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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rough Riding the Bluest Oceans


Our pilot boat chugged in at 7 am. Having engine problems and a dodgy outboard has some limitations when reversing out of a dock. Yes, Yoldia was small enough to take for a walk, but we couldn’t walk on water [yet]

Departure was delayed a day [which in the yachty world is technically an early departure]. Supply shopping, fuel top ups and immigration procedures always take longer than expected – and besides; it’s bad luck to leave on a Friday!

Our special services tug boat service courtesy of captain Kirk


It was sad watching Chaguramus fade away in the background as we chugged away at almost 2 knots – not because it’s a great place, but it symbolised the end of three incredible months of cruising the Caribbean and most importantly, 3 months on board Fiddler – a boat that will always be my home – and the world’s best captain! 


Boats sped past us left right and centre as we sailed towards the wind – wherever it was hiding. Along with it we found ‘the blob” which I saw as a whale and The Swede saw as a ginormous ray. And then we caught our first [and only] fish… 


We think it was tuna. We know it tasted great.



I'd braced myself for 2 weeks of hugging the rail and spewing my guts out, but the little 27 foot Albin Vega was the smoothest sailor I’ve come across so far. In fact all my worries were calmed as the wind picked up: sailing without a chart plotter or fancy instruments was great – you have to pay attention to your surroundings all the time instead of electronic representations. And as I got to know the crazy Viking captain, I realised that he was unlikely to keel haul me or sell me into slavery and I thought that was quite nice of him.


Strange sleeping habits of the captain

Strange eating habits of the captain: caviar on everything

While we may have missed many other important events at sea, Saint Patrick's day was celebrated with 18 hours straight of Irish folk music, the painting of ourselves green, and the only alcoholic beverage of the trip




Our gib and home made genoa configuration
 More flying fish suicide themselves on our deck than I have seen in all my former sailing experience combined. Over the full moon I had two nights of sitting on watch being attacked left right and centre: they get in your clothes and your hair and as much as I tried to wack them back to sea with the breadboard, there was no way I could keep up. Weirdly they seemed to settle down as soon as I handed over the watch to the captain.

Someone once told me that if you kiss a flying fish it turns into a prince... Sadly that didn't happen
 The best part of Yoldia, was her toilet - it has the best view in the world! Generally speaking you dont even need toilet paper thanks to the crashing of the waves on the little bow. In rough seas (day 4-8) it's one of the best adrenalin rushes imaginable as you cling on!


Yes, things were great and I think I was quite sad when the captain yelled land ahoy on day 10... I didn't think I was quite ready for it.


Aren't we a lovely crew hey??

The last night bought with it a ton of maintainance (everything on boats seems to break all the time - its half of the joy of sailing) but it also bought with it a plethora of dolphins and a hitch hiking bird that spend most of the night sitting on our tiller.



|On the 25th we finally sailed into Panama and prepared to anchor. After my limited sailing experience being on big boats, the fact that you can lift an anchor (that can secure a boat) so easily was a strange idea


10 days, 1 hour and 58 minutes after departure, I licked land hello.


With no contact while at sea, it was nice to find my ride across the Pacific hadn't left without me

S/V Eagle Dancer - My soon to be circumnavigation completing vessel
 I havent seen or done much since arrival and that I put down to beer being cheap and cleaning out the soggy wet interior of Yoldia being a bigger project than you'd expect!



Thank you Karl for the most excellent journey and for reminding me what sailing is all about - getting really really dirty in an abyss of blue water with only imaginations and creativity and the wind to propel you forward. 



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