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Air Power - Log day102

Day 10-Nov 14th.

A couple of weeks before we departed the Washington, DC area to meet up with the World Cruising Club in Portsmouth, Va, we received a handbook in the mail. With all that we had to take care off, our main focus was on purchasing additional safety equipment that is required. Such as, a spare VHF antenna, in the unlikely event you lose your mast. So I quickly skimmed through pages, figuring I would have plenty of time to read it more thoroughly during this passage. I remembered a topic that said, Prepare your heavy sweater. Now, what is that suppose to mean? Jill loves to knit, and I have a few Irish Aran sweaters. I don't need them where we're going, so they are in those bags you suck all the air out of, and stored in the forepeak. (That's the storage area in the bow of the port forward stateroom.) When I finally got around to giving the handbook a closer look, it said Be Prepared for Heavy Weather. Oh, now I get it. A little late, but I got it.

The winds weren't particularly high yesterday evening and night. Probably around 15-20 kts, but the waves were pretty big. Using our 44 ft catamaran as a yard stick, I would say the swells could easily have between 15 ft. Not a big deal, given the distance between each crest. But the wind blown waves that crossed the swells, made for a bit of a bumpy ride. To make matters worse, we had our bow about 40 degrees into the wind, and we were still being blown to the southwest, which we fought hard to prevent. We want to land in the BVI, not Hispaniola.

This bouncing up and down into the waves all night long was similar to when we left the St. Augustine Inlet, last year, with wind against current. Similar to a mechanical bull, it was quite ride. It wasn't quite that bad last night, but none the less, I wanted to suggest to Rudi & his wife Desylnn (builders of the Maverick), that instead of those two bucket seats at the helm, why not put two western saddles, complete with stirrups. Yee haw! Ridem cowboy. Jill has always had a soft spot for cowboys so it seems to fit. And why not? They built us a saloon, and a cockpit the size of a corral. I'd bet it would hold two medium sized horses if they rode sideways. Actually, that is where we keep our two recumbent Catrikes stored. (I didn't make that name up. You can google it, if you want). But honestly, its 2 cats on a cat. Sticking with this western theme, they also had the good sense to name their company, Maverick. (Maverick Yachts of South Africa to be more precise.) Were they thinking of James Garner, Mel Gibson from the TV series and movie? Or was it bad boy Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Breaking all the rules in those thrilling scenes of air to air combat and buzzing the control towers on the ship and the training base. Now that's Air Power!

Who ever heard of a quiet fighter jet with lit afterburners? Most non sailors think sailing is an idylic, quiet, relaxing way to while away an afternoon. Most of the time, that is true, except quiet is a subjective term. Many years ago, I had the luck to get invited for a ride in a hot air balloon. My first thought was, how nice and quiet it would be drifting a few thousand feet above the ground. The noise of the propane burners filling these 12-15 balloons so early in the morning didn't surprise. There were so many at once. Makes you think of standing behind a Boeing 747 during take-off. Once we got up to altitude, it was nice and quiet. You could hear voices down on the ground. But every time I or the other passenger tried to comment, the pilot would hit that gas burner over our heads. Deafening, is the only word to describe it.

So on this boat, Air Power, we have numerous noises to contend with. Under the best conditions, you can hear the water rippling by the hulls. If you were asleep in your berth, it could send you running to the head (bathroom) every couple of hours, questioning yourself. Did I really drink that much caffeine last night? Then there is the apparent wind, increasing from 10 to 15 knots. Making slow sailing, much faster, can sound like music to your ears. Taking wave hits on the side of the hull can make you sit up. Especially, on the occasion one sneaks under the boat and slaps the under side of the saloon. Kind of gives you a jarring feeling. So you get the sensation of being jarred and a thunderous boom. But there is no sound like when the wind picks up, your crashing over waves and storm cell dumps massive amounts of rain on top of you. (Just like what is happening to us right now). All at the same time. What do I do? Take the batteries out of my hearing aids, and enjoy the ride.

Dave had been in a rodeo once. It was intermission entertainment. He was part of a 3 man team in a calf dressing contest. (Capture a calf, place a set of boxer shorts on backwards with the tail coming out the fly). They won first place in that and another event.
Still beating into the wind--only a little over 300 miles to go.

That is all news from Air Power for today.--Dave & Jill

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