Mabel on Deck
Grenada to Norfolk Voyage
Angela's journal theme is places. I don't know if it's spring fever or feeling a bit stuck in place or both, but I've had a bad case of wanderlust lately. I started thinking about the places I've felt most content, and realize most of those places involve the sea or companion animals or both.
In the late 90s, lifetimes ago it seems, I helped a friend's mother bring her Alberg 37 from Grenada to Norfolk. We made the trip in one shot, no stops, across the Caribbean and then up the Atlantic. 20 days at sea. It was just the two of us, and sweet Mabel the cat. During calmer weather Mabel would wedge herself between the air vent and companionway hatch, and doze in the shade. During bad weather, she'd snug in the cabin, and during my 3 hour sleep shifts, she'd bunk with me for company. Tropical Depression Danny hit us just before it was upgraded to hurricane status. Gusts to 60 and sustained winds of 45 were a challenge at the helm. The week before we landed the forestay snapped (which holds the mast upright), and we had a thrilling rollercoaster ride down some huge seas while we wrestled the head sail out of the surf and hooked up an emergency forestay. We also hit the doldrums-- endless days on glassy seas. The water tanks fouled, we ran out of propane, and blew an oil gasket that needed repairing. It was one of the best times of my life. Every day was new, and the colors of the sea and sky changed hourly. On calm nights, I'd lie on deck. Millions of stars above reflected in the water, and it felt like floating through the universe. When the wind was fair, and we'd make good headway, dolphins would show up and play around the bow wake. Bliss.
I don't know what happened to Mabel once back in the States, but like to imagine she's living out another of her 9 lives, belly full of fish, dreaming of far-away lands.
(a few photos on my blog)