27 Jun Dodgeball
Who doesn’t love playing Dodgeball? And who didn’t laugh at least once watching the low-brow cult classic ‘Dodgeball’?
We played the high-seas version of that now verboten school yard game most of yesterday and much of last night. Sadly, no bragging rights or ‘l’m the King of the Castle and you’re a dirty rascal!’ honours were awarded. We were forced to content ourselves with the brief lulls between these behemoths. Perhaps I am getting lazy, but it seemed like a lot of work constantly fussing with sails, course, windvane, and the log.
About 0030 last night, I decided that 30 knots was pushing the sail plan a little hard so I put the third reef in the main and took a reef out of the Solent. Foredeck work at night is always done under the glare of the spreader lights. Those lights turn night into day on the deck at least. No sooner had returned to the cabin than the VHF started blaring at me.
Turns out the SV Gaia outbound from Oahu some 8 days saw the deck lights, saw me on AIS, and decided to call as it looked as though I would be passing by within a couple of miles. Not so much of a concern if it’s two sailboats. They mistook me for a freighter and were rightly concerned!
It is only the second time in 9 months that I have had a gam with another vessel. And the only time that the other vessel has been a sailboat. Like Seaburban, Gaia is headed to the Pacific Northwest. They were on a course to ease their way through the confused and building wind waves and swell. I wasn’t looking to ease anything and was making tracks for the western corner of the North Pacific High.
While talking over the radio, we ran on parallel courses. After our good nights however, I hardened to the wind set a course to pass well astern of them. I lost sight of their masthead lights just before dawn and could not find them again scanning the horizon with binoculars in daylight. I tried calling on VHF at 1030 this morning and did raise them but could not make much out the noise and static. Seems sticking the mast in the water a few times in the Southern Ocean hasn’t done the antenna any favours.
To my friends aboard Gaia, my your passage be swift and the wind and waves to your liking. I will look forward to comparing voyage notes the next time we meet, ashore or otherwise.
Follow my tracks in real-time: