I was wrong about Jeff. Where I pegged him as an ex-pat with seedy beginnings, I’m now convinced he simply falls into the camp of the elderly. At lights out, I could have sworn he was in a fight with a chip bag, or a rat got loose in his bunk. The restlessness, multiple trips to the bathroom, and ultimate collapse into high decibel snoring made for an uncomfortable slumber in my bunk above. I’ve located my ear plugs for this evening, so should have a better go of it.
But let me bring you up to speed on the day. It’s 9pm on Saturday, and I’m relaxing on the topsides of the boat - cuddled up in sweat pants, long-sleeved shirt and a puffy vest. The breeze whispering across the harbor has made the evening a little chilly. As I look over the bow, I see the hillside twinkling with city lights, a crescent moon glowing next to Venus. If a sailor finds meaning in the night sky then…
A planet for love, a sky alive by the night, the journey is bright.
As we ate dinner on the boat, my bunkmate and Centenarian, Jeff, commented on how nice it is to just sit in the harbor. Despite his childlike sleeping habits, I respect his thoughts - I am at peace right where we are. Why slip the mooring lines, when you can enjoy this view?
Today was our first full day acclimating to the boat. From 8:30 to 6:30, aside from a break for lunch, we went through every perilous situation we may encounter, and our appropriate response. Fire, flood, man over board, abandoning ship…frogs, locusts, darkness, slaying of the first born. We left no stone unturned, or plague unvisited.
Breaking up into teams, Statton, Nelson and I were in charge of locating every fire extinguisher (8 total), every fire blanket (2), and every potential source for fire (propane, diesel leak, lithium battery bank self-destructing). Meanwhile, the other two teams were in charge of identifying every seacock (holes in the hull where water comes in or leaves the boat), every source of safety equipment from flares to pyrotechnics and all abandon-ship equipment from radios, EPIRBS (notifies the coast guard of our location), and medical kits, to a “grab bag” with our Passports, money, Colombian cocaine and coloring books - anything to pass the time in a life raft or trade for food on a desert island.
In short, the 8 of us spent over an hour looking in every crevice of the underbelly of this yacht to familiarize ourselves with any source of danger, and the equipment mandatory to survive it. Who knew there was a need for a hand-held angle grinder to saw off the mast in the event its lost during a storm. Even the local Orcas have learned how to sink ships by attacking the rudders of sailboats. Seriously, Pharaoh, the Atlantic presents dangers of biblical proportions.
We were cheerfully dismissed for lunch after our morning session, and craving an American meal, I led us to a local harbor restaurant offering up Coca Cola and cheeseburgers. Everyone complained about their undercooked burgers, but I was more concerned about the Kraken we were sure to encounter in the next few days than a little bacteria from an uncooked meal. I thought the meal was delicious.
The afternoon was spent above decks, in the blazing sun, learning every line (they are NOT called ropes), rigging, sail, halyard, winch, and life raft deployment strategy for Falken. We rounded out the day with donning our life vests and tethers, which will keep us safely on board at sea, or will abruptly deploy should we go in the drink. Captain Chris gave a quick lesson on assuming the fetal position in the water, and preserving your dignity and body heat, while bobbing like Orca bait hoping to be rescued in the dark before the boat slips over the horizon. In short, “do not go in the water” was the prevailing advice.
So now that we’ve been scared senseless, I’m crawling into my bunk below, hoping Jeff’s sleeping routine prevents my slumber and resulting ocean-crossing-nightmares. Only kidding, I feel safer and more familiar now with the boat than I did yesterday. Plus, I have my teddy bear so, like, I’m invincible.
Goodnight scary ocean. Goodnight moon. Goodnight Venus next to the moon.
We're the Zimmerman Family!
Home Base | Denver, CO
A family of six that
LOVES to sail !
Follow our crew (Royce, Tara, Avery, Charley, Nora & Ruby)
as we blog our sailing adventures
Set Sail 4.22.23 | Las Palmas - Across the Atlantic - Island of Antigua
Set Sail 9.22.21 | Sweden - Germany -
Set Sail 7.18.19 | Newport, RI -
Martha's Vineyard, MA -
Nantucket, MA -
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