Returning Sea Dragon to Blue waters
Sep 29 2017
By Eric Loss – Skipper
After four months off this summer, then a few weeks docked, it’s a bit odd to be back underway aboard Sea Dragon. Everything is laden with the familiarity of the last five years of experience, but just different enough to be new – the precise way to latch that door, the exact smell of that bilge, the sound of the engine. It’s been an interesting three weeks in Plymouth, a bit of a hurry up and wait game as we finalized our schedule and worked on repairs – a race to remove the generator and sails, then a long lingering drag of small jobs waiting for their return, then a whirlwind of bending the mainsail back on and re-installing the generator, all in the 48 hours before we had to leave. It’s exciting to have a destination, to know that we’re on our way to the Pacific, by however lengthy a route, but a bit sad as well to sail out into the fog off Plymouth, leaving our home behind for the promise of a new adventure.
We settle back into all the old routines without too much prompting!
– the cleaning, the provisioning, getting bunks made up for the new crew, then the ever-present and somewhat nervous wait for a “hallooo!” from the dockside, wondering who they’ll turn out to be. It all came back quickly, almost on autopilot, assigning lifejackets and hangers in the wet locker, safety briefings, trip briefings, boat briefings, none of them very brief. There are changes here, too – anew style of survival suit to try on, things in slightly different places, just enough to be noticeable, just subtle enough not to be jarring.
We have a good group aboard for this first leg down to Madeira, and we’re off to a good start – a fast first 24 hours has seen us passing Ushant and motoring out into a calm Biscay, everyone getting their sea legs and getting used to being aboard. Zoe is the only one totally new to the boat – Gavin & Kat sailed Sea Dragon this summer while we were gone, and Shannon explored the coast (and river sand bars) of South America a few years ago, but it’s almost like a new boat for all, with a new crew, new memories to be made. I’m off for a nap now, to further settle back into the watch standing routine of life aboard, but keep an eye out for further updates from Sea Dragon as we head south towards warmer weather and sunnier skies.