Blue water, green land

It’s been a while now since last time we went cruising. I am lucky enough to go out for quick daysails with James Baldwin on his F27 trimaran in St.Simons Sound. Tranquility is chained to the dock, her interiors are torn apart once again, tools and building materials scattered all over and a rich ecosystem of sea creatures is growing on her hull.


Tranquility tied at the dock
Tranquility tied at the dock

The long-term landlubber world is back with sweet and sour feelings. The awe for huge size fridge and freezer, water and ice dispenser, laundry anytime, full size shower and wide spaces is slowly disappearing and fading behind the curtains of normality and habit.

From this safe and comfortable territory the visions of the open ocean are haunting me. As frequently happens for the process of remembering, which is bounded to the sense of smell, what keeps stalking me is the smell of blue waters. Out there, starting dozen of miles from the coast and extending to thousands, there is a peculiar smell, a smell of fresh air and spindrift, a smell of gliding birds and jumping fishes, a smell of biomass drifting just below the surface busy in their photosynthesis and cellular respiration cycles, a smell of clouds and winds and evaporation and condensation. This is blue water smell.

This is where you find blue water smell
This is where you find blue water smell

When you miss something you start to recognize its value. That’s how I feel now that we have to stay on land for some more time, looking for a future departure that has not a date yet. The comforts of life in the society are not enough to nourish a soul who experienced the blue water. I feel that too much comfort is killing me.

But life on land is not without pleasures. I am enjoying having breakfast in the backyard, in company of a wide range of color and sounds. The squirrels are busy running up the pecan trees, birds are quietly scooting around, flying bugs patrol the weeds. Behind the fence I face while sipping my coffee lays a whole universe of intricate vegetation. This adjacent lot is part of the priopriety but has gone fallow, and when that happen in South Georgia you have to expect a massive uncontrolled growth. And so, among the duties of a busy land life and the never ending boat works, we are fashioning to embark in a new adventure: recapture the jungle and make it livable, ensuring a good level of biodiversity and creating a little and safe niche for human activities.

Safe Backyard facind the jungle © Kate Zidar
Safe backyard facing the jungle © Kate Zidar

The first step of this adventure started cutting the combination lock of the gate with the grinder. Once the access was granted we started the exploration of the jungle and made our own way to the creepy shed buried into the vegetation. Inside the shed we found any kind of treasures, including a couple of chairs to add to the collection of the backyard, more tools for the garden, building materials, a lots of other items all piled in a chaotic way.  After this first incursion, we withdrew behind the safe line of the fence to elaborate a future attack strategy.

Conquering the shed © Kate Zidar
Conquering the shed © Kate Zidar

This gardening adventure is keeping my mood up from the blues of blue water nostalgia as I am elaborating a personal project: I would love to make a place for Zen meditation practice inside the garden. I think it’s a good way to immerse myself in the nature and temporarily substitute the smell of blue water with the smell of a garden. The presence of nature is very important to me, there I find real comfort in this increasingly industrialized and technological society.

Tranquility Voyage: leg 1 Fairhaven MA to Block Island RI

We finally left on Sunday morning, with SE winds picking up. The morning was warm as we passed the hurricane barrier leaving Fairhaven and New Bedford, our home for the past six months. At first we were a bit surprised of the light wind around the end of Buzzards Bay, but soon the wind speed increased up to 15-20 knots and we reached top speed, our knotmeter and GPS agreeing on 6,5 knots. We encountered some rain along the way but the wind never stopped to push us and we completed the 54 miles of the trip in 9 hours. It was dark at 5:30 pm when we finally docked in Champlin’s Marina, completely deserted in this cold time of the year.

© Kate Zidar
Hurrican Barrier © Kate Zidar

Along the trip we started to adapt to our new sailing home, feeling a bit sea sick and adjusting our gear to better performance. The tiller needed a special modification not to lose precious steering angle. We still have to know how the boat behaves, but so far we keep being astonished by Tranquility’s sailing performances: good tracking; easy sail controls and boat handling; almost no spray coming on deck even in 3-5 feet swell.

Roberto was a fundamental addition to our team. His expertise and energy are helping us a lot underway and at the dock where we keep improving the perfomances and habitability of the boat. It feels great to have a competent and personable crew member to share the joy and fatigue of sailing and he is also a great help in Kate’s italian learning process, as we frequently speak italian onboard.

Block Island ©Kate Zidar
Block Island ©Kate Zidar

The weather forecast forced us on a two day stop in Block Island. We spent Monday and part of today fixing things but also enjoying the exploration of the island, a place that sees very few visitors during winter time. We really like the pictoresque island and the locals seems very curious about these crazy people sailing during winter on a small boat. A community of 850 people live year long on the island and you know nothing passes as unseen in this place as we were spotted crossing the south cape pounding into the waves as later somebody reported to us.

Now we are waiting for a good weather window, probably happening later tonight when the wind will decrease and veer to NWN. We are hoping for a good passage to Cape May NJ, aproximately 200 miles away and with the option of closer refuges along the Jersey Shore. You can keep track of our progresses trough our Spot tracking page.