BOXTER

25 August 2014 | Trogir - Croatia
05 August 2014 | Split, Croatia
15 June 2014 | Boka Kotorska - Montenegro

Perfect Storm

25 August 2014 | Trogir - Croatia
Ted Wolski
Last Saturday morning , I have assisted Her Majesty Renata - to step down from equally majestic S/Y Boxter - onto rubber dinghy "Boxy". These were Renata's first baby steps - to get her closer to so much missed and beloved home - after two exhausting months of cruising Med.

As few tears have gone down, Renata dully praised undersigned Captain for the tangible improvement of 20 knots - since our first Med season. Yes last year I have managed to get Renata behind steering wheel at 55 knots of wind, while this year she has experienced only 35 knots!

As always - Renata chosen perfect timing to make such a wise statement !!!
Previously it was when she has married me...

After saying our Goodbyes - I went to the peaceful, fully enclosed and very safe bay - to enjoy solitude on the decks of Boxter. There is something magic about time spent on yachts while on anchor.

Before 6pm, few clouds appeared on horizon. I have removed cushions from outside - just in case... so there will be no need to dry them next day, if rain was to come.

Twenty minutes later - while sitting with laptop in the cockpit - I had hardly more than 60 seconds to act. Saving what I could, closing hatches, grabbing anything on the decks...

The Perfect Storm arrived!


A minute later 60 Knots of wind hit our decks!
Boxter went underway, it was showing a speed of 6-7 knots and it was heeling like it was with full sails on!

Visibility at times was just few meters and rain came down in heavy loads.

Boxter was running around its own anchor - not dissimilar to a vicious dog - trying to free itself from the chain.

At some moments, I was convinced that surely anchor can not hold that well - thus we will be loosing our hold any second and moving away uncontrollably.

A minute latter, I watched another yacht passing by.... It got so dark that I was rather concerned about it - not having any lights on...

I only realized what happened then, 10 minutes latter - when a man on the rubber dinghy, without motor - was paddling along - in 60 knots of wind and very heavy rain. It looked desperate, but he was just trying to catch his un-manned yacht...!
(see main picture above, if you can see his yacht...)

Earlier that yacht was parked some half a mile to the West from us, by the time the man realized that his yacht is sailing away from him - while he was taking care of things on land - the yacht was half a mile away from us to the East.

We were so lucky to not get hit by that passing yacht !

While wind eased to some 35 knots - I worked out that if Boxter did hold his position in 60 knots - it is relatively save in 35 knots. In pouring down rain, I jumped to the rescue of the very tired paddling sailor. He eventually got onto his yacht and found all in order - outside of few items being blown away...

Again, it was incredibly lucky for them that such a violent wind was blowing exactly along the lines of the long channel - taking this boat with it. If there was any other angle to the wind - this yacht, would have reached rocks on the shores within 100 meters.

The story of this sailor teaches me a lot and gives me all justification I need - when I tirelessly check and re-check hold of our anchor each time we arrive in in the calmest waters - while some of our experienced and less experienced crew are watching with boredom and running out of patience to get on with finer things on their precious schedules....

So here it is - probably my last, but eventful Blog for the season.

Sitting in a cozy cafe near Split - awaiting for Alistair to join me on the last Adriatic leg to the beautiful Venice.

We will lay up Boxter there for a winter.

What a deserving destination - for us to want to come back - for more of it next year !!!!

Ahoy!

Yours,

Captain



Bloggers guilt

05 August 2014 | Split, Croatia
Ted
Tonight we are in beautiful Split.
Now having pre-dinner drinks with the love of my life.

Decided that I am definitely not a blogger type, thus feel somewhat guilty for doing zilch of blogging for some weeks now.

I did celebrate birthday couple of days ago - in the old, very charming Trogir - so I thought it may be appropriate for you to see what a surprise my beautiful wife brought me to bed that morning.

See photo...what's behind extraordinary wrappings, I leave this to your imagination...

Ahoy,

Captain

Captain reaches new lows...aka...the beauty of luxury cruising on MED

19 June 2014 | Risan - Montenegro
Open Letter to the Dearest Crew - that abandoned mother ship a week ago...


I was procrastinating but I knew.....this beautiful moment was coming my way.
My stunning wife is about to come on board and I knew it would have broken her heart, if she thought that I was neglecting Boxter...

So off I went - in the order of pictures below.... first I have taken big breath, had a good look around....then I dived into the gutter, to have deeper understanding what is really there.

And after I had a good look into it, you would clearly see what I found!
Not only a a bucketful of toilet paper but.... look up close.....a good yard of tooth floss.....

It taken me good couple of hours to untangle this stupid floss from the pump's rotor. Yes it rotated about 70,000 times since my crew members tried to burn this pump, hoping that the "stuff" will eventually flow...

After that discovery, I had a really good talk to one of the crew members. We had a really, really good chat. I even called him about two dozens names his Mum and Dad wouldn't ever come up with...what a shame he wasn't here!

So the crew member who just liked too much paper, seems to be an Angel - comparably with the floss Einstein - who thought that toilet is the very private space and no one will ever know....

If this crew member is still in possession of his manhood today and willing to put his hand up -
I will give you very useful advise for your courage - which may save your life.

Whatever you have planned yourself for tomorrow - cancel!

Go first in the morning to the nearest dentist - and order whole brand new set of teeth for yourself. I know you can afford it....and what a life it could be without a floss!!!

Once you have done that, you should go to the Harvard University and apply for the Dean's position - in the College of Science of Common Sense.

I will gladly support your application, with all the evidence on hand!

And lastly, next time when I lecture everyone on board and everyone thinks it's obvious and boring - think about it.
It could be for you exactly that - but don't roll your eyes - you may be standing next to the floss Einstein....and he may need all the help he can get!!!!


