Quetzal - Kaufman 47 "... Never lost, just hard to find ..."

John Kretschmer Sailing

Training Passages - Workshops - Presentations - Expeditions - Writing/Photography


A Serious Ocean

You know it by the northern look of the shore,
by the salt-worried faces,
by an absence of trees, an abundance of lighthouses.
It's a serious ocean.

North Sea off Carnoustie by Anne Stevenson


Tomorrow will have an island
by William Stafford

Tomorrow will have an island. Before night
I always find it. Then on to the next island.
These places hidden in the day separate
and come forward if you beckon.
But you have to know they are there before they exist.

Some time there will be a tomorrow without any island,
So far, I haven't let that happen, but after
I'm gone others may become faithless and careless.
Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,
and without any hope they will stare at the horizon.

So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
to be a discoverer you hold close whatever
you find, and after a while you decide
what it is. Then, secure in where you have been,
you turn to the open sea and let go.


More Poetry...
A Blue Water Adventure
By Betty Timms

My friend, Mike Luciani, invited me to go on a sailing passage from Trinidad to Ft. Lauderdale this past April. We had both lost our respective island homes to Ivan and knew itwas time to get away from the RV and rental house. However, when I accepted the invitation I was clueless as to the adventure that lay ahead.

As I thought about the trip there were days when I wondered what I had gotten myself into! First, I was going to sail 1600 nautical miles with Mike and four other men I had never seen before. And second, I was actually expected to use a sextant on a pitching boat, complete a sight reduction and plot my location in the middle of the Caribbean. What was I thinking to sign up for this?

In preparation for our trip, we took Jeff Schroeder's PBYC celestial navigation class. It was hard, but I was determined to learn to navigate by the stars. Jeff was patient and our practices at the beach, on solid concrete, gave me some confidence.

At last our adventure began. After sight seeing in Tobago for a couple of days, we left Trinidad on board a 47ft. Kaufman, skippered and owned by world class sailor and author, John Kretschmer.

While preparing for the cruise I came across an anonymous quote: "You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore". So on April 10, 2005, we lost sight of the shore and didn't see land again for seven days. We experienced wonderful roller coaster rides on the bow during mountainous swells, night watches under the magical blanket of the Caribbean stars, flying fish and maneuvering through the coral reefs of Rum Cay. I was in love with cruising the open sea.

The challenge of celestial navigation was equally exciting. We took morning, noon and evening sights almost every day. After taking my first sun sights, completing my sight reductions and plotting our coordinates, I was only four miles off on my latitude and 1 mile off on the longitude when compared to the GPS. (A big thank-you to Jeff.) I was hooked.

I will never forget this trip or my new friends. So ladies, I strongly encourage you to conquer your fears and go "Blue Water" sailing. Don't let the men have all of the fun.

Oh, I almost forgot, the green flash. Does it really exist? Go see for yourself.
 
 

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