Ahhh, the relaxed sailing life. Palm trees, dolphins, beautiful sunsets on the water. On this trip, remove the tropics, drop the temperature to 40 degrees with no heat on the boat and add a bunch of winter layers. Wine for me, please! We did have a beautiful sunset over the water, hats, scarves and wool socks aside.
This morning’s hot topic was that if we sailed for many more hours we’d reach lovely and uninhabited St. Clements Island by dark and we could take Sylvie for a walk on the beach and play ball in the grass. Otherwise, there weren’t many suitable anchorages for many more sailing hours.
Charles discovered St. Clements Island for the first time earlier in the season, selecting it in the dark as the prefect sheltered anchorage after sailing all night. We’d discussed wanting to go back any time we were sailing from the bay to our home port. Click here for our first visit to St. Clements Island earlier in the season.
After lunch I discovered that all the produce in the fridge was frozen and the shrimp hadn’t thawed out. New dinner plans. Do we have enough cheese for the next three days? Plenty of wine but little whiskey and no rum or beer. My famous three-recipe apple pie had only two more servings left. Basic needs here! Food aside, let’s get a bit more basic in the basic needs department. Where are we sleeping tonight and how long will it take to get there? Can we get to St. Clements Island before dark? Are we docking at night at a strange dock or anchoring out? Will we be dodging crab pots that we can’t even see?
Fast forward through many hours of cold wind and waves on the water. I was standing on the bow after the sun set and it occurred to me that we were in the middle of an adventure. I strained my eyes in almost total darkness to make out the dock on this uninhabited island on a cloudy and moonless night. As the black island loomed closer I spotted a strange reflector glowing on land with our spotlight. We inched toward the eerie floating glow at 3 knots per hour and on a whim I moved our spotlight a bit to the left. The long dock was directly in front of us and coming up fast, previously unseen but so close in the light of the spotlight! With a bit of quick steering we pulled up to the end of the dock and tied up in the darkness. Speaking of darkness, uninhabited islands are seriously dark at night when there’s no moon out.
What does the fox say? Let me tell you, they shriek like banshees when they live alone and someone’s just pulled up to their island. One person in our party (me) decided to stay onboard while the other two went to have a potty break on the beach. This is probably the stuff horror movies are made of, actually being miles from where anyone can hear us scream. Sylvie hadn’t been to land for a few days and fox shriek or not, she was determined to feel solid ground beneath her paws. Once we were all safely back aboard, the propane heater was lit, a hot dinner was served, a bit of wine was poured, and our little dog fell asleep on the settee next to us.
More cold winds will herald in the dawn tomorrow. We have many nautical miles to cover before we get home, high winds and waves are in the forecast, and there’s one more night at anchor before our little dog will feel the grass of her home port beneath her paws again.
“Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” -Brault