2012/08/07, Galway Bay
Wow, thank you for all the wonderful comments and support. Right now I need it. I am not sure what was/is the hardest, the actual passage or recovery from the passage. But life is slowly coming back together. The best part is Paul and I are being so kind to each other, nothing like shared misery! For three nights we are sleeping at the local college dormitory, which is helping immensely with the recovery.
Galway - day twoVicki
2012/08/03, Galway, Ireland
Day two, getting used to land legs. We climbed some stairs and almost fell down laughing, it felt so wierd. Irish flag is up. No self-serve laundries in western half of Ireland, what is up with that? I have a boat full of wet clothes, towels and seat cushions. I could rent a room for the night in the local college dorm to use their washer/dryer (5 euro a load). Or I could throw away half of my clothes and hand-wash, or pay 10 euro per load to have the laundry wash for me. We finally got into a slip, instead of the wall, which means we have fresh water and will have electrical, plus it is a secure area.
Shower, beer, hamburgerVicki
2012/08/02, Galway, Ireland
Well, we did make it. Similar to a marathon run, we hit a wall that was very hard and then the end of it came oh so quickly. In two days the three frontal storms that blew through were quite an ordeal. I am not too proud to admit that I buckled during the second one and hid in the quarterberth sobbing. The three guys had to hand steer through it. When the weather cleared between the second and third storm I got up, dusted myself off and made banana muffins (thanks for the advice Judy) and stayed up in the cockpit for the third storm. I was steering in up to 44 knots of wind and then I did not have the strength to control the boat. Paul steered for over half an hour and did a fantastic job. Slowly the winds came back down and we had a downhill ride past the Aran Islands. Our Scan Strut support for the radar gave way and we had the Oh, shit moment as we tried to get it secure. Then we had to time it for the high tide at Galway, they open the gates to the marina 2 hours before high tide and then close them. So we slowed down the boat and made it to the gate at 4:00 a.m., circled around for a while, and then had a smooth landing at the dock. Paul showered and got ready for customs. The marina itself doesn't have a shower, we have to pay $5 at the local hotel. The good news is the hot tub and steam room. We may even spring for a massage. Beth (Al's wife) joined us and off we went for Guinness and food. Today is Lady's Day during the Galway Race Week (horses). Quite exciting in town. The women dress up like trollops and wear the fancy hats. Beth and Al took off this afternoon in the rental car and Gibbs took the train to Dublin, a ferry to Wales and then a train to Liverpool. Something about work. Now we have a messy, salty boat to clean and boat repairs to face. My daugher, Heather and her family join us August 13 for several days of cruising. The library is closing, I have to finish, but tomorrow I promise to update all and add pictures.
Sixteen days outVicki
2012/08/01, Land Ho
We had our first siting of land. Still some water to cover and we might have to anchor out for a bit to wait for high tide. But there it is, land. Did have hard weather yesterday and today, three frontal systems went through, bang, bang, bang. Paul did great this morning steering through winds in the 40 knot range. Got as high as 49, he seemed a little disappointed that it didn't hit 50! Food is stuff I prepared earlier, or catch as you can. In a lull I managed to make banana muffins, which seemed to hit the spot. Things I like about this trip: Nokomis. We have a powerful boat, she can take a lot of wear and tear, certainly more than the people on board. I was never worried about the boat itself getting us there. We have had damage, both the wind vane steering system and the electronic steering systems are caput, hand steering this last day. Radar pivoting holder is breaking, had to tie it up, and the ring to hold up the spinnaker pole came down. We have our work cut out. But the boat itself is great!
Fifteen days outVicki
2012/07/31, almost there
Sailing the North Atlantic haiku
Fourteen days outVicki
2012/07/30, eastern Atlantic
Sailing east across the Atlantic, you go through several time zones. It was confusing to us to have to change our times every couple of days. So when we left we changed all our clocks to UTC (or Zulu or Greenwich time). That was much less confusing, plus all the weather data we receive is in UTC time so it was easier to apply the information. My two watch shifts are from 2300 to 0100 and 0700 to 1000. Which meant when we left that I had sunset in the middle of my first watch and sunrise in the middle of my second watch. Now the sun is completely down and it is dark when I get on watch and last night I was able to see the moon for the first time. It left a swath of light coming right up to our boat. And it is completely light when I go for my second watch. Everyone is down below sleeping so it is a very peaceful time. You may have noticed on the map that we have been heading south east the last couple of days. We were warned by the weather forecasters to head that way to avoid a low, a nasty storm. So far, so good, partly cloudy day above and wind at our back. What I like about this trip: I am very surprised, but I have immensely enjoyed blogging. I am not too proud to admit that when we left, I was numb with fear. Writing the blog has helped me organize my thoughts. I like to think about who may be reading this and try to write about what might interest them, making me feel more connected. Doing the 'what I like about this trip' has made me focus, at least once a day on the positives. Because I upload the blog on the satellite phone, I do not get to see the blog itself and have no idea if there are comments. Thank you if there are, I look forward to reading them when in Ireland. I will also be adding photographs so if you are interested you can glance back and check them out.