But don't worry, don't thank me at all - as the song goes: "......that's what the friends are for...."


Love you all....

Yours

Capt'n

Captain Reaches New Heights

15 June 2014 | Boka Kotorska - Montenegro
Ted
Ahoy everyone,

Yes, your Captain reached lately new heights on many different levels.
Some say that it takes to leave your home to find yourself in unchartered territory - so we did...

What heights and levels...???

First - you will find me flying over my own rig - this is not where I spent typically most of my days...

Second - I have managed three guys on board for a week from Vibo Valentia to Crotone - all of them with huge egos in their own right (hard earned and well deserved) - no one single argument or even "THE WORD"....
...I have been only accused of being pedantic, pain in the neck and boring.....
What they don't know till now - thanks to the above listed qualities - they have done on board so much of the free work - that they might find themselves on the invitees list again!!!

Third - once I got old boys onto their planes home, I have managed to escape into elements and carried on solo ride - from Crotone across the pond around heel of the Italian boot - to Brindisi. This is just shy of 200 miles solo on 50 footer.

It was so boring that I even stopped yacht, taken ritual swim around it - with about 2 kilometres of drink under my own bottom, until..... I jump back on the boat to find wind pleasantly increasing to some 15 knots and shortly after we were flying with Boxter at 7 knots, with ease.
This was a nice surprise as weather forecast was showing for the whole trip from 0 to 10 knots and it looked like motoring in lieu of sailing could be the way.

I liked this ride so much that I even got romantic, looking on to beautiful red sunset and making photos...

At midnight while rounding Castrignano del Capo - within seconds, over 30 knots of air suddenly was dumped on Boxter. Being unprepared, with way too much wardrobe dressing Boxter - we started our fight. It was a good team work, we both watched after each other and never let it go.

Some anxious hours kept us well awake until day hours brought some slight relief.
For the reminder of the entire day we had full hands on deck (2) and fought wind blowing straight into our noses - doing plenty of zigzagging. This kept us sailing fast but making progress towards the port painfully slow. At some point it looked like we will spent second night and third day out there, until wind allowed us to take sail down on the home straight and motor into Brindisi making it before midnight.

It was home sweet home when after searching in dark, in rather large port - I have docked "Boxter" very next to brand new "Gumnuts" - with Martin from Sydney asking me if I am ready for the glass of red. (Just as a matter of record, for the benefit of those who know me better - I have declined)

Here is a Google Map of Boxter's route to date and particular ride on the two charts - showing some of the zigzagging, we did.
( note attached two charts show the same ride from Crotone to Brindisi - just split into two parts...)


Fourth - if it was not enough, after quick regrouping, I thought I bite a bullet and cross Adriatic myself, before Renata tells me not to.

Yesterday, I left Brindisi for Montenegro - brushing off with really big ships along the large harbour.
Then full of hope for pleasant sail, I left into the sea. Again with 5-10 knots weather prediction, it looked like one...

I was watching English yacht way in front of us - with two masts and three sails on - and thought no hope. Then my confidence kicked in from the other day, I turned on turbocharge and shortly after we have whisked away on their starboard side. Needless to say friendly exchange with Englishman's wife on their bow taken place - no gestures from the Gentleman was noted...

While already out there, I have written in the last minute SMS to Renata (which I found later on that was never delivered) that I am having perfect run with just 11 knots flying "Boxter" at 7.5 knots.
I thought it might help her to get a better sleep, knowing that I am out there at night...

Being now on the watch for any signs of bad weather, I found some behind my back.
It looked grim and black, while our sails couldn't get a puff.....
Quickly all wardrobe down - (Boxter is still a very pretty boy when naked) - and this time well in time.
Unfortunately my weather prediction was an accurate one. Despite no sails - 36 knots of wind and very heavy downpour is not much fun in any pond - specially when the bumps and humps get bigger by the minute. Tones of salt water straight into face at least preserves our skin well but does not do so much to once vision.
Few hours later and it calmed down - Boxter managed battle largely in tact - with only minor damage to its fabric.
You never know your lack, so complacency has no place on our boat.....all hands on deck (2) cleared up the mess, just in case - while havoc seemed to be over.

As the day hours encroached wind was enticing me to put sails up....paying my dues before,
I have sniffed some fresh air and didn't like clouds in front of us......thus no dressing up for Boxter this time.

Poor Boxter was fully exposed and naked when we were just 10 miles short of the awaiting Montenegro's fiords of Boka Kotorska. Heavy wind and spectacular rain, coming from imposing mountains - made our bow hardly visible and landline completely non existent. It was another interesting challenge to overcome and find our way into the harbour.

Made it to the abandoned Customs jetty, as no staff was willing to get soaked while assisting with docking. After last few days this was the least of the challenges.

Fifth - I am well known to all our guests on various boats, over past few years - that I cannot park a boat. If you don't believe me - just ask, you know who...

In last couple of weeks, I have manoeuvred myself without exception each time every time - first attempt into right place. Half of these were singlehanded, with no crew on board. It is either new level of skills, I have managed to find..... or lack of previously received well intended advice, typically I was subject to - each time while parking a boat.....

Sitting now at 8.30pm in the restaurant across the road from Boxter, having no sleep last night - tired, but alive. It does not feel like putting to sleep sense of satisfaction and appreciation, so I thought this report might do....

Here is a very last photo - Boxter taking a rest in stunning Boka Kotorska - after a hard days at work.

Plus few other pics from the trip....

Ahoy,

Yours,

Captain
Vessel Name: Boxter
Vessel Make/Model: Sense 50
Hailing Port: Sydney
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Boxter's Photos -

Port: Sydney