Monday, March 17, 2008

Sailing the good ship Bahati

Turns out Nate really wasn’t lying – the Bahati exists! It is in fact a sailboat, currently sitting just outside of Auckland, New Zealand, that has sailed all the way from Freeport, Maine to the South Pacific (well, I suppose I don’t really know this for sure, but I don’t have any reason to doubt it). Today, they were kind enough to take me a long for a ride on this, the first day of sailing after letting the boat sit at the Auckland harbor since December to wait out the storm season in the area (they’re off towards New Caledonia in early April, weather permitting).

What did I learn on my one day sailing adventure? Well, first of all sailing, which I’ve never done before, does appear rather relaxing and calming. We spent a fair amount of time going against the wind and thus using the engine today, which was serene enough, but then you change the course to be going with the wind, drop the sails, and just peacefully float along! On the other hand is the next thing I learned – operating the sail boat is a fair amount of work! I’d like to think that I was able to help a little, when given specific instructions, preferably simple ones, and certainly not including any ‘sailing terms,’ of which there’s a lot, and I don’t understand any of. The final lesson is: sailing is slow! I’d wanted to sail either from Fiji to New Zealand, or from NZ to Australia/New Caledonia, or from the West Coast of Australia up towards Indonesia/Singapore, but with my current time frame, there’s simply no way… it would take several weeks easily. Which is too bad really, sailing would have been fun! I’ll just have to wait till I get to the Caribbean, I suppose. To illustrate the point, the trip from Auckland to Waiheke island took us about 6 hours (against the wind and the tide, granted) and about 30 minutes on the way back, by ferry!

The crew: Betsy, Josh, Nat, and Nate

The Bahati, looking good off of Waiheke island.

1 comment:

b mathew said...

Hope the sailing was not too rough - I'm always freaked out about being on boats (I can't swim, that might be a factor?). The sunken ship diving expedition sounds awesome!