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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Febuary 21, 2006-Sailing to Semirara

Monitor Steering

A huge flood swept into the Tablas Straits into the teeth of a 30 knot Nor’easterly and we charged at 7.8 knots under main alone through the resulting maelstrom knocking aside all manner of seas and water. The windvane steered us straight along the rhumb line to the west, towards Semirara Island, 36 miles distant.

It was a close reach and a wet one; Wings’ head was perpetually lost in a cloud of spray, and her decks constantly awash.

Judy stood watch for the first two hours and I stripped down and went forward to secure the jib, which wasn’t going to see any use on that day. I got drenched, but it was not cold work, the water being warm and all that.

B&G Instuments tell the story

At 11:00 I took over the watch and Judy went below for a nap, but she didn’t sleep. Instead she watched our progress across the chart and listened to the sounds of the boat and sea outside.

Green water

Never slowing a knot, we wove our way between the windward end of Semirara and offlying shoals, into shallower water and even bigger waves and closer to the lee shore than either of us liked, but we cleared the point and bore off downwind.

Finally we jibed towards a small bay, which isn't on the chart but a friend said it was there. Now we were screaming towards uncharted land at 8 knots and no sign of the wind lessening. Judy asked, “What did we get ourselves into?” and then she added, “You know, I think I’ve lost my love of sailing.”

But there was shelter on that corner of Semirara, and when we dropped the sail and came into the little bay, we found it to be a pleasant spot.

Maybe we’ll sit here a day or three and plug some leaks that appeared in the deck.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Semirara Island, The Philippines

And for you map readers: N12 degree 05.086 minutes Latitude, E121 degrees 20.628 minutes Longitude

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