Preparing to Cross the North Sea

Its 22:00, I’m tired and my back hurts.

The helm station all put away.
The helm station all put away.

I’ve spent much to the day preparing Dauntless to cross the North Sea in the next week.  Now you would think that there isn’t that much to do.

When you consider that in the last 14 months, we have travelled over 8,000 nm and virtually all of those miles have been on the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, one wonders why I am having such angst about the North Sea.

I’ve been pondering the same question for the last week.

Finally I realized there are two issues:

  1. The North Sea is ferocious. Yes, I should have crossed two weeks sooner, but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. There is nothing I can do about that now.
  2. So, let’s tackle what I can control. It is the small things rolling around the boat that upset me, as I always imagine something far worse than the reality.  I do have a very vivid imagination.

    Looking forward in the Engine room.  It may not seem that orderly, but it's better than it was.
    Looking forward in the Engine room. It may not seem that orderly, but it’s better than it was.

Coming to Mandal a few days ago, there was an exposed stretch of only 6 miles, but it was like riding a bucking bronco.  I did not have the paravanes out, and we rolled a few times to 30°.

I’m secure in the pilot house, but it is the noise of loose things crashing that drive me crazy. And then when things settle down and I go to see what the damage is, expecting to see the refrigerator on the floor, all the contents broken and now mixing into a weird kaleidoscope of colors, dripping down the hatches into the engine room.

Instead, I find the wooden business card holder and the old cards it was holding rolling around and making a racket that would wake the dead.  Everything else is sitting there sedately, wondering what the excitement is all about.  And this is not the first time that stupid card holder has done this to me.

So I realized that if I don’t want to have a heart attack in the coming days, I better make sure everything is put away.  It’ll take two days to cross the North Sea.  I am hoping for at least one good day, but I assume the second day will be bad.

So everything must be put away.  Even the stuff that has never moved.  By doing so, this is the only way I will have the peace of mind to be willing to tackle the North Sea.  And I mean everything.  All the stuff that has been fine over these last 8k miles is now put away or secured.

Ywo possible routes. The top one is direct, the lower one in the shape of a "V" is that way because i may have to go SW due to strong NE winds.
Two possible routes.
The top one is direct, the lower one in the shape of a “V” is that way because i may have to go SW due to strong NE winds.

The transformer that is sitting on top of the battery box is now secured to the wall.  It had never moved before, but why risk it.

The crap that has collected on the helm.  The 4,000 pens and pencils, the markers, the rulers, sun glasses that I have not used in three years, all put away.

The 8 different chargers and cables, all put away.

Virtually everything that can cause a problem is secured.

That way, next week as I roll my way west, I’ll be miserable, but at least I won’t be worried.





Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

3 thoughts on “Preparing to Cross the North Sea”

  1. You could start giving away those pencils and pens, especially if they have a USofA business or imprint upon them. School children like things like that, at least the younger ones might still. In my day (pulling on old fogey slippers) things lake that were passed along quickly. Then again our 40’er had an 11′ beam so not a lot of room for the extraneous.

    All the best to you on the next journey. It sounds like you’re doing a good job of prepping. Bolting stuff to the bulkhead is an excellent idea — out of the way and still visible.

    I’m looking forward to the next installment… J.

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