Sunday, October 4, 2015

Opua: intentions on a windy afternoon


        John of ANAHERE, the Golant Gaffer I admire, told me a good story of the days when he was a delivery skipper ferrying newly built French boats from the factory to Caribbean charter fleets.
        On the way across he and his crew pulled into a marina at one of the Canary Islands for a pit-stop.  When after a brief period they were preparing to leave, the owner of the boat next to them questioned the decision with a less than optimum forecast.  
        John made the crossing without problems, almost immediately got on a plane and flew back to France to pick up another boat.
        They pulled into the same slip at the Canary Island Marina and the same boat was still next to them.  The owner said, “Ah, so you turned back.”
        John explained, and soon he and crew were off again. 
        Reaching the Caribbean they flew back for a third boat, pulled into the same slip in the Canary Islands and found the same boat beside them, but now wearing a “For Sale” sign.

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        From Saint-Exupéry’s WIND, SAND AND STARS:
Flying is a man’s job and its worries are a man’s worries.  A pilot’s business is with the wind, with the stars, with night, with sand, with the sea.  He strives to outwit the forces of nature.  He stares in expectancy for the coming of dawn the way a gardener awaits the coming of spring.  He looks forward to port as to a promised land, and truth for him is what lives in the stars.

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        A sunny and windy Opua afternoon, gusting 20 to 25 as forecast.
        I rowed in to have lunch with a friend and do laundry.  In was downwind, coming back to windward, so I took my foul weather parka and a trash bag to protect the laundry; but I was able carefully and slowly to stroke my way to GANNET without getting wet, a modest triumph in a sailor’s life.
        If the forecast continues to be accurate, I will sail tomorrow probably to Paradise Bay, go around to Whangamumu on Wednesday, stay there Thursday and possibly Friday, and sail back Friday or Saturday.
        The tracking page is:  http://my.yb.tl/gannet.