“Bang!” Peeling back one side of my noise-cancelling headphones, I listened for screaming or anything that might reveal the source of the noise. Nothing. I continued to get comfortable in my bunk, having just laid down for my 8pm to 2am slumber.
“Guys!” Staton entered our forward cabin with the excitement and concern of a little boy discovering a snake under the front porch.
“The spinnaker just blew. We lost it!” He expressed.
“Is it in the water?” I asked with mild irritation, more concerned with the likelihood that I would be required to dress and help above decks than the ramifications of losing our power.
“No, it’s still attached to the boat, but ripped in half”. Staton shared in exasperation before turning to go, back into the chaos of the cockpit.
Looking over at Alejandro, peeking back at me over his lee cloth, I noticed we shared the same concern. Will we have to get up now?
Has Poseidon stripped us both of any consideration for our crewmates? Are we always this selfish?
I glanced through the hatch that provided a skylight to our little bunk room and watched as half a spinnaker fluttered comfortably in the breeze. ‘What should we do’ my eyes asked Alejandro. Neither of us wanting to move.
Then came the command to help on deck. Alejandro jumped out of his bunk adorned in his Costa Rican Super Man underwear, and I in my boxers. Forgoing all safety, or decency, we opened the hatch, and hopped on deck, reporting for duty.
Vicky, our quiet Canadien, sprung into action to assist pulling the sail down to the deck. At that point, we collaborated to gather what was left of the kite and shove it down into our bunk room below. Lines, shackles, ribbons of the ripped sail, the sail bag, my aforementioned guilt - all down the hatch.
Looking below at the mess we had created in our bedroom, I realized any hope of a restful night were as likely as a repair job to the pile of ribbons that once powered our boat. 20 minutes later, we had bagged the sail, cleaned the lines and dragged the entire mess back on deck to throw in a forward cabin. My little Latino roommate and I retreated to the cockpit to cool down in the evening breeze and await further instruction.
Now what, we asked, looking to Chris for guidance or a glimpse of hope in ultimately reaching Antigua.
“We will sail without the spinnaker.” He clarified, for those that were unaware paper-mache makes for a poor sail.
Was this punishment for not cleaning Mia’s kitchen, or screwing up the logbook for the 6th time in as many days? Was Poseidon mad because we were always steering away when we should have been coming up? Or coming up, when clearly the captain wanted us to fall down? Whatever the cause, this would certainly slow down the trip. But again, my opinion has been made clear before - there are faster means of reaching a destination than via sail.
That said, there was general excitement earlier in the day over our anticipated arrival date, given the heavier winds, and breeze direction. I had laid out an entire agenda, given our anticipated early arrival. There would be site seeing, and rum tasting, scuba diving on Antigua and even thoughts of an overnight or two in Miami to catch a Stanley Cup game.
Back in my bunk, dreams of an early arrival crushed, I was reminded that mother ocean was still in charge. Man plans. God laughs. With that, and the guilt of my selfish response to assist, I rolled in my bunk, sleepless, for 5 hours before I was again called to my duty.
It’s 4:23 the following day. As if to accentuate the previous evening’s losses, we were greeted to dark skies and angry seas in the morning. Which, according to Nelson, a “doctor”, was my mood’s diagnosis at 8am when he came on watch. No sleep, guilt, lost dreams, compounded by a shortage of cereal had all put me in a foul mood. Crashing into my bunk, exhausted and fully clothed, I was lights out on impact.
And when I awoke, everything had changed. Four hours of REM cured nearly all of my ailments. The sea state had settled, and the blazing sun had befriended a cooler breeze while I was asleep. Mia had prepared fresh scones, which to Staton’s vocal displeasure (he can be such a baby sometimes), I devoured with a ravenous appetite. Brushing off the Captain’s comments about my mercurial state and misunderstood sleeping patterns, I all but skipped up to my watch thirty minutes early.
I found time to read, sunbath, prepare hard boiled eggs for the crew, and even knock out a quick load of laundry over the handful of hours since waking at 11. We are on a course that will force us to jibe a few times before arriving in the Caribbean, but all is not lost. I’m still hopeful that there is scuba diving in my future, and perhaps a Panthers game in Miami. I’m the eternal optimist - as long as I get my sleep.
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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