Monday, May 4, 2015

Opua: grace; passage log (not mine): two weeks

        Last evening while I was sitting on deck sipping red wine and listening to Eva Cassidy’s album, SONGBIRD, a small gaff rigged cutter came out from beyond the jetty to the north and sailed gracefully across the harbor.  
        On deck she is smaller than GANNET, but has a long bow sprit.  I think she may be what is known as a mullet boat; but I am not certain.
       She passed well ahead of us, tacking a few times in light north wind.  
I lost track of her for a while, and when I saw her next she was reaching downwind near Pine Tree Island.  Once past the island she hardened up and headed in our direction, tacking to the south of us  just off the marina breakwater.  With encroaching twilight her solo sailor furled headsails and to my surprise turned on an inboard.  Surprise because so small a vessel seldom has an inboard.  It was a quiet motor.
        Leaving his mainsail up he powered close to GANNET.
        I called, “I’ve been watching you.  You’re beautiful.”
        A dark haired man, in his thirties or early forties, gave a big smile.  “My hat’s off to you, Mr. Chiles.”  We had never met; and I must confess to being pleased he knew of my voyage.
        I replied, “Ahh.  To small boats.”

        I have written about Dan and Audrey on COYOTE, a LeComte Medalist 33, before.
        They have just completed their first offshore passage from Mexico to the Marquesas Islands; and Dan has just uploaded his passage log which I find interesting and think some of you might, too.
        My congratulations to them both on their successfully taking  the leap into their unknown.


        Not quite 2:00 p.m. here.  
        The General Store starts making pizza at 4:00 p.m. and I’m hoping to row in then and get one.  Not the greatest pizza, but a change; and even for me without refrigeration, dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.  However, the sky is a bit unsettled and the wind increasing, so it may not happen.
        Two weeks from now I’m on a bus to Auckland.  
        And at dusk two weeks from tomorrow, I’m standing looking down from the third floor at people walking dogs, instead of out at a small cutter gliding across a harbor.  
        But I will be with Carol.