One is Company Enough
By Chris Museler
Emotions rise and fall all the time in a boat, but I’m noticing that the swings may be less in a double-hander, like our Class 40 Dragon. Despite being a little low after losing our sprit yesterday, my spirits were lifted this morning when I opened my Father’s Day. Isabella, Charlotte, and one-month-old Anneliese gave me a crayon drawing, laminated into a waterproof bookmark with a wool tassel braided by tiny hands!
Yesterday I twice experienced what makes doublehanded sailing more enjoyable psychologically than sailing with a full crew. (Physically, of course, it’s a challenge, especially for someone nearing 40 years old.) First, we took about 30 minutes to change a sail Friday night because of a snagged halyard. That was embarrassing. The second snafu was a lot worse. After losing the sprit when we stuffed a wave at 16 knots, Michael Hennessey and I succeeded in shredding the Code 5 while pulling it aboard. Unless we’re able to jury-rig a sprit, we’re left with only our main and Solent jib.
Waiting for the positive news? I don’t feel all that anxious. With nobody to blame but ourselves – no 10 other guys to fume about – racing offshore just became more fun. Sometimes misery loves company, but one is company enough.
Then came my bout of seasickness that ran so long we began to think about the doctor at the Safety at Sea Seminar who told us this could be SERIOUS. After explaining that we were too far offshore for a helicopter to come out and lift me off, Michael proceeded to suggest that I undergo rectal administration of seasickness medication. I said, “Let's see how I feel after a nap.” Six hours later I feel much better after some Gatorade and Ramen Noodles.
Mid-day on this Father’s Day, things are starting to look better. The sun is shining, the breeze is moderating and hauling aft, and we’re 20-plus miles ahead of our sisterships. Time to jury-rig a sprit!