As I sit here at home, reading and re reading my precious hand written log books, I am able to go back into time and remember how lucky we were to sail KANDARIK around our globe with our two little children. It keeps me going today, and for that I am forever grateful.
Remembering back in1990 we were anchored in the lovely deserted Chagos Archipeligo! We had a wild and rough passage behind us and still had a long way to Madagascar across the vast and terribly uncomfortable Indian Ocean.. After a rather tortuous couple of weeks at sea, where upon first anchoring, there were no police, no quarantine officers, no immigration agent, no one at all to have to check in with after the long wild sail from Cocos Keeling!!! We all giggled with joy as we sat motionless on the bright blue lagoon. No hurry to rush ashore, and all we absolutely needed to do was secure the anchor and jump into the still calm water! Chagos was the only place we visited where there were no officials, because no one was there. Here we were surrounded by coconut palms, in the clear lagoon and the ruins of a little village. There was only a very worn out, faded and tattered British flag upon a weather beaten plaque that read,
“Welcome to the British East India Territory” Now I ask you, how romantic, and historical, is that???
But, on to my story, more on Chagos in another KANDARIK tale!
Anchored in the lagoon were a handful of other yachts that were great company. I am sure we could have stayed there months and months eating fresh coconut, caught fish, and taking advantage of the fresh water from an abandoned tank ashore. But, Madagascar beckoned and we wanted to arrive there by Thanksgiving!
The routine of getting ready for a long ocean passage was really nothing to us. The crew, me and Andy, our daughter Sammy, and the young fore deck man, son Jamie, had ‘ready for sea’ down pat after the years we lived and enjoyed circling the globe on the gallant KANDARIK. We unleashed the anchor and chain from the friendly coral head we had used to wrap around. Up hoisted main and genoa, as we made for the pass into the open waters of the Indian Ocean. Sailing out at the same time was a lovely 30 foot sloop with five men, a delightful woman, and a little baby boy, Brendon. We departed together for this long, and what we thought would be arduous passage. We knew we would have, again, the uncomfortable southern ocean swell of the Indian Ocean.
As we cleared the pass, OCEAN MUSIC hailed us on the VHF… “Andy” they all said, “Do you realize it is Friday the 13th!” and with that we saw them turn around and go back to the safety and security of Chagos!
“Oh, heck” Andy said, as he gathered the crew in the cockpit watching OCEAN MUSIC as she returned to the lagoon behind us. “Let’s keep going!” We all looked at one another, and because it was such a gorgeous blue eyed day, and the wind was fair, Sammy and Jamie both shook their heads and said, “Come on, Dad, we want to get to Madagascar!” As usual, I was the only worry wort aboard!!! You never should tempt King Neptune!
So on we sailed and would you believe the entire passage we carried our bright yellow spinnaker drawing us downwind the entire passage!!! Never have we ever had such a long passage of perfect weather and wind, and a very unusual, lovely comfortable time at sea the entire way. Day, and night, we thundered along with a bone in KANDARIK’s teeth. We felt compelled to make a few videos, our new video camera was quite a new toy back then, of sailing those last many miles of the Indian Ocean. Sammy would narrate something like this as she was filming the rushing water and yellow kite pulling us along halyard and sheet straining under the press of wind.
“See the spinnaker up there? It has been set since we left Chagos!” and she went on to laugh and say, “I think those who will be watching this from home think it is like this all the time we are at sea!” “Sure,” she laughed, “It’s always like this!! Ha Ha Ha Ha!” But for that particular passage it was perfect all the way to Mayotte! Unbelievable!!! But true!!!
Poor OCEAN MUSIC did depart on Saturday the 14th, only about 24 hours behind us. They had terrible weather, hit a submerged log, got a fishing net tangled in their prop, ran out of propane for cooking, and, I think, but not really sure, they did not believe us out there just a bit ahead of them having a wonderful, comfortable, sunny and warm, fresh fish for dinner spinnaker run passage!!
Friday the 13th, well, I must admit, I felt very concerned by our taking a chance on that departure day we headed further West… But so glad we did!!! I am still as superstitious as anyone, especially when we are at sea!
Another story, if you want another one, is about loosing our little wood carving of the sailor in his bright yellow sea jacket and sou’wester that was always, well almost always, glued to the book shelf as our good luck charm!!! But that’s another story about superstition and you will have to wait for that one!!!
Oh, how I loved our time aboard KANDARIK with our family crew and lovely boat, and great seaman and navigator, and adventurer Andy Wall! Thank you, Andy!!!