Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

Hey Kids! This is better than TV!!!

February 23rd, 2010 · 8 Comments · Famous Firsts, Funny, Learning to Sail, Life on the Boat, The beginning

Ok, so not quite, but this sailing stuff is at least more interesting than Jersey Shore, right?!?!?!?
Anyway:  I thought I’d share a few of our “firsts” for those who love us and so I can remember them next month when, I hope, we’ll already be old hats at all this stuff 🙂 (HAHAHA)
– First hailing: Matt to a container ship that was about 3 miles in front of us and ended up passing us within less than 1/2 a mile!
– First being hailed: An AIRCRAFT CARRIER to us just north of San Diego, informing us that they were “20,000 yards” away and suggesting we keep a “5,000 yards” distance.  I really hope they didn’t hear me when I yelled to Matt, “Can you ask them to convert that to nautical miles?!”
– First SSB contact: With Randy of SV Mystic as we were heading out of Santa Barbara.  Randy and his girlfriend are fellow cruisers who left SF a few days before us and are also on their way to Mexico.  We’ve been trying to physically meet up with them but haven’t yet managed to be in the same place at the same time!

– First Rescue Assist: In Catalina, Matt was hanging out at the little cafe and a woman nearby was trying to help a seagull with fishing line entangled around his neck.  Matt asked if he could help and he held the little guy while the woman and another man managed to unwind the line and cut it off.  When free, the seagull took a huge gulp of air and then frantically ate a handful of french fries tossed to him by a little girl.  He then just stood there and slowly looked around as though he couldn’t believe he had a new lease on life, until an enormous raven swooped in and ran him off the patio, angry that he’d missed out on the fries.

– First Anchoring Experience:
After 3 days of sailing, we arrived in Santa Barbara at 2AM, unable to really see anything because of the lights of the city confusing the lights of the marina and anchorages.  We saw a pier and a nice anchoring area next to it and dropped the hook (inadvertently breaking our windlass in the process, but that’s a boring tale, Matt mentions it briefly on his blog).  We woke up the next morning to the Harbor Patrol saying, “Um, did you know you’re not allowed to park here?” and a hoard of tourists and other folk ogling us as we hauled up anchor about 200 feet away from the infamous Stearn’s Wharf. Oops.

– First Glass Breakage:
This past weekend, I decided to make brownies while we were at anchor in Catalina.  Our stove/oven is “gimbaled” meaning it can be situated so that it swings back and forth with the motion of the boat, keeping the stovetop surprisingly level in all conditions.  For some reason, I thought it better to have the oven gimbaled so that, regardless of the boat rolling from the wakes of passing boats, our brownies would be level and the mix wouldn’t slosh all over.  At one point, I opened the stove to check on the brownies, at that exact moment, the boat rocked violently, Matt yelled, “OH NO!”, I looked up to see a coffee pot precariously balanced right above my head, took my eyes off the stove, and the brownies in their glass pyrex dish came sliding right out of the tilted oven.  I jumped up, straddling the galley floor, the dish flew out the oven, BOUNCED between my legs, and then came to a crashing halt near our nav table, breaking into three large pieces, brownies amazingly mostly intact.  Both of us shocked, Matt looks down and says calmly, “Well, I guess that’s one way to find out if they’re done.”
– First Request for Advice from another Cruiser: We had just pulled into the “cop dock” at Shelter Island, San Diego when another boat passed by and asked if we knew where the “long dock” was.  We pointed it out to them, noting that the only reason we knew where it was is because we came in at 4:30AM and were told to moor along a quarantine buoy across from the long dock.  Apparently, the cops are a lot nicer and more accommodating to those who come in at 4 in the afternoon.
– First Crew: Pete Dow & Ray ConnerThanks so much for braving the first few days with us!!

– First Offshore/Coastal Passage by Ourselves:
Feb. 21, 2010  Two Harbors, Catalina to Shelter Island, San Diego!!!!!    (80 miles)

Tags: ···

8 Comments so far ↓

  • Brittany

    Well – that is certainly a lot of “firsts” – and there are so many more to come!! Congrats on a great start to what is sure to be a great voyage (and, in hindsight, the hiccups are always fun too)! xo

  • Lara

    I was just talking to Brian about how it’s one thing to spend six weeks at the boat yard learning about (or dissecting) your vessel and another to get a feel for how she handles on the water. I’m glad to see you guys are enjoying it and learning so quickly. As to the swinging stove, it gets me every time, although we don’t break as much as we lose things overboard. 🙂

  • Ankitha

    So this might be a dumb question, but how do you have internet while you’re sailing?! Or are you blogging only when you come on shore? I’ve been wondering about this for a little while now. Lol.

    Also, I had no idea you could have an oven on a boat, and even make brownies! That’s pretty awesome.

    Stay safe and keep keeping us updated! 🙂

  • Megan

    I love it that I can keep an eye on you two here!! Thanks for the updates 🙂 I am truly just so excited for you. What an amazing adventure that you will never forget. Sending lots of love from SF!!!!

  • Courtney

    Soooo much better than the Jersey Shore! Speaking of which, are you guys getting orange-d yet?

  • Jodi Solem

    I like the FIRSTS list. It’s interesting and funny to read!

  • karen

    Brittany~ thank you! Have you recovered from your ice issues yet?!?!?! so sorry to see that picture of your bilge!

    Lara~ Yes it is definitely different.. so far we haven’t lost anything overboard – yet.

    Megan~ Thank you!!! How are you and baby Crockie? 🙂

    Kita~ we don’t have internet on the boat while we are actually sailing, but when we go into a port, we can use our internet set-up to access certain wireless signals while we’re on board. So far that system hasn’t worked great, but we’ve been lucky that everyplace we’ve stopped has had free internet on land (Cafes, etc) so that’s where we’ve done most of our connecting 🙂 I, too, thought it was strange to have an oven/stove on a boat but it’s great!!! we have the stove (much smaller than the ones at home though!) and 4 burners, so I can be a regular chef!

    Courtney~ haha thanks 🙂 I WISH we were orangey!! We haven’t had any time to get our tan on and it’s been too cold! So looking forward to the warm waters of mexico 🙂

    Jodi~ thanks for reading! I’m glad your mom sent you the link and that you’re enjoying the blog 🙂

  • Leen

    I love reading about your firsts! 🙂 I’m so excited for you and the many adventures that lie ahead of you! I’m so glad it’s finally happening for you!! 🙂

Leave a Comment