“Hold Fast”!

So it’s time to…….
“To bear down, grit it out, stay the course.
Originally a nautical term probably borrowed from the Dutch “houd vast” (hold tight) referring to the importance of securely gripping a ship’s rigging.
eg…Times are tough right now but we got to hold fast and ride it out.”
davWell…..officially my summer vacation is way over and I’m getting way slammed back at work 6 days a week and whine whine whine. davSo my Zoot Allures time has been rather limited. The weather had been quite nice and I’m still getting some swimming in with the small drawback of another ear infection. The days are getting shorter and the sunsets are moving from west to east. My horizon has a small mountain and within a week I lost a half an hour of sun!
But my major complaint is the weekly forecasts. I’ve been watching this turd of weather coming from the north in disbelief and was hoping it wasn’t going to be. But it “be” and it’s here and real and it sucks.
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Screenshot_20180921-192502Screenshot_20180922-202202How do you like them apples. The temps dropped over 10 degreesC and it’s blowing a force 8 to 10. And all the weather apps agree. On Tuesday it began to blow but it wasn’t too bad. By the evening it seemed to be getting worst and by Wednesday morning it was scary. After work I blasted down to check up on things with a knot in my stomach. It was frightfully intense. I just stood there watching poor ol’ Zoot Allures dangle on her mooring.

 

That was yesterday, Wednesday. It’s Thursday now. I’m stuck at work but will head down again. The real bad stuff should end this evening and it will just be bad. If all goes well it will have been quite and experience. Remember the beginning of the summer when my mooring ropes and swivel were stolen and I replaced them…. hopefully everything happens for a reason.

So…

Stay tuned and …stop blowing so freaking hard!

Capt Pete

ps… You know what’s really dandy? Apparently there is a Mediterranean cyclone heading our way this weekend!  Just dandy!

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Somnambule!

It was late Sunday afternoon. There was only a breath of wind which had died down from an annoyingly fresh south-easterly which wasn’t suppose to be. Everything was quieting down…tomorrow’s Monday morning officially kills most peoples summer vacation.

On the horizon shining from the opposing  setting sun I see a ship approaching, obviously different from all the others hurrying to get back from their Sunday hobby spin.  Two masts became obvious, but something differed. It couldn’t be a ketch or yawl but only a schooner. How exciting! Will she keep course and anchor near by?

And indeed she did. Soon the booms became apparent. Huge and long with beautiful red covers. Then it was obvious the masts were unstayed, fat at the bottom, tapering to the sky with the fore mast at the tip of the bow. This is undisputedly a Junk Rig, a fetish of mine since reading the most influential book that got me in this sailing “mess”, “Voyaging on a small Income” by Annie Hill.

“Unless you are already living on the uttermost boundaries of … Western Civilization, you should read … Hill’s book with greatest caution.”  —Tom Cunliffe

IMG_20180826_193851_resized_20180828_104829372As they ghosted by me, I bowed a welcome jester to the sailor leaning on the forward boom digging the sunset, watching and signaling to the helms-woman where to anchor, as two dogs scattered around seemingly eager to get ashore. No thrills no frills they dropped anchor  nice and close.  Soon they lowered their tender and all went ashore.

The next morning drinking my cockpit coffee,  I admired Somnambule. A 14meters steel schooner rigged as a junk.

 

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IMG_20180827_085654_resized_20180828_104829894This is no ordinary boat. I was hoping to get to meet them but alas after their (I’m assuming) morning dog walk, they started their engine and ghosted out just as slowly and quietly as they arrived. I immediately hit the net and got that  Somnambule is a person who sleepwalks, and I like that… they were so slow indiscreet and quiet. They also have a website which google says is in German so I’m missing out on their scoop. Hopefully Somnambule and Zoot Allures will cross paths again!

sdrFeeling a bit sad and lonely with the idea of going back to work looming in my mind, the swans came by. One approached, said a few swan words, flipped me the swan finger and paddled away on one foot. W.T.F!!

Have I overstayed my welcome??

Stay tuned,

Capt Pete

ps… errr…I dunno!

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“August”-ing!

Hey, there.

I actually googled Augusting but nothing really interesting popped up. That’s probably due to the fact that nothing really interesting popped up sailing-wise for a blog post which has “sailing” in its title. But you guys are probably used to that by now.

But I did sail away, a bit, for a while. We sailed across our little pond and I met up with my cousin John and family. Getting there was a bit rough, 20+kts right on the nose…. how typical. IMG_20180801_204137_resized_20180819_051013161IMG_20180801_203515_resized_20180819_051017950But his little bay is sooo peaceful and quiet and secluded, it’s hard to pass up. IMG-20180802-WA0003We had a good “hang” and did a lot of snorkeling, eating and late-night wine-ing. I always have a blast watching John filleting anchovies. But you gotta let them sit overnight before marinating because the spew a lot of water! We wanted to go fishing but the dang wind (a 6er instead of a 4er) wouldn’t pipe down til dark. The visit was short but sweet… the forecast was for a force 7 so I hauled ass back to my mooring. Screenshot_20180802-100148IMG_20180802_095846_resized_20180819_051012495The sail back was perfect!!! The best ever! The wind was around 20kts, a beam reach, low waves, sails slightly furled…Zoot Allures hauled ass! I had left early… even Rob was shading me from the sun (Rob is the windvane….cousin to the Robertson hydraulic monster autopilot I hardly ever use). I was back in record time with only 0.6hours on the engine. Sweet!!

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Back on the mooring ol’ Zoot and I rocked and rolled in the howling wind. I didn’t dare row ashore with the ” loyal sinking de-flatable” because I would end up somewhere I didn’t want to be. Did I ever mention I sold the Honda outboard? One less thing to worry about maintaining or getting stolen. So no” foot on land” for over 60 hours. No prob! IMG_20180809_135615_resized_20180819_051012873DCIM100GOPROI read, cooked,  swam, and did a bunch of little projects. I changed my damaged (?) prop zinc, my first underwater change and also put in a reef in my awning. I had that old gopro with me and got a 5pm ritual of messing with some fish hiding in the shade. Lots of little fish bytheway which always warms my heart….hopefully they’ll get a chance to grow!

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And always an evening ritual!!

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The winds died down after a few days. But not much and I did need to be at the farm the next week. The forecast the following weekend was for another “7er”… so I jumped ship early and head down earlier than planned. IMG-20180811-WA0001IMG-20180816-WA0000There’s always a lot to do at the farm house. Like make a new table top for our veranda with some 12mm marine ply I picked up. Also with help from the young-ens we sanded and oiled one side of the “love shack”. Now that was a rough one. I decided to use pool decking oil I found by 3V3 . IMG_20180820_165948_resized_20180820_050236119.jpgHere’s the scoop. The balustrade I did 7 coats with D1  over Easter was dry as a bone! I tried this stuff a month ago and it still looks great! Plus instead of 750ml, I get 2.5liters for the same $. !! If it holds, it’ll find its way on ol’ Zoot. The farm is my Ginnie pig!

 

IMG_20180818_190254_resized_20180819_051014484But the farm isn’t all work. Plenty of play and plenty of family, friends, BBQ’s, beaches and taverns.And the Epidaurus theatre is close by. Here’re the girls ready for an Oedipus show.

 

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Screenshot_20180819-175953That’s a lot of what August is all about… and it beats pounding in the Meltemi winds or worrying of dragging anchor. I’m heading back to Zoot Allures. I’m back at work next week and need some bonding. But looks like a pounding.

Stay tuned,

Capt Pete.

ps… the concept of returning to work seems at least….odd!

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