Solo Sailing” to Vlaardingen

I wake up to a rolling sea and a rocking sail boat. The wind 12 knots from the northeast. I clip my safety harness on to the life line in the cockpit. I step out of the companionway doors, the sky gray, white caps and spray. I start the motor, I get Theanna moving underpower into the wind. I set the autopilot, to hold us steady on course, nose into the wind.

Up and down we go, over the waves.

I clip on deck. Slowly but surely I manage to get the sails up. The mainsail and the large working jib are up. I tie off the jib halyard, the sails flapping wildly. I reach the cockpit, I disengage the autopilot clutch. I take over, turn the wheel starboard, fall off the wind,until the sails stop their wild flapping. Their white belly’s full of wind, we heel over a bit she takes off like a rocket. Theanna starts to really move out. I hurry, set the autopilot on course. I turn off the motor.

We are sailing. Hard on the wind, close hauled.

Excerpt from Tim O’Connor’s book: “Part One Frantic Romantic”.
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