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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Feb. 7, 2013-Falmouth Harbor, Land of the Giants

We are now in Falmouth Harbor, land of the giants. I feel like I got caught in some kind of Gulliver’s Travels; all the boats here are huge. But more on that later; how did we get here?

Vertigo and Maltese Falcon.

Status of the back Injury.

We spent three days in Nelson’s Dockyard while I rested after the last passage, then concerns about the cost of it drove us out and we shifted to the anchorage in Ordinance Bay. In the process I re-injured myself pulling the docklines aboard and after we anchored I quickly retreated to my bunk, immobilized with pain.

But the anchorage was tight and our position was not perfect; we needed to move slightly which meant pulling the anchor, the buoy, and the tag line, and shifting our position about 50 feet. I tested my back. Three times I tried to get up and walk around. I couldn’t do to. It seemed I had about 15 seconds on my feet before the pain felled me like an axe.

Finally I said to Judy, “OK, I’ve got 15 seconds. I’ll get up, run on deck, and fall prone on the foredeck. Then I can operate the windlass and washdown, and do whatever else I need to do on the foredeck from that position, you operate the engine and steering.”

It was crazy. We both knew it. She might have demurred but she saw the wisdom of it; we had to move and that was the only way we could do it. Besides, I was the captain, I am omnipotent, my will must prevail. So be it. We planned each move ahead of time.

It worked. I leaped up, ran topsides, and crashed by the windlass. Then I did the required; painfully. We even had a good laugh when I rolled over on the washdown nozzle and it turned on spraying salt water all over me and in my face. But in 10 minutes we had moved the boat and re-anchored and I crawled back to my bunk. It must have amused any onlookers.

Then we spent two and a half days there. I never moved from that bunk.

On the third day I felt better and I got up arranged the photo trip on Marama (see last post ). That too was crazy, Judy thought I was totally stupid, but it also worked. I got the photos.

Adela Afterguard Watching Closely.

Two more days of immobility, then we decided to move again; we wanted to see another place.
By now I was up and around, if unable to sit for long, at least I could do my share on the boat while standing.
We raised anchor and came to Falmouth Harbor. Two miles. We motored. I steered. A test: could I steer? Yes, but painfully. However, it was clear that I was improving.
Now we’ve been here for a few days. My back is better. I’ve been to a couple of doctors. I’ve got a lot of medications. I take them. We go ashore each day and walk around, doing errands. I am doing my exercises. Each day I am using (slightly) less pain medication. Things are looking up.

Falmouth Harbor.

This place has more expensive yachts than anywhere I’ve a couple orders of magnitude. It is filthy with 150’ sloops. And there are half a dozen over 200’. There are also four J-Boats here and another in English Harbor. We have never seen so many big yachts, and in fact we have never seen even one of these boats before, now there are dozens here. We are definitely small time.

But we’ve got our own agenda: We are ticking off the prerequisites for Sailing Week: Finalize entry; Secure berth; Optimise rating, which means getting sails measured and re-cut; Reserve a storage area; Renew the yacht insurance; Reserve a car. Can’t finish any of these right at the moment but we can get them all going. It’s OK, we have two months.

In a week or so, when everything is cooking along, we’ll go on a cruise around Antigua for a month or so. It has some great cruising grounds. What I want to find is that quiet, bullet proof, anchorage where we can hear the birds sing in the morning. We hear there are some like that here. We’ll find them.

Later we’ll come back and do some racing.

Meanwhile, I’ll work on getting my back right.

Click here for more images from Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

Click here for more photos from the Antigua Superyacht Challenge

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Antigua

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11 February, 2013 03:45  

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