Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hospitality, Repairs, and Waiting


I’ve been staying with the sailing school in Leuca.  Leuca is a one or two day paddle from Porto Badisco.  I intend to cross the Adriatic to Othonoi, Greece, from there.

I’ve used the last few days to resolve a number of logistical issues that have come up.  I’ve made numerous repairs to my boat, some of which required multiple layers of epoxy.

Before I can make the crossing I need to receive a package from the folks. It includes deck lights and a plb to replace those that were stolen.  It’s gear I should have with me for the crossing.  We’re not using usps, so hopefully we’ll avoid the shipping fiasco from last time.

I’ll also need a weather window.  It’s the wrong time of year for one of those, but this is where I try to trade in all the bad luck I’ve had up until now.  It’s a good thing the universe works like that.

Yesterday I went paddling for a couple of hours to test out my repairs and explore the sea caves I passed last Thursday.

I left most of my gear behind.  Without it, my boat felt a little unstable at first and turned better.  I liked it.

The weather was sunny and the sea was being whipped up by a north wind.

I tried to catch waves and surf into the small beach near the port, but the wind was sending the waves the wrong way.

I followed the cliffs around and found the caves.  There were a lot of them, and they were big.  I went into four or five.  In addition to being dark, they were full of mist as waves crashed in and shot spray up into the humid cave air.  Tunnels disappeared into the hazy darkness and I did not follow.  The caves were large enough so that I could get well inside and still have substantial clearance above my head.  But without calm seas, a helmet, and a headlamp, I decided not to continue in to the inner smaller tunnels.

I paddled under an enormous stone arch.

I didn’t take any pictures since my camera broke.  I’m hoping to find a donor to send me $250 for a new one.

When I turned around I paddled away from the cliffs where the wind was much stronger.  I surfed waves.  I edged into one of them strongly to stay on course.  I edged too far and my head was briefly underwater.  I scull snapped my paddle and tried to swing my head low over my back deck.  I didn’t go down any farther but I only came up enough to get a quick breath before the wave tried to pull me back down.  So I did it again, and on the third time I was up, secure, and paddling forward again.

This wasn’t exactly a roll since I never went down far enough to consider myself capsized; it was more of a late recovery.

With the wind at my pack I moved fast.  I lowered my rudder to reduce the swerving, but it didn’t help since the foot pedals were loose.  I’d have to fix that later with a hanger.  It’s the second time that’s happened since I started with this boat; it’s the result of heavy tumbling.  I raised the rudder back up.

I returned to the small beach next to the port.  The first roll I practiced, my paddle got caught in the deckline that runs alongside my cockpit.  I don’t know how that happened, but I sorted it out.  That’s when I got this sudden feeling that I forgot to tie my glasses on.  I rolled up without any trouble and tied my glasses on.  The rest of my rolls went well and I practiced until my ears hurt.

After coming in I examined the hatches.  There was water in them, but not so much that it couldn’t be attributed to leaking from the hatches and not the hull.  Still, I examined the hull and found another spot that could use an epoxy touch up.

My new Akuilisaq continues to function exceptionally.

So I’m waiting again in a good place.  Please, keep your snide comments to yourself, this time it will only be a few days.

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  1. Logistical Coordination ManagerMarch 11, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Sorry to report, it was the USPS. "Express mail". And they are clueless as to why you don't have your package yet. It is theoretically somewhere between Paris and Leuca.

  2. yep, I actually got gps information this morning, still in Paris.

  3. Logistical CoordinatorMarch 13, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Here we are, 10 days after a mailing that was guaranteed to take 2-3 days. And the latest location of the package, bound for Leuca, Italy, after spending several days in Paris, is JFK. Is it coming back to Teaneck? Are they starting over? One can only speculate into the void.