Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tornadoes and Sailing

Sailing Offshore

I think the longest I ever spent offshore sailing was about 2 weeks on a dreadful yacht that nearly claimed our lives when the engine malfunctioned spewing smoke and carbon monoxide throughout the closed cabin where 2 of the 3 crew members were sleeping during a storm offshore. I was one of the two. I woke up coughing, confused and dizzy. I made it outside with smoke billowing out the companionway hatch with me. The interior of the yacht was nearly destroyed in thick icky black goo that stuck to everything.

When I worked aboard a long line fishing vessel for swordfish in the Pacific out of Honolulu I was out at sea for nearly 5 weeks. I agreed to do one trip on a trial basis. It was my first and last. Mainly because of the nasty captain.

One of our crew members was severely injured and the captain dragged his feet about getting any help at all. I had to make a royal pest of myself to save the crew member. He would have lost sight in his eye had he not been fortunate enough to be rescued and evacuated to a hospital that managed to save his eye and eyesight.

The Pacific Ocean has vastly different waves than the Atlantic Ocean. But the winds seemed like the same. Life is goof.

While out sailing offshore the work can become tedious. An oft repeated saying is:

Sailing is moments of profound boredom relieved by moments of sheer terror.

Last night we had a squall hit the campground with 60 mile per hour winds. Later I found out a tornado watch was in effect. Good grief. All this excitement at 3am.

I woke up about an hour earlier, feeling real uneasy, not sure why. I finally put myself back to bed only to wake up again with the camper shaking from side to side, the awning straining at her tether flapping noisily. The winds were whipping my homemade Wifi antenna pole around. I decided not to go out in the cold hard rains but rather to let it swish around. Amazingly this morning it was still standing.

Inside, the overhead hatch in the kitchen was wide open, I got it closed but there was still a gallon of water to mop up in the floor. I been mopping a lot lately!

The way the camper was rocking and rolling in the gale force winds, I was praying for deliverance. I surely didn't want to go flying out into the night on a lofty cloud. Luckily nothing bad happened, just scary stuff was all.

Every thing outside was soaking wet this morning. The place was a mess. Even the dog didn't want to go out to do his thing after seeing all his toys soggy wet covered in muck. I told him last night to put his toys away before bedtime but no, he left them scattered all over the yard. That's his way of putting them away. Leave them where they fall.

Ah the life of a sailor drifting in a campground.

I woke up alive and all is good.


  1. I hope you meant to say Squall and not the word you wrote? I am a person of Cherokee
    Blood and that word is very insulting. If it was a typo I hope you correct it.

  2. mermaid. i was about to make a crack about being hit by a few squalls over the years, glad i thought better of it. god knows i would never want to offend anyone. back on porch. boy.

    ice cream. raz

  3. Anonymous, For Pete sake do we always have to look for a slur at our race or nationality. Grow some thicker skin. Perhaps I should apologize to all persons named Pete. Miss Mermaid, glad you and Harley are safe. Stay that way, Martha

  4. To confound... compound... matters...

    I meant to type squall, how it ended up squaw is anyone's guess. I was hit over the head and sometimes my language skills show this dramatically at embarrassing times.

    I too am half Cherokee (so I am used to be insults) though I try to write in a neutral way so as not to offend anyone about anything. I had never thought of squaw as being that derogatory, not really a word I use, but after doing some research I find out it is considered offensive.

    Being a southerner, we pronounce "squall" without the "LL" being heard so it does tend to rhyme with squaw. More confusion all around in my addled brain I guess. I know what a squall is just that my editing and typing is horrible at times.

    This is almost as bad as years back when I was hurricane reporting on the internet by battery hooked up to a cell phone that uploaded my emails which were published from a far flung port about the preparations folks were doing around the marina. I typed that I had never seen anyone chain their yacht to their dick until today.

    What I meant was chain their yacht to their dock. But the "o" and the "i" are side by side on the keyboard. Needless to say, I took a ton of good-natured grief over that gaffe that was read by thousands and thousands before it was corrected. So much email came pouring in that AOL had to temporarily shut down my email until they could get a handle on it.

  5. Well Anonymous,methinks your Cherokee ancestors would not think so highly of your thin skinned attitude.


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