Thursday, May 7, 2015
stories of heroism and more
we were far off shore between hanalea bay, kaui and west coast canada. the wind was storming at about 20 knots. not to much for our little ship but we had a broken cable on our wind vane on the auto helm and that meant long hours of hand steering or fix the cable.
the cable runs from the vane to the small rudder. without cable, the rudder just hangs loose on the stern. yvonne put on a life harness backward so the d rings were in the middle of her back instead her chest. after setting leaf to the wheel with notice our lives depended on him, he steered us downwind in the most kindly direction we could manage. i tied a strong rope onto yvonne life harness and wound the rope around a large samson post on the stern deck then lowered yvonne face first, feet up into the boiling sea.
not only did she have to remove the broken cable, she had to carefully push 8 feet of cable back up the tiny tube into which the cable ran, not unlike a bike cable in size or design. onto the end of the cable is a loop and a small stainless steel split ring like a key chain ring but tiny holds the whole system together.
in roaring seas hanging by a rope face first into the sea, yvonne repaired the broken wind vane and we sailed on safely back to vancouver.
yvonne is a champion on the wheel, as a pilot charting our voyages and many more boaterly talents. she is truly a boat wife in the best meaning of the term. she can row a dingy or change the oil. she is always first on the weather info and many many other tasks involved with living on the water.
leaf has really grown. he is nearly finished high school and he is passing with honours. something yvonne and i never did. he has his own boat now, a 28' grampian sloop with a volvo diesel inboard, bought with money earned dish washing and serving at a bakery on the sunshine coast and some help from family.
last summer we sailed in a big storm with leaf on his boat and yvonne on i on ours. it was great to see him flying along side us. i have included a picture of his boat. he has upgraded it with solar panels and we installed a new oil heater for him and other upgrades.
on our boat, birthdays are like christmas, they dont just last one day they are more like seasons. it is yvonnes birthday season so for her, i am posting this update after many years of absence, happy birthday to the best boat girl any skipper could want.
we made salmon cucumber sushi and peach kuchen with whipped cream for her birthday dinner.