ADVENTURESS - "There were whales. Big ones"

2015-01-13

Cha Cha's Turkish meatballs filled our growling bellies. Robusto Mike painstakingly recorded the patterned minutia of telling data. Each degree on the compass, each half knot of speed, and every attended detail is a joy to struggle for. These glorious days would be lovingly la-vida-loca endured on any voyage, but sailing fast for a Panerai Transatlantic race begs our minds, bodies, and hearts in demanding fashion. This feeling is agreeable, not to our sensibilities, for sailing across an ocean in a modern world doesn't make sense, but to our romantic ideals, for sailing across an ocean in a modern world makes all sense.

 

This is a gentle race of bloody knuckles, squinted eyes, burning muscles, and fatigued minds. It's a focused, raucous, giddy life-elixir of spirit-raising camaraderie, mettle-testing, and throttle-back, inhale-deeply, exhale-to-smile, and love the life well-lived challenges. Down time is oh so rare, and our ship's library of piratical authors like Joey Conrad and Willy Shakespeare and Tommy Robbins lies largely untouched. No rest for the weary. We push and push for our big days, hoisting canvas and piling on the mileage, ever wary of striking sails for squalls in the attempt to efficiently demand all that Adventuress can give us. Which, turns out, is a lot. Our graceful girl is powered up, and the wind whips around and past curving sheets of taut white cloth while the wooden masts groan and the big rig moans. Every creak and jolt and chafe and hum is further stress testing for the fine folks at Rockport Marine in Maine, and our list grows for our conscientious refit designer. 
Looming, rolling waves sparkle and rise under the day's powder blue canopy. Rushing sea intimidates with the rumble of water-falling inky blackness out beyond the hull in the eerie dark. Ocean spray flies about in the moonless hours of the night, lit up red and green by the port and starboard light halos, greeting a passing behemoth of a tanker ship transporting the goods of a global economy. A particularly sizable wave set of uprising aggressors pushes the boat this way and that; a lull in the breeze lets the sail flog here and there. A puff-on ripple across the top of the water is an anticipatory prelude to heeled-over, gleeful speed. We chase it like hounds to a fox.
We think of our family and friends shore-side, especially those that couldn't join us on this little trip. Team Blackbeard is one player short. The stars and constellations and their history-evoking magical names remain lost mysteries without our Greek professor. Movie making with Leo D. is cool and all, but we're here without the Dean of Dance. Our fishing lines lie dormant without the coaxing drawl of our deep south coffee roaster. And without our head navigator and mentor on this crossing there's a sextant gathering dust, roasted meats don't taste quite as rich, the comforting smell of pipe tobacco doesn't linger in the doghouse, and we are left to remind each other to keep his motto in our hearts, "Do the right thing".
Oh yeah, and there were whales. Big ones. Swimming alongside our bounding Fife dragon just off the port quarter, jumping and showing off and reminding us that although these days and nights are competitively serious, it's good to be thankful that life can be all fun and games.

This is a gentle race of bloody knuckles, squinted eyes, burning muscles, and fatigued minds. It's a focused, raucous, giddy life-elixir of spirit-raising camaraderie, mettle-testing, and throttle-back, inhale-deeply, exhale-to-smile, and love the life well-lived challenges. Down time is oh so rare, and our ship's library of piratical authors like Joey Conrad and Willy Shakespeare and Tommy Robbins lies largely untouched. No rest for the weary. We push and push for our big days, hoisting canvas and piling on the mileage, ever wary of striking sails for squalls in the attempt to efficiently demand all that Adventuress can give us. Which, turns out, is a lot. Our graceful girl is powered up, and the wind whips around and past curving sheets of taut white cloth while the wooden masts groan and the big rig moans. Every creak and jolt and chafe and hum is further stress testing for the fine folks at Rockport Marine in Maine, and our list grows for our conscientious refit designer. 

Looming, rolling waves sparkle and rise under the day's powder blue canopy. Rushing sea intimidates with the rumble of water-falling inky blackness out beyond the hull in the eerie dark. Ocean spray flies about in the moonless hours of the night, lit up red and green by the port and starboard light halos, greeting a passing behemoth of a tanker ship transporting the goods of a global economy. A particularly sizable wave set of uprising aggressors pushes the boat this way and that; a lull in the breeze lets the sail flog here and there. A puff-on ripple across the top of the water is an anticipatory prelude to heeled-over, gleeful speed. We chase it like hounds to a fox.

We think of our family and friends shore-side, especially those that couldn't join us on this little trip. Team Blackbeard is one player short. The stars and constellations and their history-evoking magical names remain lost mysteries without our Greek professor. Movie making with Leo D. is cool and all, but we're here without the Dean of Dance. Our fishing lines lie dormant without the coaxing drawl of our deep south coffee roaster. And without our head navigator and mentor on this crossing there's a sextant gathering dust, roasted meats don't taste quite as rich, the comforting smell of pipe tobacco doesn't linger in the doghouse, and we are left to remind each other to keep his motto in our hearts, "Do the right thing".

Oh yeah, and there were whales. Big ones. Swimming alongside our bounding Fife dragon just off the port quarter, jumping and showing off and reminding us that although these days and nights are competitively serious, it's good to be thankful that life can be all fun and games.

 

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