A Typical Day In the Life Of a Cruiser!
I woke at 4:30am to a squall rushing past our anchorage and hopped out of bed to latch all the hatches so the interior of Dragonsbane would not be soaked with water. After battening down the hatches your personal emotion is heightened because like any storm they are just exciting to experience and you get that feeling down deep in your stomach. I feel the boat stretch back on her anchor and the wind whistle through the shrouds. I crawl into my berth and listen to the wind and feel the movement of the storm as it causes the boat to sway back and forth rocking me back to sleep.
I wake up again at light, the sun has popped up like a peace of toast showing its perfect symmetrically shape just above the horizon. I then grab a baguette, jam, sliced deli meat and sit back watching the day begin while eating a really hard baguette that I soften up with hot green tea. After a light meal I turn on the computer, pull out the navigation charts and plot our course to the next island. I take note of all the obstacles that are in my path from point “A” to “B”. Then stow the computer, and anything that could become a hazardous object when being tossed around like a bobber. Then I move to the topside deck to retrieve our dinghy tender. I lash the dinghy to the back stern while in the water and lift up the 9.9hp Mercury outboard motor and clamp it down on the stern pulpit. Then stow the fuel tanks, oars, and drag the dinghy to the forward deck. I hoist the dinghy to the deck from the sea and lash it and ratchet it down with straps. After dinghy duty I remove the mainsail, staysail covers and stow them away. I then connect the halyards to both sails and prep them for flying while reviewing the condition of each sheet, rope, halyard, and lashing for any signs of chafing or breaks. The engine is started up, warmed for 5 minutes and then I signal to my dad what direction to move so I can retrieve the 64lb anchor that I trust with my life and Dragonsbane’s. I use the windless to grind in the anchor chain and then the anchor where I lash that to the front deck for safe keeping.
Now we are on our way out to the ocean and note the time, bearing, and speed in the log book. As we make our way under engine we turn into the wind and I raise the mainsail grinding the winch and checking the tension of the halyards. Then we fall off the wind as Dragonsbane catches the wind, feeling the hull speed up through the water. Then I grind away at the staysail and tune her sheets so that both sails are balanced for speed. Then I roll out the Jib and grind in her sheet and feel Dragonsbane lean down and shoot off into the ocean. The engine is shut down and the only thing heard is Dragonsbane slicing its way through the waves and water rushing by. Now we do this until we reach our destination.
While underway we consult one of the many books we have in our library on where to anchor and in what bay. After a location is agreed and we arrive I take in the sails, lash them down, and untie the anchor. I drop the anchor noting the depth and make sure I have enough chain out. Then the dinghy is deployed and I lift the outboard back to the dinghy. My dad goes to shore and clears customs and immigration. I clean up the piles of ropes, put the sail covers on, and stash all the lose items that fell below. Now its time for dinner and time to brainstorm what we would like to do on this island. Also a list of all broken equipment that occurred during the voyage so replacement parts can be purchased and installed for the next round. Because for every voyage a new creak, grown, or crack is something that needs to be investigated and usually turns up broken equipment which I always reply “SON OF A BICTH, I just fixed that!”. I am thinking comminuting on east coast 95 bumper to bumper for 2 hours is not so bad anymore!
Current Location St. Lucia, French India’s