The night wind persisted, shifting northeast, which forced us off-course by nearly 30 degrees. So I tacked south and could still made a bit of easting… “East is east”–I’d take what I could get.
By dawn we were triple reefed, the headsail wound to less than half its size. See why I was so grateful for the day before!?!…One moment bliss, the next a battle. We fought to make headway through the day bouncing through sloppy, mixed seas…
By morning, the wind still blew stubbornly from exactly where I wanted to go. We bashed on until midday, when I decided I’d had enough. I turned the wheel hard to port, back-winding the jib and then reversed the wheel to starboard, locking us into a ‘hove-to’ position. A girl needs a break sometimes!
Aaaahhhhhhhhhh…the chaotic bouncing settled into an easy, lulling roll. I went below and downloaded a weather report, which called for the wind to shift back to east sometime soon, so I decided to remain ‘hove to’ awhile, making use of the time to get resituated…The charts had fallen from their bungeed spot in the ceiling and the starboard locker had burst open, ejecting half its contents into a heap in the shower pan, water had spilled over the kitchen sink and was dribbling out from under the stove…I organized the cabin, did the dishes, made a meal of broccoli and lentils and soybean sprouts, and then took a nice long shower on deck. Oh what a good shower can do for morale!
Then, not long after 4pm, the wind balked and swung, then set in again from the east! Excitedly I set the sails, trimming us onto a NE course not far off our destination. Back in my dry corner under the dodger, it was like I’d hit the ‘reset’ button…Sorted, fed, clean, and organized, I faced the sea again.
Sleep didn’t find me that night. I rose constantly to check our course, as the wind frenzied between east and northeast.
“You can’t have it all,” I told myself aloud. At least the sky was clear–no squalls or lightning to speak of, no ships in sight, and a big bright moon already in the sky at sundown, a sea companion I never took for granted…
I watched our little arrow toggle on the GPS screen, making pathetic way…then laid back and relaxed with the heavens…frustration fruitless, gratitude a haven…such a funny game, this life.