September 30, 2009

The non-Tsunami

Fishermen, emergency workers and the curious mingled in Crescent City Harbor on Tuesday night, anticipating ocean surges in a place that has seen more than its share of them.
But at 11:15 p.m., as the water near the mouth of the inner boat basin started bubbling like a river current from an incoming surge, anxiety was replaced with laughter and relief at the underwhelming spectacle.
According to Del Norte County’s Emergency Services Manager Cindy Henderson, this was the pinnacle of Tuesday night’s tsunami and it only reached a height of about 16 centimeters, or about 6 inches.

Glad for them it was a non-event. Glad for us to be in Eureka. Although the night sail inspired a few seasickness Haiku...

Waves steepen, confused
Towering, topple irate
My stomach rebels

September 29, 2009

Tsunami is coming, maybe

Seems like we're leaving Crescent City now. Whether we're ready or not. We've been alerted that the Samoa Earthquake Tsunami is making its way across the Pacific as a 2ft wave. Normally this wouldn't be a big worry, but we're in Crescent City - a place that is pretty much Tsunami Central on the coast.
2006 aftermath
Its unfortunate harbour shape has caused it to been pummelled by waves so often that yet another wave barely makes the evening news. A wave that hit in 2006 was described as a fast moving river that surged in and out of the harbour for hours - sinking boats and breaking up docks. The 1964 wave took out 29 city blocks.
1964 aftermath
Crescent City's Port Captain, who suggested the open ocean is a nice safe place to be during a tsunami, is considered a tsunami veteran. Nobody should be a tsunami veteran...

So rather than hanging out and seeing how bad it may, or may not be we've decided to get back with our southbound program and use this as an excuse to head to Eureka. If we’re going to have to spend the night awake watching for waves – we might as well watch the ones that carry us to warmer climes…

Our hearts and thoughts go out to those devestated by the surge and waves.

September 27, 2009

Ceilydh Under Construction

I first made this a while back (but updated it today). If you haven't been with us since the beginning of this journey, this is a 4 minute recap of the boats 'de' and 're' construction.

September 26, 2009

California Dreaming

"When can I learn to surf?"

 "Whenever you like."
One of the joys of cruising is we get to make our dreams come true. Maia's been wanting to try surfing for ages and had her first taste of it today. It was unplanned and unexpected and she says it was better than anything she ever imagined.

September 24, 2009

Not a Beginner’s Coastline

"It's not a beginner's coastline." This is what our dock neighbour said to us, shortly after we watched a Seattle boat get towed into Coos Bay by the Coast Guard.

Ollie left Neah Bay a day or so after us and decided to go with convention and headed way offshore. This was an especially safe choice for a single hander. Those who go down the coast closer to shore have to thread their way through fish boats by the fleet and dodge fast moving freighters. There’s no time for catnapping when you’re on a boat that often doesn’t show up on radar.

But the problem with the offshore route is that storms can come up quickly and unexpectedly. And after a couple of days of sailing south, Ollie was hit by storm and then a rudder-breaking wave. It took him almost three days to navigate his way closer to shore – and he only made it by using a bit of awe-inspiring seamanship and ingenuity (he steered using a windvane). Close to shore he radioed the Coast Guard, who cheerfully went out to fetch him and bring him across the bar. Then he called his mum, to let her know he was safe.

In every port we hear these stories and I start to wonder if too many of us are out here with not enough skills? Or, if it really is that hard…

We had an easy enough passage from Coos Bay to Crescent City, but easy enough didn’t make it fun. As folks we met on another boat (who were escorted by the Coast Guard over yet another bar) said – the fun to sucks scale doesn’t start to tip until after San Francisco.

 the Eureka Bar on a bad day

We set off across the Coos Bay bar in an easy swell. This coast doesn’t have many traditional harbours, instead, where the ocean and a river meet there is a dredged channel leading into a harbour. So, as the ocean water gets shallow, the waves steepen and pile up closer together (think waves breaking on a beach). Then when you hit the section of the channel where river silt is deposited (the bar) they can get really quite steep. You need to cross the bar when the tide is flooding, otherwise the whole thing is a big lumpy chaotic mess. But this means bar crossings can only happen at specific times and those times are often not when you’d like them to be.

But anyway, we crossed when we were supposed to and set off on the 125-mile overnight passage to Crescent City. The wind was still light, but it was light and in our face, which made conditions lumpy, which made Charlie the Cat throw-up.

Then the fog set in. A thick, dense fog that at times obscured our bows.

This isn’t a beginner’s coast – but we’ve learned how to read radar well enough. I can pick up just about any boat in the big swell, even if it just flashes for a second here and a second there.
You call on the radio when that happens – to ask who’s out there, what direction they’re heading and if you’re in danger of colliding. I always want to ask what the hell they’re thinking, motoring around in the fog, at night, but then I’d have to answer the same question. 
And despite the fact we can't see the stars or lights on the distant coast, we know where we're going by following our GPS track. We trust it implicitly when it says to steer 180 degrees and then program the auto pilot to make that course.
Then we plow on blindly through the dank night, trusting our electronics, cosy inside the cacoon of our dark saloon.

