The morning breeze slowly turned to zephyrs, i did my best to catch each lift chasing the puffs across the bay. 5 hours and five miles later I was drifting backwards refusing to start my engine. I had been sailing engineless for so long at this point I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the day with my new to me loud and stinky engine.
I called the day and turned east to find a little nook and wait for more wind. 20 minutes later it filled in with a vengeance,a short run down the bay and I was anchor down in a rising gale. It was so windy we took a ditch bag to shore to walk Chloe thinking we might not be able to row back to the boat. The thought of sleeping on the beach wasn’t a very appealing one. Soaked to the bone I pulled with all my might gaining 6″ of foreward ground with each stroke. The whole way back to Sookie I cursed myself for not using the engine to get to Eagle Harbor where we would have been hiking to the lake at this point to catch a fresh trout for dinner.
One day back on the boat my friend Adam said to me, “you sure have been recycling your photos lately on the blog”. You try and write a sailing blog 500 miles from your boat, I replied. A day later April said the exact same thing to me. I still have no way to use my new camera because I can’t get the images back into my little iPad, so I have been cheating images. There is a suttle art to blogging and I’m simply not a good enough writer to add posts without images. Annoyed with myself I wonder why I go to all the trouble and expense to purchase and maintain high end items like a motor I don’t like to use, or my camera I can’t use or my Brompty that sits in her nook waiting for the rain to subside.
I can easily explain the camera and bike but the plain truth about the motor is I simply never trust it, the second it fires up I’m waiting for it to fail and it causes me a fair bit of stress. I usually don’t have to wait very long for it to start its path south. Last year, one day out of the mechanics shop and a huge pile of money later, it started to act up on its first use. I can sail Sookie anywhere and prefer to do so over running than nagging, bitching, belching,, stinking engine. Unfortunately just like a surfer can’t surf when there is no swell and a skier can’t ski when the is no snow, a sailor can’t sail when there is no wind. Fortunately there is always enough wind in the Salish Sea to sail everywhere if you a patient and wait for it. There is a fine art to motor sailing, the key is to have the best, well maintained engine you can and then to simply, not use it. Easier said then done but I ran into engineless sailors all over the place happily arriving sans engine just as I did in some of the most challanging areas to navigate.
I’m not saying I’m headed to Palmyra Atoll but before I unwrap my first gift from good old Saint Nic, Sookie will be ready for blue water and believe it or not I place a well running outboard on the top of my list as an engineless sailor so I can sneak into all the little jewels at the end of a long passage and hang Sookie by her little Rocna and make yet another X on my well worn charts. I carry many safety items aboard Sookie. I find that the more back up and safety items I have the less I need to use them, let’s face it. Standing knee deep in water half way across the pacific it too late to order that…
Next time you see Sookie out and about take a peek at her new jewelry, come hell or high water she will have a brand spanking new engine for this years voyaging, I’m tired of recycling other people’s old crap into my life, I’m ready for something brand new.
Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure
– Bob Bitchin