Monday, April 16, 2012

Our last name is not Huxtable

Waves or even chop pretending to be waves never look as impressive in photos.
I really enjoy reading sailing blogs, especially the blogs of sailing couples. Usually there are photos of idyllic anchorages, calm and peaceful passages and tales of perfect harmony. Sailing couples NEVER disagree or argue. It is amazing how you can have 2 people with strong personalities in a tiny space who never disagree at all. They are like The Huxtables from the Cosby show. While this is a sailing/refitting/family blog our last name is not Huxtable and we don't try for perfect harmony, we embrace our differences of opinions and try to disagree with panache and style and if we can make the other person laugh in the midst of an argument then we consider that a win.

After I made the very wise and prudent decision to not go out in such uncertain and hairy conditions with a toddler, a salon with every comfort item taken out for refitting, Mark began to push for us to go out anyway.  The radar was showing a few hours time before the storms hit, he didn't think it seemed  to be that windy, etc.. I stood my ground. It didn't seem that windy to him because he is from Scotland where the best weather days are grey, cold,drizzly and with 30 mph winds.  I'm from the subtropics where we get used to hot and still and if the wind picks up, its most likely a hurricane or a tropical storm. Mark continued to press his case and in exasperation, I ran through the possible and most likely scenarios and came up with 2 likely outcomes.

 Outcome 1 would be one in which Mark is correct and the conditions are not as bad as NOAA says they are (ha) and we go out for a spirited and lively sail. Everyone is happy and the boat performs perfectly. This would be a good outcome.

 Outcome 2 is where the winds are up, the newly installed engine harness fails, the baby is screaming, the saloon is stripped down so we can't send the girl below to amuse themselves until we get theboat sailing comfortably, docking in the waves and high tides proves stressful and everyone has a miserable time. This would be a GREAT outcome because I would then forever have a reference point to close discussion when ever we disagree on weather conditions. "Oh no Mister, remember the time we went out in the wind storm in Texas in April? We are not going anywhere. I listened to you before and it sucked." This would be a GREAT outcome so I told Mark "If you want to go out, you make the decision. You know my position on it".

We stowed all the tools on the boat, clipped the baby into the cockpit and began to get ready to head out. Mark told me to remove the sail cover to which I replied "you really think we are going to be able to sail in this?" Oh yes, Mark thought we would indeed be sailing albeit with the sails reefed down.  I'm not sure what his plans were for the kids but figures it was better to make sure they were safe and to go with it. As I began to carefully remove and fold the sail cover, I spoke out loud about what I want our new stack pack to look like- just to watch Mark's lip twitch. Mark thinks a stack pack will both be too expensive and create too much windage. I disagree because I am the one always wrestling with our old sail cover and I hate that thing with its cranky zippers and penchant for getting tangled. Another point is if he is getting new 50 winches by golly I can have a stack pack.

After getting the sail cover neatly folded away (no small feet on a blustery day), stowing all the winch and hatch covers and watching just how very high the water level in the marina was we set off. Good news- the engine wiring harness seems to be working perfectly. I smiled to myself as we rounded the corner of the fairway where our slip sits sheltered from the wind behind large buildings because I was greeted by the site of rollers coming in the channel. I commented to Mark how special it was to see actual surge in our usually glass flat channel. I also commented on the lack of other boats heading out...
Maura endured the indignity that is the orange sofa cushion PFD. Girlfriend has really shot up. Time for some PFD shopping.

As we entered the bay, we had a windex reading of  23 knots of wind, puncutuated by gusts of quite a bit more. We only had tiny waves of 2-4 feet but they were about 7 seconds apart and did I mention having waves of any size in the well protected, glass like bay is a bit unsual? The girls thought bashing through the waves was great fun. I smiled and said to Mark "we aren't hoisting the sails are we?". He smiled and replied that given that with me having my hands full with the toddler that he would be satisfied with a wee chug.

So we chugged out for a bit,  all alone on the water, bashing through the chop, then chugged back exactly as I knew in my heart would happen. We were able to discern that everything was working properly with the exception of our speedo which is dead-o. I was able to smile the satisfied, Chesire smile of the righteous. I was right. So would we go out again in such conditions? Yes but with the caveat of having the salon put back together enough for the girls to be able to be tucked safely out of the way while we deal with the sails etc. That was the single biggest reason for my lack of enthusiasm for a sail. Next time we are anticipating bigger than usual wind we will ensure the cabin is together enough for habitation and next time, I will make Mark refer to me as Claire.
Kitty's favorite thing to do is to hang on, grin at her Daddy and shout "ARRRGH!" I think she is actually trying to take over the helm.


  1. Was it more satisfying being right or getting out on the water!?:) So glad there's another couple out there who doesn't agree when they are sailing.

  2. Oh Cidnie... Let me assure you that its not all sunshine and roses between Dani and I. You should have seen the fight that erupted when there was disagreement about taking the front sun shade down or leaving it up.

    But anyway, this post was great. I shall now refer to the orange cushion pfds as "marks of shame". You there! Go and don your Mark of Shame. How is that for a pun?

  3. Happy to hear there are other couples out there who disagree from time to time and are still able to love each other and the water. I think its an important note to make, otherwise couples who decide to go sailing and find themselves in disagreement will think they are the ONLY ones who ever have issues.

    1. haha..yeah and they will probably find themselves single in a short time.

      Thank goodness we have this refit to learn how to argue, instead of doing it out at sea.

      Rest assured Cidnie, you are not alone.

  4. And this is why I simply never mention my other half on my blog. :) Looks like Kitty had a ball either way! And Maura is a beauty even with an orange couch cushion around her neck!

  5. I believe Claire to be a perfectly fabulous name!

  6. I'll never forget our first squall when I had to chuck my two babies into the V berth to help out on deck. I believe there was a bit of yelling involved, but we all survived and had a good laugh afterwards. Seriously, wind whipping, lines flailing, waves crashing, who doesn't get into a squabble under those conditions!

  7. Great post - I love your thinking about how Outcome 2 would be a good thing! It is funny how sailing blogs often share when thing go wrong with the boat etc., but don't often share the arguments that happen on board. Cheers - Ellen