This morning, while waiting for the wind to pick up, I made Brian canned corned beef hash and eggs for his birthday breakfast. How this can be his favorite breakfast, one can only wonder...
Once we got under way, our sail was nothing short of frustrating. 5-6 kts of wind from the NE in the beginning gave us a good sail at 4-5kts/hr. But it’s in the wrong direction… we had to tack way off our course. Then the wind died…then it came up again…then died to 2-3 kts. Why don’t we get out the code zero? That’s what it was made for right? Immediately, I mean not 30 seconds after Brian did all the work to haul the sail on deck, get it out of the bag, hook it up, and run all the lines… the wind picked up to 8 kts and increasing. What? Mad at his wasted efforts, Brian took it back down, the code zero too light for winds over 8.
We sailed nicely for a while with the 8 kts. Then it died, again. Then it came up, flipped 180 degree within 30 seconds to the SW…still in the wrong direction for our current angle. Then it died again… then it came back up to the NE, even stronger; we were flying at 6 kts/hr. We’ll get there in an hour! Sweet! Arrgggg... as we got 2 miles from the cove the wind died yet again. So, instead of bobbing around like a toy ship, we gave up and started motoring. By the time we got settled into the anchorage it was 4pm. We left at 9:30ish. 6 hours to go 11 miles...not exactly a birthday treat. This sailing thing is aggravating.
BEE-utiful Ballandra Bay
As soon as we set the hook, bees surrounded us and invaded the cockpit. We decided not to go swimming as we didn’t want our required fresh water rinse to attract them. Plans foiled once again. Such a beautiful bay; if only I could see it. I sit here below decks, looking at the bay out the window, waiting for twilight so the bees will go back to their bee homes and sleep.
Dinner: packaged chicken fried rice with a can of chicken and some green onion, cilantro, peanut butter, rice vinegar, topped with peanuts. More birthday cake…good thing I made it yesterday!
May 28th Bee-llandra Day 2.
Today we explored the bay via yak and paddled into a small creek. It felt like we entered a miniature Jurassic Park ride. About as wide as the yak is long (10ft), the tranquil, murky creek was lined by a rocky hill and scrub trees. Near where the creek petered out, it turned into hard-packed gravel and clear water. We tied the yak to a tree root and walked a few hundred yards, but there wasn’t much to look at, just more scrub trees. Plus we had been advised not to go hiking on the island since there might be people hunting for bighorn sheep. So we didn’t.
Today we made water. We don’t need the water, but we DO need to run the watermaker every 4-5 days, regardless of whether we feel like it or not. And regardless of bees. This is a downside to having a watermaker, you become somewhat of a slave to it, having to run it at inopportune times. What are you gonna do? I need my showers.
While the watermaker ran, I started washing clothes which I hadn’t done in 2 weeks. My lifelines, now littered on both sides with wet clothes, gradually became inundated by bees. These bees here are alcoholics…and we are their enablers. As soon as any freshwater appears on deck, they slowly came out of the woodwork. “Heeeyyy, buddy, what you got there??? Can I have me some of that?”
They got pretty fat and happy sucking freshwater off my clothes drying in the sun.
Fortunately, these bees were of the lazy variety. They didn’t get agitated unless I swatted at them, so we just let them bee…. walking slowly nearby when necessary. We hid below when I was finished while the bees took over for a couple hours.
Later, we went swimming for a bit but, again, as we got closer to shore we kept hitting the little jellyfish. So we swam back to the boat and took a shower… and of course the bees helped. Cold macaroni salad for dinner.
That night was amazingly still….not a ripple could be seen. At about 3am I felt the boat start moving up and down slightly…we were getting some chop, then the breeze kicked up. I went out on deck to see which way we were pointing and how fast the wind really was. Eh… only 8-10kts – sometimes it feels like more after suddenly increasing, having been so quiet for hours. Up on deck, I was stunned at the breathtaking night sky…so many stars. I could see the Milky Way, streaming across the galaxy like spilled milk. Venus and Jupiter glittered intensely, lining up with a luminous 1/2 moon. Just as I turned to go below, a shooting star winked out the corner of my eye. I blinked and it was gone.