Senin, 29 Desember 2008

The Crossing

We left West Palm Beach, Florida around 1:00 AM on 12/29/08. I tried to get some sleep before we left, but I was wide awake. I thought it was kind of funny that I didn’t feel any excitement or anticipation for Christmas this year. But as I laid in bed trying to sleep, I felt like a little kid again.

It started out a lot rougher than I hoped, and we were making really slow progress. It was pitch black out, a sharp contrast to the bright screen of the laptop I kept having to look at to make sure we were going the right direction. The screen was ruining my night vision, I started feeling sick. I was very close to turning us around. LeeAnn and I talked about it. She seemed to want to soldier on. I laid down outside in the cockpit. I reasoned that we would head out for a few hours and see if it got any calmer. As I laid there thinking I started to feel a lot better, which made me more ambitious to push on.

In the end we decided to go for it. I’m glad we did. It was a bit rough for a while, but it progressively calmed down. This morning the sun rose, and we found ourselves passing between two squalls. Nothing was moving fast, and I sat there wondering which one of the little beasts was going to hit us. The one on our right looked a lot more friendly. Then I noticed a little cone coming down from the storm on the left. I thought “man, that’s weird”. The storm didn’t look docile in any way, but it also didn’t look like the type of storm that was capable of producing a tornado. As I was thinking this, the cone grew longer, stretching out towards the water. Then I noticed water being thrown into the air, spraying about in a circle. “oh fuck” was all I thought. This thing was coming down really close to us. LeeAnn was asleep, what was I going to do? I jumped up and dropped the main. I bundled it up tight and wrapped it with bungy cords. Then I got the jib wrapped up. I looked back over and saw the water spout dissolve.

There were a lot of white caps, and whichever storm was going to hit us I didn’t want to have our sails up. So we motored on. Slow, and uncomfortable, we pounded into the waves.

After a few hours black storm cells were still circling about, but I felt that if a storm was going to hit us we could get the sails down fast enough, so we put the main back up. The boat settled into a more comfortable motion. LeeAnn came out for her watch. I told her how to spot a squall, and that if one approached we had to get the sails down. Then I went to bed.

When I woke up we were getting close to the Banks of the Bahamas. We had been in water over 1000 feet deep, and in less than half a mile (7 minutes) the water was going to shallow up to around 25 feet. It was going to be cool.

The water slowly started to turn into a brighter and brighter blue. When we looked ahead we could see a distinct line of pretty blue water that we assumed was the bank. Suddenly the depth sounder came back to life. 80 feet, dropping fast, 70, 60, 50, around 30 feet we started to make out the bottom. I looked ahead: There were black shapes all around in the water, huge black shapes. I suddenly started to get nervous. What if the black masses were coral heads? Was I sure that we were coming onto the bank in the right spot? I started double checking things. Everything looked in order. I slowed us down anyway, and kept a close eye on the depth sounder. We hovered around 25 - 30 feet. The water was beautiful. Blue water. I felt like we were sailing on liquid glass. We stared. And stared. Then we stared some more. We’ve made it. We’re in the Bahamas.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More