Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sailing As Seen Through Our Eyes

All of the Blue Water Rally yachts watching the Royal wedding in Salalah, Oman.

S/Y Aspen – April 30, 2011 – Log #72
Position: 16 degrees 56’ N 054 degrees 00’ E (UTC +4 Hours)
Salalah, Oman

We have a little time to reflect now, since we are still waiting for the ship to carry Aspen safely up through the Red Sea. We have been moving really fast for the past 2 years, as you know, so this is a little reflecting that we have done.

This voyage has not only been one of discovery but also a life changing event for both of us.

Things we never knew about a circumnavigation:

- We used to think that a 36 hour sail in the Caribbean was a long way. Now anything less than 12 days is short
- 25 knots of wind on the nose is a common weather pattern for us
- Local unlit fishing boats that block your way in the middle of the night are just something to make our watch exciting
- Fishing nets, old lines, fish traps, plastic bags, and large logs will stop your boat quickly
- Government officials in Indonesia and Malaysia are worse than anything in South America
- Running on the beach at the home of Komodo dragons is life threatening
- In Australia if a creature moves it can kill you
- Dirty diesel that stops your engine is everywhere but especially so in the Galapagos
- Anything remotely expensive on your boat will break
- Anything designed not to break on your boat will break
- Your boat will break because it is abused 24/7 for months on end
- A knockdown is a common word based on experience now
- Weather forecasts are just as bad at sea around the world as they are at home
- Stinger suit is a garment we would not like to wear again
- Data sim cards are not simple
- WIFI is not free
- Mexican restaurants are few and far between
- KFC, Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds and all groceries taste much different even though they are US brands
- Sea water will find every tiny opening and penetrate inside your boat
- Permanent rust stains mysteriously appear on every item of clothing
- Flip flops actually wear out
- Expired food items are still edible
- Finding strange pieces of metal or plastic on your deck indicate something is about to break
- Yamaha dinghy engines only last 5 years
- Dinghies can float away if they are not tied to something
- Niue is the friendliest island on the planet
- Bouncing off a reef is common rather than an exception
- Tsunami warnings are accurate and finding deep water quickly is necessary
- Most anchors are useless pieces of metal, except for the Rocna anchor
- You can never have too much anchor chain
- Bottom paint with tin really works
- Bottom paint with copper doesn't really work
- Folding propellers will jam
- Dripless propeller shafts will fail
- Engine service is a household expression now
- The gentle Pacific Ocean is mis-named
- The sunsets in French Polynesia are spectacular beyond belief
- The power of the sea is unrelenting, unforgiving and more powerful than anything we have ever seen
- The Marquesas Islands are mysterious, friendly and more impressive than any book can portray
- Landfall in the South Pacific makes the long long journey well worth it
- Nearly everything that lives in the sea will be seen from the deck and some things actually land on the deck
- Navigating without electronics, autopilot and battery power is a life-altering event
- Big battery banks will all fail at once
- Rationing fuel consumption is a learned skill
- Cooking gas bottles (propane bottles) wear out
- Singapore is a true oasis in a trouble sea
- New Years Eve on Patong Beach in Thailand has to be seen to believe it
- You never know what or whose clothing you will get back from the shoreside laundries
- Half of the crew will read a lot of books
- Half of the crew will watch a lot of DVD's
- Half of the crew will have no time to read books or watch DVD's; they are reading repair manuals
- Ordering parts, Christmas gifts, shower gifts and birthday gifts while at sea is an acquired skill
- Satellite phones don't always work when you want them to
- Computers don't like salt water
- The Southern Cross is ablaze with light in the darkness of the southern seas
- Electronic and paper charts are not always accurate
- Brits and Americans are separated by a common language, according to Churchill, and as we have found
- Silver jewelry tarnishes at sea
- The Middle East deserts are really HOT!

Sail on, sail on and sail safe Aspen…

1 comment:

  1. Your LIST is an example of your experiences and just how far you have traveled. Many I laughed at but are so true. Thank you so much for the wonderful blog, we are following via