SIGHTINGS learning curve — cont’d For us newbie/intermediate-level cruisers, the opportunity to practice all the basics — e.g. dinghy up, dinghy down, cook-clean-store, anchor-anchor-anchor, maintain all systems, legal check in/out, etc. — was invaluable. After the two planned weeks, we parted as friends with the owners. We enjoyed that cruise — especially when compared to the almost 'racing' style of sailing we later experienced while helping deliver a Cal 40 back to California following the Pacific Cup. The delivery crew consisted of three seasoned sailors — a veteran Pacific Cup couple in their late 40s, and a single gentleman of 50 with about 35 years of racing/sailing experience. We were eager to soak up as much of their knowledge as possible. After the grueling 19-day sail, we would have to say that, even if you think that you know somebody based on phone chats, emails, pre-meets and so forth, you just don't know them until you are soaking wet and pissed after pounding/slamming hard for two weeks! Compared to Tambadil, our 40,000 lb almost-full keel Hans Christian, the 15,500-lb, flat forefooted Cal 40 is an excellent boat for surfing downwind, but she gave us a bone-jarring and teeth-rattling upwind voyage home. It's one thing to sail like this for more than two weeks with a wheel, autopilot and dodger, but this boat didn't sport any of these common luxuries. I can’t think of a better first long passage test for Carolyn and me than to hand steer, by tiller, with no dodger, getting constantly slapped in the face by waves for 19 days. Through 23 squalls and 1 gale, we learned much about endurance. Because the rest of the crew were racers, most of the voyage was spent with the boat greatly overcanvassed and with the rail buried. The challenge was increased by the captain’s three recently broken ribs, and the fact that his wife, an experienced sailor, thought she had the flu when we were leaving Hawaii. As it turned out, she passed a kidney stone mid-voyage! With the only painkillers available to her being the vicodin that we had brought in our own personal medical bag, she spent most of the voyage huddled miserably in her bunk. For watches, it just naturally fell out that Carolyn and I sailed at least 12 hours a day, cooked, kept the boat clean, and did the fishing. The other two men sailed the other 12 hours. Carolyn, who proved once again to have an iron stomach, was also the constant nurse for our fellow crewmember, and did it all with her amazing smile. Yes, gents, I am the luckiest guy in the world! Of the beautiful sights, sounds, fun, and experiences that we shared, most are now fogged in an almost mystical memory. We try to talk about it to remind ourselves. Remember that night with a full silver 'moon bow' arcing across the sky? Remember all the great sunsets? Who can forget the huge shark, caught in the translucent clarity of a giant wave, as it swam higher than my head beside me? Those delicious dorado and spicy tuna rolls that Carolyn served perhaps 20 minutes after the fish was landed. The magical time after the gale, alone in the cockpit, PFD still inflated, when the water was alive with dolphins dancing in the moonlight. A lot of great memories. So, with our first big passage, and a kind and flattering letter from our skipper behind us, we look forward to our October departure on what we plan to be a 5- to 10-year world voyage. After 21 years in education — I'm a public school vice principal — and Carolyn’s years as a website/graphic designer, we're both eager to set sail! We plan to sail south with the Ha-Ha in late October, spend a year in the Sea of Cortez, another year between Mazatlan and Panama, followed by a year that starts with a Canal transit and Caribbean crossing, with a few months on the East Coast. If all holds to plan, we'll make visits to the U.K., Baltic countries, Med, Africa, Turkey and more. And we can't think of a better boat to do it in than our oversized and overbuilt Hans Christian 43, with all her heavy and solid gear. — Chad and Carolyn Carvey Page 118 •
• April, 2007
ac repeated twice each day at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. When the LVC finals begin on June 1, racing will again be televised live from 5:30-8 a.m., with repeats at 9 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. That schedule will hold roughly through the America’s Cup match, with the exception of the first two races, which will be re-broadcast at 8:30 p.m. instead of 9. The evening repeat broadcast returns to its 9 p.m. slot with the third race on June 26.
Spread, Chad and Carolyn Carvey prepared to go cruising by crewing on OPBs (other people’s boats). Above, Chad’s inflatable PFD did its job in the middle of a gale.
The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.