Sailing Cielo: Knuckle Down

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Knuckle Down

Glancing down at my red, scraped knuckles as I type, I am reminded of the hard work Cielo’s crew has to been putting in to get her geared up for the 1300-nautical mile passage that lies ahead.

Up until yesterday, my time on Cielo seemed more like a vacation on a floating hotel complete with first class drinks made by Kevin, the best bartender in the Northern hemisphere and snacks whipped up by Lizz, who’s evidently been apprenticing Betty Crocker.

Within the last 36 hours, this feeling of vacation has been replaced by the serious work that is required when preparing for an extended off-shore passage.

We spent all day yesterday prepping for our journey: ferrying food and fuel from town to the boat, boat maintenance including changing the fuel filters, preparing provisions and tweaking our planned sailing route.

The most physically intense thing I’ve done since coming aboard is clearing Cielo’s hull of growth. The longer a boat sits in the water, the more slimy hairy growth and barnacles she accumulates. Surprisingly, just a small amount of growth can impede our speed through the water by a knot, which would cause us to lose 24 miles of distance every day. 24 miles is a lot of distance when you consider that an average 24-hour run for Cielo is 150 miles. So, with this in mind, we all donned our snorkel gear, grabbed our scrapers and brushes and got to work.

At first blush, scraping the hull may not seem like a big deal, but I can assure you…. it’s a bitch! The process involves extended breath holding, high aerobic activity, slicing up your hands and taking the occasional gulp of salt water. After about 3 hours of work, Cielo’s hull was clear and I felt very proud of all that our hard work had accomplished.

After showering off, we capped off the day by grilling half-pound burgers and sipping some cocktails while watching the “Best of the Colbert Report” on DVD. Despite the cuts and scrapes, it really was a perfect day. We worked hard and accomplished most of what we needed in order to prepare ourselves for the eight or nine day journey ahead.

Today we will finalize our route, get the last of the diesel we need and finish off the food prep, since I’ve been told that it can be very tricky to cook anything while underway. If all goes according to our current plan, we should be heading home as of 7 a.m. tomorrow morning, These days of preparation have, for me, finally taken this long sail from a theoretical idea to an imminent reality. I feel like I am at the precipice of an adventure that I cannot fully grasp, but am excited to engage.


posted by kyle

4 Comments:

Anonymous Karrie said...

Hello Kevin and Lizz ~ so it only takes a promise of sailing to get Kyle to do actual physical labor. :)

My prayers go with you. Let me know when and where you will land in nyc.

May 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM  
Anonymous sammie and anabelle said...

and watch out for Yetti bites--they can be anywhere, not the bites (maybe the bites),but more specifically the yetti. Can't wait to see you.

May 7, 2008 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Lizz, sr said...

Betty Crocker in a bikini...
Love the pictures. Will be thinking of you.

May 7, 2008 at 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Alex and Zach said...

Hey Guys,
Alex and Zach can't wait to see their world traveling aunt and uncle back in the states.. Good luck on the voyage.

May 7, 2008 at 3:57 PM  

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