T’was a Wee Mutiny
11 July 2021 | The a Great Barrier Reef
Jenny Gaskell | Great then Horrid then great
Anyone who sails, can relate to the fact that every island is beyond fabulous, right up until the swell or the weather gets boisterous. It's just the Ying and the Yang of sailing but most people see only the cocktails and sunsets. Mostly because when things like this happen the last thing you have time for is capturing it.
After the most stunning island sunset we had ever witnessed, we then woke up to a horrendous swell and tide change within the anchorage.
It was going to be a long night. Condesa was hobby-horsing, to the point where our aft-cabin windows were underwater, until they came up for air . You wouldn't read about it! (Uncle Lin's would say). With each deep plunge, I was ready to bolt upright and hold them tight, fearing they might somehow unlatched under the pressure. He Who Hums knew they wouldn't, but slept at the nav desk to keep one eye on things. There, he made his own plan, as he remained awake helpless to the situation.
We weren't the only ones riding this out. It mattered not, how near or far to the island you were, every vessel in the anchorage was rolling around like a pig.
It appeared most had made an escape plan and executed it as soon as they could.
You guessed it! Anchors away at first light, right when I was finally in a deep sleep and dreamin like a crazy fool.
Next minute, my life jacket is on and I took position at the helm. At first glance I mentioned the GPS map looked skewiff, (pretty much like my mind). He who dared to disagree was obviously way too keen to bring up the anchor and hoist the sails, which in turn made me then think he also appeared a tad off!
It was during this exercise, we had an unexpected issue with raising the main sail. I was trying to keep the nose pointing into the wind that felt like two opposing magnetic fields at play. One being the wild water and the other was the skittish wind. My patience was lessening as the rocky scape appeared to be nearing, and still I didn't have the nod that the main sail was up. I couldn't look up to see, as the wheel and I were at loggerheads.
Even though I have stated before, objects always appear to be closer to you than they really are, but today was not the day to trust any of my theories. Time and distance were racing each other and there was nothing I could do but voice my opinion over the wind, wait and watch.
Lots of frustration had, for both of our roles, the mood was frayed....let's say flogged actually, like our flag we left fluttering it's goodbyes in the A frame hut.
Finally I got the go ahead to wrangle Condesa away from the headland. I muttered a few words which meant congratulations of sorts and immediately turned to fill the sails with wind.
We had a wee mutiny on board. 🏴☠️
'Cause everyone prides themselves with being competent, right? I reminded myself how harmonious we are normally, changing guards like clockwork, backing each other's moves, most times without a word uttered. What had just happened? I guess I wasn't prepared for it being anything other than our usual get up and get out routine.
Clearly it was not the time or place to debrief, as we had 60 nautical miles of very spirited sailing still ahead. My mood mirrored the confused sea as Condesa stomped through the 2 mtr swell that also beat our back quarter, adding insult to injury.
My mother would be cursing Huey, Pedro would be pleading to his sailor mate Stew and after a good distance, we pleaded mercy to the sea.
'He-Who-the-Buck-Stops-With', altered our heading and we "fell off" enough to sooth both Condesa's path and my perspective on one or two things.
We continued to weather the same conditions, knowing we could take rest when we reached our destination.
I noted the Captain becoming chirpier with each nautical mile we ticked off. I guess he felt he was gaining back some law and order aboard. 😆
It was well beyond 'brunch' , when I plated up "humble pie" for us to divide evenly in two. 😉
I put on my rose coloured glasses and saw he was beginning to look less skewiff than first thought, as was the sea-state.
PS. No need to send help, this was so last week 😆 Many Yings and no yangs had since.🙏🏻 🙄