Quote of the Month

"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1954.

“We must change our attitudes toward the ocean. We must regard it as no longer a mystery, a menace, something so vast and invulnerable that we need not concern ourselves with it … Instead we want to explore the themes of the ocean’s existence—how it moves and breathes, how it experiences dramas and seasons, how it nourishes its hosts of living things, how it harmonizes the physical and biological rhythms of the whole earth, what hurts it and what feeds it—not least of all, what are its stories.” Jacques Yves Cousteau, 1910-1997.

"It's the glory of the sea that has turned my head." Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, 1894.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A New Inexperienced Crew

Elda, Eva (me), Melinda

Thursday, August 24, 2017. There was deteriorating weather predicted for the afternoon and the weekend. Sahara dust in the air, hazy skies, strong currents, low wind. East winds 5-10 knots, seas 3-4 feet, and after previous north swells, churned seas and poor visibility for snorkeling. The crew: Eva (me), Melinda, David, Elda, and Domingo. We sailed from Isleta Marina, Puerto Rico at 9:30 a.m. to Palomino, and back at 5:00 p.m.
            We had been planning this sail for sometime and had to postpone it more than once due to bad weather. This being hurricane season in the Caribbean, we’ve had Harvey’s in-the-making, and many other tropical waves and thunderstorms in the previous weeks.
Domingo, enjoying a nectarine
My savvy sailing friend had to cancel, and suddenly I only had two couples, dear friends, but with little or no sailing experience. I hesitated sailing but didn’t say anything. I decided to give them specific little jobs—how to wrap the line on the winch for raising the main, hoisting and dousing sails, doing a horn-cleat knot, using a boat hook, assigning each to a small area forward, aft, port, and starboard. I specifically told them that if I asked them to do something they didn’t want to do for whatever reason, it was OK, but to tell me so I could assign someone else to the task.
            It worked out perfectly. Leaving the dock, working on the rigging, tacking and gybing (jibing), and catching a mooring line. Docking at the end of the day, all were assigned the same posts as when leaving. It was clockwork. In a sense, it was smoother than at times I’ve sailed with an overconfident more experienced crew.
            In between, as good friends, we enjoyed stories, shared food and wine, and played with Andariego’s water toys. Lots of laughter. Sea therapy always provides a respite from life’s hectic pace in an island financially bankrupt, but still rich in flora and fauna, its people, and the bounties of the sea.
David, enjoying water toys