Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Opua: leaving a masterpiece

        A sunny and windy afternoon following the passing of the front.  We had a little rain this morning, but I would have been able to make it ashore dry if necessary.  It wasn’t and I’ve stayed on board.  My travel clothes are out.  The messenger bag packed except for the the last minute items such as this laptop.  The next entry in this journal should come from the flatlands.
        I’ll miss Opua.  I’ll be glad to be with Carol.  Not a bad life for a madman.


        Two evenings ago I was standing in the companionway, as in a few minutes I will be again, sipping wine and listening to music, when I saw a 45’/14 meter catamaran powering at speed from the north.  I didn’t have to see the yellow flag to know she was headed for the Customs dock.  As the crew tied her alongside, even from a distance their relief was palpable.  
        I felt the same when I tied GANNET to that dock a little more than a year ago.  I like being at sea, but upon making landfall I want it to be over before dark.
        The next morning there were nine boats at the Customs dock and several more came in that afternoon.  Today at least another half dozen.  The shore is decidedly busier.  Customers fill the two chandleries, the Marina Cafe, the General Store.  When I stopped by Northland Rigging the other day to pay for the ProFurl Spinex, five sailors were waiting to talk to a rigger.  Fortunately I only needed the office lady.  The dinghy dock is crowded.
        Time to go 8,000 miles for a martini.


        Another Moore owner wrote that he thinks GANNET has the nicest interior of any Moore 24.  If true, that should not be surprising when, as far as I know, GANNET is the only Moore 24 that is lived aboard.
        I do so easily now, but I realize that since my arrival in Opua I’ve been living on the level.  Next year life will again tilt.
        The Moore 24 is a truly remarkable boat that has attracted highly talented sailors and craftsmen for four decades, and still does.  
        It has been said that an artist should always be seeking to create a masterpiece, even though he likely never will.  Yacht designers and builders are artists as well as engineers and scientists, and in the Moore 24 George Olson and Ron Moore created a masterpiece.
       Moore 24s exceed expectations.  Most still day sail and race as originally conceived; some race successfully to Hawaii.  And for one sailor who loves to enter the monastery of the sea, a Moore 24 is the perfect monk’s cell.