Darn, Darn, Darn, Oh Well

Thirty plus years ago, colored lines for sailboats were the hottest thing going. I crewed for a fellow who could actually afford them. I drove to his house, went aboard and we left his slip. There on the cockpit seat rested two of the bluest genoa sheets one could imagine. They even had a texture that was supposed to be easy on the crew’s hands. The captain tied the first one into the genoa. In the process of tying in the second, he unknowingly kicked the running end overboard. Before he could complete the knot at the genoa clew, the hydraulic drag pulled it from his fingers, and it sank in our wake. He was crestfallen. It was less about the money, he had planned to impress.  He took the single blue sheet off and stowed it to wait for a new partner and tied in the old sheets. “Well,” he said, “one has to sacrifice to Neptune.” We won the race and the series.

Today, with 20 knots of wind, I decided to fly a Bernoulli inflatable airfoil kite I have been flying in special places for over a quarter century now. I attached the spinning tail and launched it from behind the bimini. It rose to about twenty feet and the knot in the line let go. I watched my kite drift northward with nothing between us and Canada but Bermuda. Before long it was lost among the white caps and I shrugged. “Well,” Janet said, “one has to sacrifice to Neptune.”

We stayed anchored here today to wait out more westing in the wind. We don’t need it for sailing, but we do for proper shelter at the next anchorage. The wind behaved as predicted today and the prediction has stayed very consistent from update to update.

This morning we saw either a Masked or Brown Booby and throughout the day Cormorants have winged their way against the wind, headed due south as if on a rail line. Whether they fly east or west of us the distance from the boat seems carefully calculated and identical.

Except for Mangrove Cay and distant Chrisy Swash, we are surrounded by an unbroken horizon of water. Perhaps ten boats have passed headed east through the day.

A few chores were interleaved between hours of reading and just admiring the view. We pinch ourselves. Immigration gave us ninety days. The weather may pare that down, but in the meantime, our schedule is no schedule. Zen…


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