I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Woe (Whoa) part. II

Two of my very least favorite ways to be woken on the boat are by: 1. lightning and 2. crashing into something. Yet both of these unpleasant ways to get me out of by bunk in record speed have happened in the past, oh, say, three hours.

Early this morning I woke up to an electrical storm. Call me a weenie, but I guess I didn't grow up around enough lightning and frankly, it scares the hell out of me. This could be because I sleep under a rather large metal pole (the mast) and should lightning strike it I am pretty sure my brains would be fried. I was consoled by the fact that there was a large cell tower on shore not a half mile away, and hoped the lightning bolts would head for that instead of Rutea. But you never know. As the flashes and BOOMS got closer and closer together, I thought of our evacuation route.

You see, we were anchored off a nice white sand beach lined with coconut palms. Earlier in the day after we got settled in, Kyle and I went ashore to stretch our legs, play some frisbee and get off the boat for the first time in four days. After we dragged the dinghy up on the beach and stripped down to our swimsuits, we were promptly attacked by mosquitos. I could actually feel the little buggers bite, they were so big and vicious. We both jumped into the water to escape them, but still had to drag the dinghy down the beach and back into the water to make our escape, and of course we were eaten alive in the process. So I had to weigh in my mind the thought of being marooned on a mosquito infested beach versus having my brains fried by lightning. I decided to take my chances with the lightning.

Fortunately, the electrical storm passed and my brains remain intact (relatively speaking). I fell back into a nice, blissful sleep, although I woke up half way when Mom and Dad started the engine and pulled up the anchor. I lazily stayed in bed and dozed for a while as we motored along longer until CRUNCH.

"Corie get out of bed now!" I heard Mom yell as my feet hit the cabin floor. "I'm up! I'm up!" Dad rushed up forward to see if water was gushing in from anywhere and I went up on the bow to see what we had hit. The water was not very clear but I could see the shape of a coral bommie about six feet under the surface. Of course there was no indication of it on the charts - or anywhere for that matter - but there it was. The depth went from 40 feet to 6 feet in a matter of seconds. Scary.

From inside the boat there was no evidence of hitting anything, i.e. water gushing up under the floorboards or a huge dent in the side of the hull. We will only really be able to tell the extent of the damage by jumping in the water and checking out the hull and keel from underneath. Dad is pretty sure only the keel of the boat hit the bommie and there should not be too much (if any) damage to the hull. Whereas the sickening crunch of fiberglass mashing into a coral head is a horrible way to wake up, it is very effective. I'm awake! I'm up! And in fact I'm writing you!

But really, this is getting ridiculous. We are fifty miles south of Singapore and I would like to get there intact. At least we completed our last overnight passage two nights ago, which wasn't fun either. Between the lightning (yes, more), the squalls, the erratic courses of dimly lit fishing boats and the massive freighters steaming along at 15 knots that wouldn't even notice if they ran over us, it was a bit... harrowing. I might be overly dramatic but I am pretty sure I sprouted my first gray hair during that watch. Hooray for no more night watches - at least until we get to Singapore. Who knows after that.

Can't you tell how much fun we're having?! Don't you want to be here too?! I won't even begin to delve into the topic of fresh food (or lack thereof), or how bloody hot it is. Just do me a favor and remember me as you bite into that tart, juicy apple after putting on a sweater on a crisp fall afternoon.
At 10/19/2013 9:34 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 00°28.48'N 104°26.38'E

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