Friday, May 21, 2010

Cat Strogonoff

Its been a fairly exhausting couple of days, with wind going all over the place and almost constant rain for 24 hours, meaning that until today I had very little rest. I haven't been able to put the guard zone up on the radar because of all the storms coming through so have been on almost constant watch for ships. I racked up a couple of firsts for the trip - in the midst of the rain and storms I experienced a perfectly flat ocean and had a beautiful sail on it for a couple of hours doing 5.5 knots before the next lot of swell came through. Reminded me of Cockburn Sound back home. The other first was the sheer volume of water coming out of the sky on top of me at one point - including a fairly scary lightening strike that was a bit too close for comfort. Unfortunately I also paid the price of being lazy. I needed to head more east to pick up a northward moving current and thought I might get lucky and the wind would get me there without having to pole the jib to help her along. It's quite an effort to get the pole out, and what with all the rain I put it off meaning that by the time I realised I wasn't going to get there without it, the wind was hard on the nose from the east and it was a slog to get where I wanted to go. I'm learning a lot of lessons out here! The wind also backwinded the jib again - although this time didn't lay the boat completely over like it did last time and I also had a bit of warning when I heard the sails starting to flog and was already halfway out the cockpit so managed to right things in time.

I knew the day was likely to be a tough one when I opened the days food bag and discovered my selection for dinner was my favourite (not!) "cat" strogonoff. For some reason its called beef strogonoff on the packet but there's nothing in there that looks or tastes like beef. Was making my way through it in the evening when I came across a foreign body (even more foreign than the rest of it) in the gravy. Gingerly picked it out imagination going wild (cats nose? Paw? Claw?) when I realised the gravy was congealed around one of my used ear-plugs that must have dropped in unnoticed. Then last nights dinner that I was actually looking forward to, managed to get flipped out of the microwave and splatted all over the companionway. The distance some of it travelled was unbelievable. I've been picking bits of meat out of cracks and crevices ever since, and wiping gravy off rough non-skid surfaces is just a nightmare.

Things have improved today, the rain has eased off and I have been able to get things dry and set the sails with a degree of certainty. I have also managed to catch up on some sleep.


  1. Hi Jamie,

    I have to say, my heart's been in my mouth while I read about what you're experiencing. What a mess you've had to clean up. I'm sorry, but I had to giggle about your earplug in the gravy.

    You're incredibly brave and I pray that your journey will be a safe one

    Looking forward to your next blog. Take care.
    Sunshine Coast. Qld.

  2. Hi Jamie,

    Wiping gravy off a rough non-skid surface is a nightmare even at the best of times but nowhere near as bad as cleaning up shattered glass from an exploding microwave as you experienced earlier.

    Love, kisses and best wishes...

  3. Hi Jamie, I am so full of admiration for you my brave and wonderful hero, and your posts are always such a good read. Hugs, kisses and best wishes always...

  4. Hi Jamie,
    Just had to say how proud we all are of you here in Mandurah, what a Man I cannot even begin to think how hard it must be for you, and the tenacity you have shown since you left Rockingham.The people in Rockingham must be so proud of you. I remember first hearing about you when you were trying to get Sail Into Life up and running, I think it is now called Sail-ability. You did an incredible job, to see you out on the water encouraging people to come and have a go was wonderful actually it was unforgettable to see. Some of them had never sailed in their life but you gave them the confidence to be lifted out of their wheel chairs and take to the water. "Wow" it was great to see the smiles on their faces and the confidence they gained from the experience. Now you are out there alone and doing the best that you can. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Thank-You will never be enough to someone who just keeps trying to get the point across to everyone GET OUT THERE AND LIVE THE DREAM. We are taking notice of you Jamie and we will get out and live the dream ourselves.
    All our love to you. Stay safe we are thinking of you every day.
    Sharlene and family.

  5. Jamie,
    My wish for you in your next port of call is a lovely home cooked meal, minus ear plug. One cannot help but ask WHY but knowing you we all know the answer, keep up the good work.
    We are all sending positive vibes to you and look forward to your next blog.
    You are a legend, and a hero to us all. I feel ashamed for just sitting and thinking about what you are doing we are in awe of you.
    Enjoy and stay safe.
    Rocky and the crew.

  6. Your descriptions of life onboard are such a lesson for us, in coping, finding work-arounds, and sheer sustained determination. This detail is invaluable - we don't think about the obstacles you're facing until you show us how ordinary "little" things are really "huge". Thanks so much for taking the time to write it all down as it's happening. I have heard before of a green scotch-brite served up in the spinach, but ear-plug gristle - hey, so much more tasty! LOL May fair winds be kind to you in taking you quickly on to your next landfall.