Aannsha’s Blog #40 – Do I really want to be a sailor?

Bruised after our ordeal

I asked myself that question a few times in the week after we’d drifted onto rocks in our sleep and nearly lost A B Sea. It was such a horrendously scary ordeal for Barry and me. The sound of rocks crunching against the boat in the dark of that moonless night haunted us for several nights and I even had to sleep up on deck a couple of times. I could deal with the bruises. I just couldn’t bear to not be able to see what was happening around the boat, and needed to visually check if we were drifting again, despite having an anchor app set and trusting in our Mantus anchor.

But first, a review

Let me share my thought process with you as I type this while A B Sea is moored at the end of one of the pontoons in the marina at Las Salinas, Spain. Reviewing our first few weeks at sea, whatever my decision, I think Baz and I can be proud at our newbie accomplishments:

  • Troubleshooting the exploding mainsail block on our first sail out of the marina;

  • So many firsts – setting sail, mooring, anchoring, and fuelling to name a few;

  • Our first 10 hour passages across the Mediterranean Sea as we headed to and from the Balearic Islands from mainland Spain;

  • Trips from to land on our tender and learning not to wear good shorts because they’ll almost certainly get soaked in sea water at some part of the dinghy trip!Baz did a good job trouble-shooting the new outboard although it still isn’t running properly;

  • Learning to conserve our limited water supply.We were quite amazed that we only used 300 litres in one tank (out of a total of 600L) over the 4 weeks we were away.Happily discovering that I could have washed my hair a few more times if I’d wanted to!

  • Learning to like coffee made with thermos flask water and cold milk … which I ended up turning into iced coffee – nice and refreshing for summer;

  • Being resourceful with our WIFI connections thanks to free café WIFI outlets;

  • Working with a fridge that doesn’t have a freezer compartment.Using the salad leafy vegies first and then making coleslaw with sturdier vegies (cabbage, carrot and onion);

  • Overcoming a fear of jumping into the water from the transom (me, not Baz that is). Still working on overcoming fear of diving in.That’s a work in progress;

  • Scuba diving off the boat and snorkelling off the tender;

  • Sleeping on the boat even if there’s a lot of movement due to wind and waves and the boat rolls, pitches and yaws.Sounds are also magnified through the hull so wave slaps, fender bumps and creaking lines all give the impression that something terrible is happening to the yacht, which in reality only happened once …

  • Surviving and overcoming being washed onto the rocks at the foot of the marina wall when the new mooring ball we were attached to failed;

  • Processing and overcoming what we reckon was PTSD after that ordeal, which I am very grateful to have sailed away from with only scratches to keel;

  • Building a fantastic community of friends and followers on our social media outlets which is proving to be very satisfying and rewarding, and a great source of companionship and support as we live our lives so far away from our son, old friends and relatives.

So what brought about the question?

About a week after the nightmare, I found myself sitting on deck staring at the summer scene of pleasure cruisers and tourists having fun in the bay of Calpe at the foot of the iconic mountain, the Peñón de Ifach.