D-Day – Day Zero

After 8 months of waiting, repair and refit, Dauntless got underway to day a little after noon.  The first three hours are going down the river Barrow and the Suir.  Leaving just after high water, we got a little boost of about a knot (1.2mph).wp-1464382705779.jpg

But although we are only going 7 knots, I’m feeling nervous. As I slalom down the river, I actually slow a bit, just a hundred rpms, maybe half a knot, just so I can feel comfortable again.

Much like getting off the plane in Venice, Frankfurt or Amsterdam, picking up the rental car, leaving the airport and immediate being on the Autostrada, Autobahn or AutoRoute, I start off in the slow lane, maybe going 60 to 70 mph, until I get my senses up to speed.  This means checking the rear view mirror very carefully, that car coming up may be going double my speed or more.  The speck in the mirror can quickly become a problem if I get in the way.

With time, minutes, maybe a half hour, I’m up to speed.  Now the issue is can I stand the buzzing this little economy car makes at 100 mph?

In my most recent trip to Spain, I had one of the worst cars ever.  Maybe if I drove it off a cliff, it would hit 100 mph, but I have my doubts about that too.  So I was bemused to hear this car being touted on the radio ads as having an “over-efficient” engine.  You have to hand to those marketing people, they can even change the laws of the universe.

One last comment about cars, slow ones at that.  While you may be thinking, good, it’s safer that way, the opposite is the reality. With a slow car, since it takes so long to get up to speed, whatever speed that is, the tendency is to simply not slow as much whenever possible, whether that be for the curve at the bottom of the hill or trying to get past a slow moving truck (in Europe they never go faster than 50 mph!)  A wonderful idea you may also think, but then driving becomes an ordeal of passing moving roadblocks and the box of corn flakes now costs $8 since it took a week to go the distance from NNYC to Chicago.

So after going a bit slower for a bit, maybe an hour, I was back in the rhythm of Dauntless and pushed the speed up to 8 knots, what with the river current.

Ireland was having its second summer like day since August 1976, so it was wonderful cruising.  Even the little one-foot chop that was on the south coast as I headed for Kilmore Quay was enjoyable.

But best of all was the deep blue water, and as you watch the little waves break, the water is so clear.

Coming into Kilmore Quay was quite tricky, and Michael at the boat yard even drew me a map to emphasize not to deviate from the plan.  And when the water beneath my newly skinned and painted keel got down to only 2 and a half feet, I was thankful for the guidance.

There was one space left on the end of the dock, the hammerhead, and happily the people on the English sailboat in from of the spot were there to grab my lines.  That takes much of the stress out of docking.

Well, I’ll have another chance tomorrow; that’s after I back out of here!

Today’s trip: 35 nm, 5 hours and 30 minutes, average speed, 6.5 knots.

Tomorrow, Kilmore Quay to Arklow.

Published by 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.

2 thoughts on “D-Day – Day Zero

  1. “D” looks great with her new hull paint “banding” and lights. You got some more picks? Be careful out there…

  2. I get that feeling every time I take the boat out, listening to the engine, all the little noises, then after an hour or so the blood pressure drops and we’re into the swing of things. Good luck on the trip.
    Mike
    Baton Rouge, LA

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