was for the winds to turn to the north in the morning, so I slept with ease and the boat to myself and that doesn't happen very often.In a half dreamy sleep I heard that the wind had picked up a bit, but it was the swell that had really changed and the stern of Xplore was banging up and down with the waves, and then I heard Ga sploosh.Within milli seconds I knew what had happen because the torrent of water that squirted through my open hatch window wiped away anything of those warm and fuzzy dreams that I was having. F........k I heard myself say, a subconscious reaction to the enormity of what had happened.Being at anchor normally means that a boat lays head to the wind and the seas, its normally a smooth feeling, and a time that you can open up the boat and get some breeze inside, especially in the warm tropics, but tonight at 2.30 in the morning it didn't seem like such a great idea at all.I had instantaneously reached over and slammed shut the hatch opening which is not very big but the remains of the wave were still coming in. I reach up to the ceiling close at hand and flicked on the light switch and that bloody F word came out again.The rest of the night I spent wiping, cleaning and drying everything and anything, the fact that water comes into the boat is always an annoyance, but salt water is another thing, being salt, anything that is left with salt water then becomes hydroscopic, meaning that it will always attract moisture, so if for example you leave a mattress to dry out with salt water on it , it will always feel damp and becomes wet very fast if there is a lot of condensation or moisture around in the air.Possibly the lost disturbing and tiresome part of the night, was that I had next to my bunk a pile of about 200 paper navigation charts for all around the globe. not needed at the nav station, I had them safely tucked up in my cabin so they didn't get damaged, Derrrrrrrrrr who's the silly duffer.In the light of day Xplore became a colourfully Chinese laundry, with red, white and blue flags spread from one end of the boat, bow to stern.So watching your back now takes on a whole new meaning to me and Xplore.
 Stephen at Pitcairn Island

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