It’s well known that when things start to go pear shaped it doesn’t take long before everyone joins in the fun. Yeah, we had our own little theory back in the 60s, Henry tha K (gag) and his little sidekick Robbie McNamara (full vomit) sorry, called this little ditty the “domino theory. ” Yes and how’d that turn out? Obviously proven to be full of crap. However, here aboard Escape Velocity we’re having our doubts.
Dear Escapees, the story starts out innocently enough, like so many do, with a decision that needed to be made before dark. The prudent sailor always reefs his sails before dark because a squall could come up during the night and reefing sails in the dark is difficult enough without the extra entertainment value of high winds and rain, unless you’ve been stuck behind headwinds and current and you finally get a decent wind direction, the first in days. I added that last part, the part about being frustrated and impatient.
At change of watch we both saw a flash of cloud-to-cloud lightning, no thunder. Besides NOAA just said there was no squall activity in our area. I awoke to Marce yelling at me to get up and get out there. I could hear incredible noises coming from outside, it sounded like a freight train in a hurricane. We were so over canvassed and it was too late to drop the sails so I angled EV a little into the wind and let all the sails out so they feathered into the squall, we were doing over 11kts. spilling all the wind that I could. I have no idea how strong the winds were because the wind instrument doesn’t work, and just when I needed a working autopilot most, it overheated and we fell into an area that has no GPS coverage, really Lat. Lon’s from Mars which meant I had no course from any of the seven GPS’s on board. All I had to follow was our Richie compass, cheerfully glowing on the binnacle and even after being swung it is none too accurate. Marce just kept saying it’ll be over soon, it’ll be over soon, like a mantra. I snapped back, “oh yeah, how do you know?” She had turned on the radar which clearly showed that the cell was moving off. Smart girl, my #1.
The squall was tough on my nerves and the tears in the jib but the seams have stopped them so far.
That was a lot of dominoes in little over forty-five minutes.
The following morning a little brightly colored bird flitted down for a rough landing in EV’s cockpit. Exhausted, he could barely keep his head up. He looked like a swallow that had been painted by Liberace (ask your grandparents.) Don’t know if he’s a domino or a good omen. Time will tell.