Day 29

The first two days heading up from Newfoundland were beautiful sunny days – not much wind but a nice break. The next day I saw the most amazing sunrise ever, but, an incredibly colorful bright sunrise is not a good sign. By 9:30am it was blowing a gale. It was what I call a summer gale which come for breakfast and leave after dinner. In the winter a gale will blows for days and I would not want to be in these waters. The gale was blowing out of the northeast so I had to beat my way into the wind and waves to go north. I don’t think this boat will sail close hauled in more the 35-40kts, I was moving sideways almost as much as I was going forward. I love having 35-40kts of wind behind me – it makes for a fun fast day. But beating into the seas sucks – and everything got wet. I setup my dodger for the first time and it worked well until a wave came crashing over my deck and blew it out. Not long after I was tossed about and body slammed my chart plotter, ripping it off its mount. I took one wave so hard it damaged part of my mounting system for my wind generator and I had to lash the thing down until the wind calmed. The next day blew around 30kts and being that I was still beating my way into the wind and sea things just keep getting more and more wet until I had no where left to sit that was dry. I was a bit miserable.

Jullian from West Marine rigging keep telling me that I need to get as much film footage as possible while on this trip. I have a waterproof HD camera and I have got some good shots. The weather seemed to calm down a bit and I heard Jullains voice in my head “film” so I took my camera outside to mount it. Since no wave had broke over the boat for some time I decided not to put on my foul weather gear (you can see where this is going). As I was mounting the camera, I heard a approaching wave. When I looked I saw it was big wave with a strange pinnacle shape, and headed right at me. I tried to pull myself up the back stay but it hit so hard it wiped my feet out and as I held the backstay I noticed that I was at a right angle to the boat. Needless to say I ended yesterday by getting completely soaked. Next time I’ll put on my foul weather gear.

Today was a great sunny day, so I took advantage of the weather. I fixed “all things broken” and I patched up 5 leaks. My boat was a funny sight as I had laundry hanging from all over and my cushions all over the deck. I managed to dry out my boat and gear and now I’m ready to do it all over again. The fog has rolled back in and I end this day with a glass of screech feeling good about tomorrow. So far so good.

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8 Responses to Day 29

  1. Helen says:

    Hiya Matt,

    Checking in on you while I sit nice and dry (and vertical!) at my desk. You are pushing along at a nice 5.6 knots as you head into the Labrador Sea and tracking really well despite your “9 to 5” gale. It takes such guts, mental strength and adventuring spirit to undertake this adventure in a 27′ Vega … a much more primal experience than in a nice steel 45 footer with heating and hard enclosures.

    Hope you are eating well.

    Helen
    Annapolis, MD

  2. Edward Pessenda aka Minnesota says:

    whats up bro see your rocking the high seas Im back here rocking the DTA with out you however I do have PJ as a constalation prize heading to ACME I’ll have a few and think of you without the home made sake (cold water kumikujia) LOL miss you bro be safe and bring your ass back or ELSE……

  3. Karol Harlan says:

    Hopefully, you take pictures of yourself as you are standing (or all sprawled out) on the deck in your sopping wet clothes! Good thing you are young and strong. Your experiences are not for the weary nor the wimpy (which means many of us will never be sailors!) One thing I’m wondering…is the sea water very cold? I have friends sailing up around Ketchican, Alaska. Will you be sailing in that area?

    Stay safe,
    Karol Harlan

  4. Colin says:

    Yo brother, I love to read all of your blogs and can’t wait to see the pics. I bet that wave kinda felt like our late April dip in spa creek. It’s Africa hot here in Fla. and Ashley wanted me to tell you she said hi. I look foreward to sitting on the dock with some Rum and a 12 pack listening to all the stories!

  5. Tusa, Pete, and Audra says:

    Good luck cuz! We’re rooting for you from the fam shack here in Michigan. Having our reunion tomorrow afternoon; we’ll be sure to raise a toast for Grandpa and Nana. Wish you could be here.

    BTW, so long Tressel and GO BLUE!

    Much love,

    Pete, Tusa, and Audra

    P.S. Uncle Jim says to say hello to the narwhals.

  6. Rik says:

    Matt,

    The progress you make is pretty good. Wondering how it looks like around you.

    Salud

  7. Aunt Paula and ALL of us ! says:

    Your progress amazes & overwhelms me …. every verbal description of your adventures so far become a “video” in my head. One that is exciting yet hard to play ….. I am SO glad you had a sunny day to dry things out & make your needed repairs. The family reunion was great on the 16th (by contrast — it is in the 90’s with sweltering humidity in the mid-west). ALL cousins here, including your beautiful sister …. except you. It was strange to not have you here. We all missed you. But we are cheering you on every day !!! Sail on & know those prayers go before you ! HANG ON when those waves come !! Sending huge amounts of WARM & DRY love & hugs to you. Aunt Paula

  8. Mom says:

    Here is an animated link to view where the sea ice is melting in Canadian waters:

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=CE69E4DD-1

    As of 7/20/2011, the sea ice is beginning to thin in the Northwest Passage.

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