November 10, 2012

African Pirate

I guess I always pictured someone hiding if we were ever boarded. I just never imagined it would be me hiding under a blanket in the cockpit as Graham and Alex chased an African pirate around down below. Finally they managed to show him the door. He may have been small but he was swift and cunning. Captain Graham gave me the all clear sign and I came out from hiding and scanned the never ending ocean for him until finally my gaze came to rest at the front of the boat. There he sat proudly on Salty Gingers bow. I thought perhaps he was catching his breath before talking the leap and I decided he was a safe enough distance for a photo to remember our first pirate boarding.  I placed the blanket next to me and leaned down below and asked Graham to pass me the camera. With camera in hand I leaned back up and scanned the front of the boat again and he was gone! I turned to go for my blanket again and there he was sitting on top of it and looking at me like...."Game ON!" I let out a yelp and watched as he took the leap, and I confirmed his departure. Relief washed over me and finally I felt sure that we were once again alone. Life returned to normal. Everyone returned down below and I remained in the cockpit. I scanned the horizon, checked the charts and settled in for a quick shut eye. I had my toque on and not 5 minutes later I felt that African pirate on MY HEAD. Needless to say I freaked out and was ready for a full on brawl but he was gone. I scanned the boat again and there he sat again at the bow and I swear it looked like he winked at me and this was the last we saw of our African pirate before he flew away.

Lol...I joke. Funny thing is that I really was terrified of the bird...chalk it up to a childhood tragedy which involved a pet bird and a box and also the fact that Dad had a bird that he let fly freely in his apartment!

This 5 day passage has been exactly what we all needed. The weather was pretty much perfect and perfect meaning a mixed bag which allowed us all to practice. The nice part was that even in high winds the sky was blue which does wonders for the psych-k(sp?) and Salty Ginger sails like a hot diggity damn! We partnered up before the passage and decided that Amelia and Graham, and Alex and I would stand watch together. We all got use to new shorter sleep cycles, working together and maximizing our sail while still being comfortable. Alex did tire of our deep talks though. Funny how philosophical you feel on a star filled night as your boat slices through the ocean. On one of our night watches I told Alex that I was thinking that sailing Salty Ginger was like raising a child. I could just set the sails and only tend to them when convenient and only set them to suit my needs and that this might work but Salty Ginger wouldn't realize her full potential and she might go off in the wrong direction for a while with no one tending to her and sometimes if I didn't let her lead I wouldn't get to see her much like raising a child. The next morning we were sailing along and Alex said, "Wind has died, time to let out more sail." I replied, "Lets wait a bit I'm comfortable." Of course Alex smiled and fired back, "Let Salty sail. Let her reach her full potential!" I laughed.

I was worried as we sailed down the bumpy coast of France, Spain and Portugal that my love of the sea was lost but this trip has reminded me of all the things I love. I wish I could find the words to describe how you feel at night way out in the middle of no where all alone and self reliant. Gorgeous star filled nights, beautiful orange moons, glowing seas. I guess it is best described for me as feeling perfectly at balance, like feeling full, like you want for nothing. It feels like an emotional cleanse and believe me I so needed this cleanse. I want to be better, do better, listen harder and see more. I feel ready for what's next.

This morning our 4 night, 4 day passage came to an end and we arrived officially in the tropics....we have crossed the Tropic of Cancer. We are at dock in Lanzarote in Canary Islands and will be waiting on a weather window to make the leap across the Atlantic at the end of the month!

ps....Mom painted this following the blog and I absolutely love it and had to share. Enjoy


  1. Sounds like a lovely sail, aside from your pirate. I can totally picture you under the blanket waiting for Graham and Alex to save the day. Hope your crossing goes as smooth

  2. This is the kind of pirate you don't mind having on your boat. Enjoy the Canaries. We're still working on the Lotto. No luck this week.
    Love Dad and Cheryl

  3. This really scared me at first until I realized what kind of pirate it was. Glad the sail was smooth. Love to here of your adventures. Enjoy warmer weather.

  4. I love the pictures ;)

  5. Sounds your blogg. You had me at the edge of my seat. Lol
    Love trese

  6. Happy to hear you arrived in the tropics safe and sound albeit for the "pirate".:) Way to cute.!! Love the pictures and stories of your travels. All the best for a safe and smooth crossing.


  7. Mom's african pirate drawings make sense now! :) Love the hiding under the blanket technique...especially when you have such a warm & cozy blanket (wink, wink).

    Love ya <3

    -The Tellster

    1. we all love that blanket Telly. Funny how SO many of the things from your gift bag to me we use on a daily basis. Also, love that water bottle, the lilac spray, the water proof mascara....the actual bag it all came in. You are a master shopper! You have no idea how much I miss you.