ADVENTURESS - "Why not cross the ocean in style?"

2015-01-16

The winds of change. Wallow and dip and rise and flog, slipping in and out of the night hours. Eking out speed on the drop side of a wave. Head up into the wind to heat up and speed up, then fall off ahead of the wind as deep as avoiding a side-swiping gybe will allow. A few tough miles, but each of the last two dawn watches awoke to soft grey skies and dense clouds carrying the scent of rain and the hope of a favorable wind increase.

 

The winds of change. Wallow and dip and rise and flog, slipping in and out of the night hours. Eking out speed on the drop side of a wave. Head up into the wind to heat up and speed up, then fall off ahead of the wind as deep as avoiding a side-swiping gybe will allow. A few tough miles, but each of the last two dawn watches awoke to soft grey skies and dense clouds carrying the scent of rain and the hope of a favorable wind increase. 
It can’t all be water-buried cap rails and a tightly-gripped wheel spoke. Quarter turn to starboard, half turn to port, an approaching stern-kicking wave at the corner of an eye, quick glance at a flag flapping in tell-tale fashion, note the wind direction, wind speed, and boat speed on the chart plotter, feel the breeze slack against your cheek, up goes the stern, ease the wheel, set her bow down, steady the course, and keep the sails full.
Voodoo, hoodoo, cast a spell, hold your breath, spit twice, shine the bell, dump the bananas, and risk a gale? Our youngest crew member, forward of the foremast; Connor sent a shrill two note whistle to gather a steady blow. Then he dropped into the foc’s’le hatch for some shut-eye.  Then we watched a squall appear. Then we watched the squall approach. The sky darkened a bit more. The wind nipped our cheeks. Adventuress’s upper sails swirled. She shuddered and stretched, and perked up. We zipped up our foul weather jackets as the first rain drops fell. A few more moments of sweet anticipation…
… and we were clipping along, balanced atop the low rolling sea, laughing in the rain and digging in on the helm, eyes on the rig and smiles on our faces. We fence with the wind, en garde, attack, defend. Sometimes Aeolus toys with us, and sometimes it’s touche and a score for us, and a playful promise for more. Strike and hoist and belay and hold and haul and fast. Fastened and quick. Raised voices carry commands fore and aft to the wind-in-the-ears crew. A squall full of radar red and it’s a freshwater rinse for our salty girl.
We’re now on the far side of the Atlantic and stretching our whisker stays toward Martinique. The fleet is pushing, we feel it, and we run on and on, pace and stride. The show that Altair is putting on is a comet crossing display of archaic lifestyle mastering. We love it. Amazon is dropping down hard from the wild north stretches, Faiaoahe continues to brave the upper reaches of Arctic chill on a short course, and we know the fight will go the distance. Argyll chases the hunt from the east, and corrected time is still anyone’s game. The wine lovers on Corto are hitting stride on the backstretch, and their guns blazing duel with the expeditious gourmands on Gweneven is a gauntlet-thrown-down message that everyone is gritting their teeth in forward-striving determination, whether or not pate is on the menu. Of course pate is on the menu. With fluffy eggs and aged Mahon cheese from Mallorca. 
Why not cross the ocean in style? It seems all involved are enjoying the good life. Which is, of course, the forte of my new buddy Jacques Taglang, whom I refer to as Jack Daniels, and his Blue Peter Bel-Ami boys.  Going fast and living elegantly; Guy di Maupassant would feel right at home. Vagabundo II has set their long distance sights, firing and firing their little downwind frigate straight for home. And wonderful thoughts to have in one’s mind while enjoying this grand adventure, Desiderata’s Desiderata, words to live by. “Many people strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.” Thankfully, we’re living it each day. 
Love to all, can’t wait to see you in Martinique
-Jeremiah Bailey and the crew of Adventuress

It can’t all be water-buried cap rails and a tightly-gripped wheel spoke. Quarter turn to starboard, half turn to port, an approaching stern-kicking wave at the corner of an eye, quick glance at a flag flapping in tell-tale fashion, note the wind direction, wind speed, and boat speed on the chart plotter, feel the breeze slack against your cheek, up goes the stern, ease the wheel, set her bow down, steady the course, and keep the sails full.

Voodoo, hoodoo, cast a spell, hold your breath, spit twice, shine the bell, dump the bananas, and risk a gale? Our youngest crew member, forward of the foremast; Connor sent a shrill two note whistle to gather a steady blow. Then he dropped into the foc’s’le hatch for some shut-eye.  Then we watched a squall appear. Then we watched the squall approach. The sky darkened a bit more. The wind nipped our cheeks. Adventuress’s upper sails swirled. She shuddered and stretched, and perked up. We zipped up our foul weather jackets as the first rain drops fell. A few more moments of sweet anticipation…… and we were clipping along, balanced atop the low rolling sea, laughing in the rain and digging in on the helm, eyes on the rig and smiles on our faces. We fence with the wind, en garde, attack, defend. Sometimes Aeolus toys with us, and sometimes it’s touche and a score for us, and a playful promise for more. Strike and hoist and belay and hold and haul and fast. Fastened and quick. Raised voices carry commands fore and aft to the wind-in-the-ears crew. A squall full of radar red and it’s a freshwater rinse for our salty girl.

We’re now on the far side of the Atlantic and stretching our whisker stays toward Martinique. The fleet is pushing, we feel it, and we run on and on, pace and stride. The show that Altair is putting on is a comet crossing display of archaic lifestyle mastering. We love it. Amazon is dropping down hard from the wild north stretches, Faiaoahe continues to brave the upper reaches of Arctic chill on a short course, and we know the fight will go the distance. Argyll chases the hunt from the east, and corrected time is still anyone’s game. The wine lovers on Corto are hitting stride on the backstretch, and their guns blazing duel with the expeditious gourmands on Gweneven is a gauntlet-thrown-down message that everyone is gritting their teeth in forward-striving determination, whether or not pate is on the menu. Of course pate is on the menu. With fluffy eggs and aged Mahon cheese from Mallorca. 

Why not cross the ocean in style? It seems all involved are enjoying the good life. Which is, of course, the forte of my new buddy Jacques Taglang, whom I refer to as Jack Daniels, and his Blue Peter Bel-Ami boys.  Going fast and living elegantly; Guy di Maupassant would feel right at home. Vagabundo II has set their long distance sights, firing and firing their little downwind frigate straight for home. And wonderful thoughts to have in one’s mind while enjoying this grand adventure, Desiderata’s Desiderata, words to live by. “Many people strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.” Thankfully, we’re living it each day.

Love to all, can’t wait to see you in Martinique

-Jeremiah Bailey and the crew of Adventuress

 

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