Thursday, 14 August 2008

A journey north


It’s impossible to know where to start when there is so much to tell, more than I feel capable of writing about on this blog for the moment. So, very briefly…

Onawind Blue and I left our home beach at Creixell last Wednesday and over the next few days we worked our way up the coast, reaching Cèrbere in France on Monday evening. You can’t travel 300 kilometres over the sea in a little boat without a lot happening. We had our share of calms and light headwinds, we had long sessions of gut busting rowing under a blazing sun, we had contrary currents and large rolling swells; conditions so frustrating and tiring that I was ready to let mermaids lure me overboard into the cool waters. We had a rat stowaway in the forward locker for 24 hours and we ran aground off a small rocky island. We saw the Tramuntana wind and helped heave a 30 foot sailing boat off rocks after it’s anchor dragged in the cove where we sheltered from the fierce blow. We had some fantastic sailing with following winds, at one point so strong that I could only continue sailing by rigging the double-reefed mizzen sail on the main mast and then, with only 1.2 metres of sail cloth, we still sailed at 6 knots. I discovered the most idyllic coves, met fantastic, welcoming people, got drunk, ate some great food and let the sea in through every pore in my body so that now, on land at last, life seems impossibly dry.


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4 comments:

The Ethnic Catamaran Company said...

I linked to your other blog but somehow overlooked this. What a wonderful narrative – and a beautiful looking boat! More photos of the coastlines and the boat would be even better.

Thomas Armstrong said...

ben- I've been following your building and first trials with onawind for awhile, thanks to gavin. but this account is something new, nice voyage, nice story, good stuff. have you considered a feed?

Gavin Atkin said...

Fabulous stuff, as always. Well done Ben!

Ben said...

Thanks guys. To make a long (everything’s relative) solo trip like this marks a significant ‘waypoint’ in my life. To receive encouragement only heightens the pleasure of achievement. I hope you enjoy the story.