Tag Archives: Sleep

Two Hundred Miles Downwind

Morro Bay Amel Ketch

Tranquility as harbor

Coffee, always hot black coffee. No cream and no sugar, no thank you. Still even with a cup of fresh brew the skipper and crew were both bone tired. Anchor was hoisted at the top of the day. Deeper water was found as we dodged the kelp taking a course south and west . The jib was unfurled . We set course for Morro Bay twenty miles south.

Here would be our first chance to set foot back on land for more than just fuel. The harbor in Morro Bay would be the boat’s keeper. Her now worn crew needed to stand down. After two days we needed to tie the boat to a dock and once relieved of duty not consider for one second about the change of weather or state of the ocean’s surface. Shore side leave was the order of the day.

We docked at the Morro Bay Yacht Club. I dropped the radar reflector and hoisted the burgee of the Emeryville Yacht Club. Sweet Seas and crew were welcomed guests. We showered and shaved. Down the Embarcadero along the waterfront we took a stool at Windows on the Water. I drank one martini before and a glass of red wine with my fresh shucked oysters, garden salad and chunks of sliced bread. I was back aboard on my bunk and asleep before ten bells had sounded.

Richard Santos Best

Richard Santos- Longtime friend and crew

In the morning the ketch rigged vessel Spirit came alongside the pier. Her captain Tom Valery hailing from Ventura had come from a mooring ball to the dock to spend the day cleaning his 50’ Gulf Star. The one time Newport, Oregon native and musician now attended to an evolving set of new careers. The witty eyed sailor had plotted a post high pressure-high stakes musical career for the chance to go drifting from port to port in pursuit of his own next chapter.

There was a weekly Wednesday night barbecue at the club. Beef, turkey, salmon and veggie burgers were on offer. Six bucks got you all the fixings plus homemade side dishes whipped up by the clubs talented cooks. Conversation ran the gamut from dragging anchor to near misses in dense fog. The sailors with real sea time logged could not be worried about the inherent risks that come with going to sea.

vest

Skin in the Game

Seafarers understand the compact they’ve entered into. There is not much else to say. What choice does a mariner have? By my reckoning there are some risks in life that are best categorized as necessary. You stick your neck out because you’ll never live with yourself if you don’t. Rough weather is not much worse than a bad marriage, traffic citation or a beat up pickup truck with a broken starter. They’ll all make you cuss, drink whiskey and pile on more regret to the pile of mistakes you’ve already been carrying to this fated point in your life.

A yacht club is a collection of stalwart women and men who have some notion that a boat affords them a chance to take a chose shave with their life. There are all sorts of distracting dreams and destinations in the mix, but regardless of the aim or final port there remains the matter of surviving the getting there, even relishing that passage, making the voyage with skill and grace no matter the circumstances. Somewhere in the thing we know as sailing is a soul who needs to see an end to putting off the unavoidable.

gulls and seals

Time spent ocean sailing over the course of my thirty-eight years has been low. Most of my sailing has been in protected waters. I’ve done enough time offshore to have seen plenty. This stint is my longest yet. We’ve arrived in Morro Bay having now logged two hundred miles. Now we are just more than halfway. By my count I’ll have near nine hundred sea miles under my sailboats keel by the time I arrive back at my home port. By that time I’ll have a more intimate view of what my boat and what parts of my insides I’ve not flushed out into the open prior to this challenge. Sailing the coast of California turns out to be both a beautiful and hard won task.

More…  Edited Red Star

April 25, ’18 On a Good Nights Sleep

Getting Horizontal

sleeper

Portlights, Polka Dots, Pillows and Moonbeams

A bed that moves matters to those with gypsy blood and wanderlust on the mind. Favorite pillows, king size or satin sheets matter not one whit. What you want from the place you sleep is for that nocturnal preserve to be your best bet for a cheap nights rest. Price is important. You don’t want to be riled up prior to the sleeping to be disturbed by gouging or steep prices you’ll never forgive yourself being forced to pay.

My wife is the empress connoisseur of fresh air. Two portholes from where air may flow into the rear cabin deliver to her specification. Mostly it is quiet here. Early mornings seabirds can moan and cry about one thing or another. We are convinced their frustrations authentic and bless their squawking.

maestro07 008a

What Sleeping Around Looks Like

I prefer to fall off reading where my wife favors a hard break. Going cold turkey she’ll brush her teeth, hop on into bed then just fall on off as her mind shuts down and sleep comes. Reading- as I prefer- is only forgivable on account of the marriage being vowed and our bond unbreakable. Were we not mated for life the fierce little lady would toss her bunkmate into a fire like a piece of scrap wood for bollocksing up her falling away at the end of the day in peace.

In the harbor sleeping is a near always worry free affair. When anchored out things can take a turn by wind or tide and require the vigilant captain keep watch through the night in the event that natures vicissitudes visit and  make mischief. Anchors drag, lines break, chains snap and boats end up on the hard, beached or worse. You may fall asleep in a dead calm and wake in the dark to howling winds threatening you and your crew in ways that are inconceivably harrowing.

Home

Rocking Gentle into the Good Night

People are inclined by passion to all manner of unwholesomeness. Even when asleep most all of us can still be prone to error and make one or two. In my childhood and while exercising my adolescent privilege to the extreme I denied this truth. Sleeping without error is merely our way of tricking our waking selves seeing sleep as chance. Eventually no matter how you work the notion around inside your head there comes a point where you just have to give into the demon sleep. You may round up your remorsefulness come daybreak. Wait until you’ve had your coffee. Those ready for you to take the blame I’m betting will be distracted by their smartphones and what happens next is there is frequently no account to be held. You cannot ask for a better nights rest with a day getting off to a fresh new start without having to apologize for something you didn’t do. This is the beauty found in the human condition.

Edited Red Star