I Heart My Boat, I H8 The Beach

Yes, it was a rough passage to Hilo, and yes, we were sea sick. But compared to the other boats that came in about the same time, I think we actually had it pretty easy! The autopilot on Shamaness had trouble handling the large seas, and the guys on Jolly Roger didn’t have any kind of self-steering, so they were hand-steering the whole way (God forbid!). Our trusty Cape Horn windvane (whom we call Yves) had a couple of hiccups on one tack, but on the whole did an amazing job of keeping us on track. All we had to do was pop our heads up every now and then to check the horizon for other vessels.

And we had maybe a small bruise or two, but we hardly noticed them. Other folks had horrendous “boat bites”- huge bruises and various wounds from being slammed around in their boats.

We had swells coming from two directions, but every now and then they’d unite into a big wave. We’d look behind and see a 12-foot wave towering above us. But Sugata just rose on up, no big deal, and we’d surf along for a moment before settling back into the sailing groove.

We always felt safe, and never doubted that our boat could handle the wind and seas. She may not be the fastest boat around, but she’s got to be one of the most comfortable!

After our trip to the BVIs in 2005, our friend Dave Roy remarked, “That trip totally ruined me for the beach.” He pointed out that when you go to the beach, you have to schlep all your stuff, then you get sand all over everything, and it’s hot, and when you’re tired you have to schlep all your stuff back to wherever you’re staying. But on a boat, you just jump in, snorkel or swim a bit, then shower off right when you get out. No sand, no schlepping.

While I haven’t entirely given up on the beach, I can see Dave’s point… especially when we’re trekking from the bus stop to the boat on a hot afternoon, with the sun beating down, lugging all our wet gear. Kind of a great thing to have to complain about, isn’t it?

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