Things have gone wonky out here and I know exactly when it happened. It began when someone, I can’t remember who, asked me our estimated time of arrival at Cape Flattery and I forgot to hedge my bets and gave a firm answer. I said we would be there Monday, July 27. I didn’t even put a qualifier in there like ‘god willing’ or ‘if the weather holds’ or ‘if all goes well`. Just a definite date. Man, you would think I knew better by now.
Neptune got on the horn with the north and west wind gods and took a meeting about this hubric opening I had just handed them. They have thrown some higher-than-we-like winds between us and Cape Flattery. And the worst day for the wind and seas will be, yes, that’s right, Monday. Really, it’s like they have thrown down a gauntlet and said Take That, Galapagos! They have chosen gusty winds up to 36 knots and seas to match. Um. That’s not how we roll if we can avoid it. To stay our rhumbline course to the cape at this point would take us right through the widest part of the low. Hmmm. No.
So we have changed course to the Brooks Peninsula area of Vancouver Island to take cover. Our final destination there is still up for grabs because we want to wait to see what conditions are before deciding. It’s 150 miles and we should make that by tomorrow morning, if it pleases the gods, God willing, if all goes well, and all the other qualifiers I can think of. I may need to make some kind of sacrifice to the gods of sea and wind. I better make it count. A coil of hair from my hairbrush will not cut this mustard. Maybe a token gift of some of our last good rum from Mexico. That might do.
We haven’t decided if we will anchor or not. We are in disagreement about that. So we will see. But I have alerted Canada Coast Guard that we may seek safe harbor from wind and I have a direct number to call if we do decide to land. The issue is that we don’t want to check into Canada because even though that would probably be easy, then we would have to go check back in to the US and our own country makes it harder. We don’t know if we would be required to quarantine. We can check in by phone but we would just like to not have to deal with that if possible because they can then require us to meet them somewhere to interview us in person, especially as our trip originated in Mexico and it’s just a pain in the ass.
Meanwhile we played ‘Dodge that ship’ for awhile in the foggy morning mist. I had blocked the memory of how much I dislike that game. Especially in fog. Oh didn’t you know? Our radar, never a great unit in the first place, gave up its slender hold on life somewhere in Mexico. So we don’t have radar, which I HATE. Really, that is not too strong a word to describe my feelings about sailing without radar off the coast of Vancouver Island. My hope and dream is that we get to the protection of the island and then anchor every night to avoid traveling in the dark among fishing vessels we cannot see. Two shots of rum will go overboard with a fervent prayer. Guess what is on our list of things to spend money on? We did get on the radio with a ship named Galapagos because we had to change course to avoid it. That was neato.
In other news I have been reflecting on all the reasons why I like ocean sailing and have determined that it’s because it’s the closest thing to an athlete I will ever be. I was the bane of the existence of all of physical education teachers throughout childhood. Really, kids know when they are wasting your time. In high school I ran track. Yeah, well the word ‘running’ here generally meant a bold sprint, followed by walking the rest of the way with my asthma inhaler in my hand. I was that kid. But by the gods I finished that season. I was no quitter. Well, In. Your. Face! PE teachers! Sailing is an Olympic sport. Ok, maybe not the kind of sailing we do where you have time to write blog posts, but the general public doesn’t know that! I can say I am a sailor and they will look at me with wide eyed wonder, never knowing that I spent the better part of yesterday on the settee stress eating Maui Onion Potato chips right out of the bag because I was worried about heavy weathe r and
didn’t have a plan yet. I also get the added benefit of being permitted to completely ignore the general fashion uniforms of other women my age. I do not have to do nails, hair, makeup, or wear expensive jewelry. It’s great! I don’t have to be on a big team, or suffer coaches’ drama and yelling, or get up for practices or wear ill-fitting uniforms like the gold striped onesies we had to wear in 8th grade gym. And it’s the perfect sport for the mildly social phobic like me. Yes, I have decided that sailing on oceans is my Mount Everest, even with fickle weather gods. Today we have a good plan and the chips are back in the cabinet.
Now where is that rum? I have a sacrifice to make.
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