Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wags, stood fidgeting in front of me as I attached the hook to the harness that was fitted under the doggy life jacket. When all was ready I lifted him off the the deck and pushed the boom out over the water, lowering him into the waiting tender below. As he hung twisting in the air, he gave me a look of Mom, I hate you. Soon, Miranda caught him and brought him into the boat with the two other dogs and I made my way down the ladder to join them. We pushed off and Miranda rowed toward the shore and the cacophony of yapping dogs began,
they seemed to shout.

Another boat had sought shelter for the night in the cove and they were already on the beach. When the tender hit the beach the dogs were over the side in a rush of sniffing and scratching. Immediate needs taken care of they rushed to meet the strange dog and couple. We joined them and learned that out neighbors were a Spanish couple who were sailing up the coast with the plan to leave their boat in Copenhagen for the winter and continue sailing north next summer.

We hit on the idea for the cruise earlier in the summer, four women, three dogs and a cat spending 2+ weeks cruising Atlantic France and now we were off.

When we arrived the prior afternoon Clara and Megan, who own the boat, sailed it up the channel and into the cove, and then anchored without using auxiliary. Both are expert sailors with multiple circumvention's and years living on sail boats. They constantly amaze me as to what they can make a boat do. This morning Clara informed me that I would sail the boat out of the cove. "Me?" I questioned, "On the auxiliary?" I asked hopefully. "No", she replied, "You'll sail us out and don't worry, I'll instruct you." When we were ready a flurry of anchor hauling, sail setting and winching took place. I did as she instructed and we began to move out of the cove and into the channel. I still can't figure out how it all worked but it did.

The channel was several kilometers long and the boat moved along lazily in the seaway. I was at the wheel with Wags curled up beside me, while Clara busied herself forward properly storing the anchor and ground tackle. This was our watch, so Miranda and Megan took the opportunity to read and sight see. Occasionally Clara would check our course and she warned me that when we cleared the highland to our south that the wind would greatly increase and the the seas would be rougher.

First the swells grew larger and choppier and the wind filled the sails straining the rigging. The boat came alive, shooting forward, crashing over and through the swells. "Bury the rail," Clara shouted to me as she adjusted the sheets of the main sail and jib. Finally a large swell broke over the bow, soaking everything forward and sending Megan and Miranda scrambling for a dryer perch. Clara stood by the main mast, the wind blowing her hair back. You can see she was in here element. Returning to the cockpit and the protection that the dodger provides, she stated "Isn't this fun!" I agreed. We continued our course for another hour and then shifted north, which had us running with the sea and wind and that calmed things down and our lazy sail continued.



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