The fog stayed with us to Crescent City. We missed seeing the classic St. Georges Reef Lighthouse in the darkness. We saw the rock strewn entry and the bouys marking a safe path in on radar - long before we saw them with our eyes. We heard the fog horns and just caught the glow of the light from the Battery Point Lighthouse as we motored into the flat calm of a harbour of refuge.

Battery Point Lighthouse
As we dropped our anchor, I thought of the ships that plied this coast for the 150-years before radar, GPS and radio.
I imagined their foolish bravery.
I’m humbled.

September 21, 2009

Best Laid Plans...

Things don’t always go as planned.
This is a truism that works for just about everybody, but when you’re out cruising it’s even truer…

Pretty much the first thing that every offshore sailor learns is not to plan. Yes, you need a general idea of where you want to go and when you might like to get there but if you insist that the two things (the where and when) need to coincide, you’re asking for trouble, or at the very least an uncomfortable trip.

This is why we’re still in Coos Bay. A place we never intended to stop, and that really never warranted a week or more out of our lives, but that has kind of grown on us.

We’ve announced our departure from the dock a few times now. The first time we had a weather window I got a sudden assignment with a pressing deadline. Weather windows crop up with some regularity, but every assignment is precious, so we skipped our departure and I put in some computer time. It turned out to be a good decision because a boat that left during that same so-called weather window got pasted – an experience we’re typically not keen on and are especially trying to avoid until our rigging is redone.

Departure number two was cancelled when we decided that a rather benign sounding weather report had a sinister undertone to it. Neither of us was really sure what the problem was, but there was something hinky about the lack of information on the after midnight part of the report. In other words – the weather was fine, we were nervous.

But today, today is perfect. A high has filled in. The sky is bright blue. The winds are whispering in the lightest, most gentle fashion. The seas are barely swelling and it’s all scheduled to stay this way. It’s all we can ask for when embarking on a trip south with an unreliable rig.

So we started doing our predeparture stuff early in the morning: Downloading a few podcasts to listen to on night watches (why not use the midnight hour to get a bit smarter?); cooking a few underway meals; tiding up the boat and overhauling the diesel heater (just in case the nights are chilly…)

I was down in the galley wondering why my milk (for scalloped potatoes – always soothing for sensitive, slightly seasick tummies) had a black film on it, while Evan was cheerfully vacuuming out the built-up soot from the heater. Then I looked up and gazed through a grey haze that was reminiscent of the coal fogs in England that followed the Second World War (gotta love the information gleaned from a podcast…) I asked Evan if the vacuum was working and he insisted the haze was caused by smoke, likely by something I was cooking.

I wasn’t cooking.

The vacuum hadn’t liked sucking up soot and in protest it pulverized the oily carbon and sent it out in a cloud of sticky, fine, black nastiness that coated every surface of the boat's interior, including the cat, who was leaving cute little black footprints everywhere he went as he tried to avoid black lung.

Considering we’re at a dock, which has ample fresh water and a laundry facility with the cheapest machines we’ve yet to encounter, our decision was made for us. We stayed. We turned on the podcasts I had painstakingly downloaded (on the slowest connection imaginable!) and began to scrub, and scrub and scrub. And then scrub some more.

The moral (there’s always a moral) is not what you think. Sure plans are always subject to change, and the best laid plans oft go awry, and life is what happens when you’re busy making plans… But I’m not about to give up making plans - because they're important. They get you from A to B and then motivate you push on to C even when B has cheap beer, and easy anchorages, and nice people. They inspire you and give you the feeling that you’re really living and experiencing all that life offers the very best way you know how. Plans are what assure you that you're not just scratching the surface of life, that you're getting down into the juicey bits, and savouring the parts that really make it all worthwhile.

No, the moral isn’t about not making plans and not having goals, it’s simply about letting goals go when they don’t work out. It’s about enjoying the podcast while you clean the boat and then using the free afternoon to head out for icecream after doing laundry. It's about not regreting the moments you didn't get and the sights you didn't see. It’s about believing that weather windows will come again and that you’ll leave tomorrow.

September 20, 2009

How to Recognize a Cruising Boat

One of the best parts of cruising last time were the sailing friends we made. 
Unlike the way you make friends on land - cruising friends are usually made over some shared mishap, or a series of shared mishaps...
There is an unwritten code of the sea – if someone needs a hand, you give it freely. This can mean the big stuff; like rescues, or the smaller things; such as taking someone’s lines when they arrive at the dock, or the inconvenient things; like standing out in the pouring rain helping your neighbour re-tune his rig (thanks Mike!)

When we first headed out, we wondered if the cruising code would have changed after 14-years. After all, the world has changed a bit and there are a lot more boats out now, so we thought the easy warmth and generosity we felt last time may have faded a bit. But if our first few harbours are any indication, cruisers are still friendly and as willing as ever to point the way to hot showers and cold beer.

While some cruisers belong to clubs and find each other by noting burgees, or keeping track of each other on radio nets, we're not joiners. So we look for other signs that a boat is a cruising boat. There are a few obvious signs that a boat might be out for an extended cruise – the exotic flag they fly, or a faraway home port on the stern. But those clues are less reliable than you might think.

