Thunder Alley on December 8th
To Boldly Go ... Slowly

The Buffalo Bills and Vasco da Gama

Remember those people on the dock who opined that they were "waiting until the Christmas winds were constant"? Those people may have been right. This first 10 days has been a bit of a struggle. First we tore the jib, then we battled our way in rough seas, then we simply tolerated rough seas while we continued south, then we turned west to be hit with Thunder Alley. For brief moments in time we have been moving on our course, but mostly we are heading south or south west, and currently under the power of Pinetop.

Still, we kinda like this.

As I told EW yesterday, "This beats real life."

It is just after 10:00 and I'm now off watch. I'll use these four hours for a bit of boat cleaning and TA-DA -- a Shower!

Oh bliss. Oh joy. I'm even going to change the sheets. Then maybe I'll make (er suggest)EW shower.

It's the little things.

Here's a laugh from Thunder Alley. I was white knuckled for the first hour or so, but one really can't sustain that kind of terror for hours. EW had gotten up at my first call. Though he would have let me sleep until there was something I could do, he knew that I couldn't face the lightening alone. He was calm and comforting, acting as if it was his duty and pleasure to be standing on the deck next to me as I counted "One thousand one, one thousand two". (It may not have been to his pleasure, but it was his duty.)

A couple of hours into it, I relaxed a tad and we settled into a routine and rhythm. While I still watched the lightening, worked to cool the oven, and thought about worst case contingencies, EW was enjoying the pyrotechnics and had realized that back west it was Sunday evening.

"I wonder how the Bills did against Denver?" he asked between the crashes of thunder.

I laughed, long and hard, and said, "I love you."

So Howie, how did the Bills do? Inquiring minds want to know.

Today, we are motoring south, hoping to cross an invisible front line in about 50 miles that will mean we have enough wind to allow us to sail. We are resigned that sometimes having no wind is part of the package. "Here's your coffee," said EW, reader of many non-fiction books about life at sea. Which partially explains why he said as he handed me the cup, "You know, I think Vasco de Gama was becalmed right about here." EW, the once again the master of the non sequitur.

At least we have Pinetop, and know where to find the wind, and the patience and opportunity to take our own sweet time getting across this Atlantic Ocean. Maybe we're a bit crazy, but it's a fun kind of crazy.

PS: Regarding those people mentioned in the beginning. There has been yet another nasty front in the Canaries and I'm reasonably certain we left in the one window open to us and we did not want to spend time and money on the dock for two-three more weeks. (Some of you are snickering about what we are spending on diesel. Snicker away.) And, no, we won't be motoring across the Atlantic. Right now we are in a pocket of no wind. Tomorrow there should be wind 50 miles south of where we started today. If we arrive at that point, and there's no wind, we'll drift like Vasco de Gama.


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