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December 2014

Bouncing Along

One of the reasons we stayed until Tuesday was to let the waves abate after the storm. If this is abated, I'm glad we waited. The seas aren't massive, but they are confused, with lots of white caps. Occasionally, one will whoosh along behind us, coming up to La Luna like an asthmatic dog chasing a truck. Some of these canine waves catch the boat, slamming into her stern quarter, others pass us by. (Greyhounds, perhaps?)

We were off the dock by 12:30 having said good-bye to our neighbors Kevin and Irene when they went off to town a couple of hours earlier, showing great faith that we wouldn't hit their boat on our way out. (We didn't, of course.) We were all still talking derisively about some charter boats that had come in during the worst of the storm. Irene and Kevin had seen this fleet before and they are evidently chartered by sailing schools. Unfortunately the captains don't seem to teach much. They all decided to leave while the winds were still raging, because they had to get the boats back to a marina just six miles south.

We watch the largest boat leave the dock. At first we were impressed by their system of lines they would use to keep their boat from hitting the one to their side. But EW looked at their boat, the wind, and the marina and said, "They are going to get blown sideways and hit those two boats." Instead of bumping their neighbor on the way out, EW thought they'd be pushed into the bow of that boat and the one next to them. He called it. But he neglected to predict that they'd hit one so forcefully it would break the finger pier.

What got all of us, especially Irene, was that they never stopped! We aren't sure whether they radioed the marina or not, but I know at least two folks on the dock who contacted them. Four crew came down and spent a harrowing couple of hours moving one boat, checking others, adding lines to the dock and so forth. We surmise that the charter's forfeited insurance premium is considered a business expense. They aren't teaching the right things to their paying guests/students. I can only wonder how things went when they docked at the next marina.

Well, we're out of it, now. Looking forward to a nice passage, communicating with other sailors who are halfway scattered across the Atlantic. Some just did a happy dance when they reached the half way point. Others have less than 1000 miles to go, and a goodly number are bunched back here at the beginning with us, getting west and south before the next front blows through and getting well away from the Canaries charter school.

As of 0710 on December Third, we are at 27 31.17 North and 17 11.83 West.

All is well.