Jun 092013

The first real chill of winter has followed this front up to the Vaal. The NW’lies preceding the front gave way to the expected, icy SW’ly at about 10h30 this morning and the mooring field turned a little bumpy as the waves built across the open fetch from Bill’s Bay.

In this weather, Ocean Blue’s stern lies perilously close to the rocky shore. So close it feels as if I could jump ashore without even getting my jeans wet. I’m up and down the companionway steps all morning, keeping a close watch and making sure the tiny gap remains the same kind of tiny. It doesn’t change and all I achieve is to get some exercise with my step climbing.

“Sick-As-Sin” “Sieker s’n” hoists all her canvas and sets sail in a good 15-20 kt breeze. As she beats out toward Game Breeders I wish I were on board as crew rather than stuck here, cutting strips of wood, drilling through electrical cables hidden behind the headlining  and regularly checking the shoreline. She looks a grand sight as she leans to the breeze and returns to sail through the Narrows and onward toward Fish Eagle. It’s funny how a boat looks so different on the water. On the hard at Manten’s I must confess to thinking “What on earth has he done?” But now, back in her natural element and under sail, I now also see the beauty in her that her new skipper saw when others could not.

The nearby jagged shoreline jolts me back into the present. It’s a funny and irrational feeling! It makes no sense at all but yet I feel too close to the rocks. If the anchor drags, I mean if the mooring line breaks, Ocean Blue will be on the rocks before I can save her.

I don’t really want to leave her here so close to destruction and I give a last look out across the water as I pack up and head for home. She’s still there, rolling a little as the westerly swell works it’s way into the bay, nodding her mast-head instruments at me as if to say “Chill dude. I’ll still be here when you get back!”

I feel a little silly actually and I park the the thought I had to ask the club manager to move the mooring further out into the bay. I mean, logically, it make no sense. If the mooring is going to break while I’m away, then it’s going to end up just the same. The 5 minutes longer that it takes for Ocean Blue to hit the rocks is not going to make any difference when I’m an hour away. And so I hit the road, back to the cubicle nation where I slave away to fund my sailing habit.

I’ll still keep an eye on the forecast and I’ll definitely keep my insurance current but I have no doubt that next weekend will find me and Blue reunited. Perhaps no DIY next weekend. All work and no play… and all that !

I think next weekend we’ll exercise those sails!

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