Stresses and Strains
08 November 2018 | Somewhere in the Coral Sea
"Dad. Tell them about the coffee pot".
That was from one of Russ and Greer's kids on the day I was doing one of my, knock-on-the-hull, "Hi. I'm Stuart", invite myself aboard routines when I was researching catamarans over the last few years.
The Tika family were en route to Australia from Panama in their Outremer 55 and what they were referring to was the time their coffee pot leapt two inches in the air when waves came together under the bridge deck and slammed upwards momentarily freeing the pot from gravity. We didn't have the coffee pot but we did have some resounding bangs.
We left New Cal in the usual forecast of 18-20 which of course was 25-30. And naturally, peaking in the pitch black. But....didn't we do well finding the right ropes to pull and getting it all tamed and under control?
There seems to be a consensus in the cruising cat world or perhaps it's mostly from pundits in the yachting press that, as there's no "feel" in cruising cats you have to sail "by the numbers". Cats don't heel and really don't fly a hull so supposedly, you can crash on in blissful ignorance, oblivious to stresses and strains, piling on more and more pressure.........until your mast falls down around your ears, the shrouds parting like "a fuse" thus ensuring the boat won't flip........or so the marketing goes. Hmmmm. I'm not entirely sure what you have to smoke, or indeed how much you have to drink such that you're oblivious to what's going on in the boat. From our immediate and very limited experience it was pretty bloody obvious when we needed to slide open the patio doors, poke our noses outside and decide a sail change was in order. The first sign was when the TV shot out its housing like a flat screen cuckoo clock. The second was the dreadful inconvenience of spray coming aboard. The third was the racket. At times you'd think WW III had kicked off under the bridge deck. Helpfully, the Owners Manual gives a step-by-step guide to what sails to have up in what wind strengths, so, come the day I'm sailing completely hammered, I can simply check the manual and, "sail by the numbers."
But it was brilliant. Its like sailing a fast floating apartment. We even baked my birthday cake. Well, Anne did.