The real way we recognize each other are the more subtle signs:

 A big one is how and when a boat arrives in harbour. Not everyone comes in with assistance, but we do tend to arrive looking a bit dazed and uncertain and dressed for a gale, no matter how lovely it is out. And we smell.

 The jerry cans stored on deck - sailboats never have enough diesel or water tankage for longer passages.

 The self-steering gear – hand steering for more than a day sail is mind numbing and we tend to avoid it.

 Jacklines – These are strong lins the we clip our harnesses to for offshore travel so we’re not washed overboard.

 Power sources - Most boats sport either a wind generator or a a bunch of solar panels or a combo of the two. The goal is to be self-sufficient so you only need to head back into harbour when you run out of beer or vegetables.

And assorted junk - because we all need our junk...

September 17, 2009

The Smoking Gun

So we’ve found the smoking gun that caused the wobbly rig.
This bit might be better written by Evan, because despite the fact I’ve written a number of technical articles, I’m not particularly technically minded.
I just fake it.

Anyway, the recap is: while sailing toward California the wind came up on our nose and so we tested out our ability to heave-to while we decided what we wanted to do (we both have the goal of avoiding as much bad weather as possible while Maia gets her sea legs.) While hove-to we noticed that the mast was bending over, the wrong way. Not that there is a right way for a mast to bend…

It was 4am on a windy, moonless and overcast night, aka dark and stormy. Ev got the sails down pronto, which was a bit of a tough thing because we were trying to keep the wind on what appeared to be the strong side of the mast and the sails slightly filled while he was hauling them down.

Then Ev checked all the shrouds to see which of them had gone.

None of them had broken, which rather confused us. But then again it was the middle of the night, on the 3rd night of our first offshore passage, that’s a generally confusing time…

So Evan secured the mast as best he could and we began to motor back the way we came, to the closest safe harbour, which was Coos Bay.

When the sun came up and Ev rechecked the rig, we were still confounded. We had one very slack inner shroud and a general looseness in the rest of the rig but no obvious failures. If we didn’t know better we would have guessed that some sort of shrinking spell had been cast on the mast during the night.

Once we were in harbour the first working theory was that the spectra lashings on our stays had undergone some construction stretch, or creep. But even after Ev had retuned our entire rig, the loose shroud stayed loose. So we looked at it more closely and saw this:

Which if you look closely at the faint line about 1/2 a cm under the swage you'll see it looks different than the other side which looks like this:

Our best guess is the wire has pulled through the swaged fitting about 4-5 cm (the swage doesn't seem to be crimped on it's whole length.

So now it looks like this:

And when we get to San Francisco we’re throwing a whole lot of money at the problem so I can go back to worrying about serious things like when I should buy the chocolate chips

September 14, 2009

Not Quite California – Aka this coast hates us.

We’re not quite in California – despite the fact it was our goal. Our idea was to get passed the Washington/Oregon coast (also known as the graveyard of the Pacific…) as fast as possible, not because it isn’t lovely (at least from a landlubbers perspective) but because the last time we went down this coast it spanked us, hard.

Last time we followed convention and set off for San Francisco in a nice north westerly. Within a few hours the wind switched to southerly, the seas steepened and our tacking angle made it seem like we would be out at sea indefinitely. Finally, after 3 days of unrelenting wind, very little sleep and a whole lot of being tossed about (and a small leak which caused us to sink a bit) we headed for the coast – only to find the river bars were closing and we were about to be hit by another storm. After discussing our predicament with the Gray’s Harbour Coast Guard they escorted us in through a river bar that was sporting 15’ breaking seas into an isolated little harbour where we waited, shopped for flannel clothing and hoped for another weather window before the snow came.

It was almost enough to make us give up cruising.

It took us several months to rebuild our confidence after being bashed about on that trip. So this time we both wanted to avoid the whole miserable coast and just get to California.

We didn’t.

This trip started out like the last one. A nice NW wind carried us out the strait and around the corner into long rolling swell. Then within a few hours the wind died. It came up every so often but rather than sailing, we were motoring to California and it didn’t take many calculations to determine we don’t carry enough fuel to motor to California…

Despite the fact we weren’t sure how far we were going to make it, the motorboat ride was mostly nice. The swell was running an uncomfortable 10-12 feet from a westerly storm in the far off waters, but we saw perfect sunrises and sunsets as well as marine life including dolphins, sea lions, a shark and a humpback whale – which gave us a whale of a show.

Every so often we’d get a bit of wind and manage a few hours of sailing. Slowly we crawled our way down the coast. On the third day it looked like we might actually make California.

Then, just off Cape Blanco the wind came up.
And up.
From the south east, which was exactly where we were headed.
And the seas grew.
And then something went dramatically wrong with our rig and our mast bent way over and began to oscillate in a way that a mast shouldn't move. Which for you non-nautical types is a bad thing.

Bad things always happen at 4am and always on the darkest nights, which tends to make them bad, bad things. But as the wind howled and the boat rocked, Evan wrestled down the sails and worked to stablilize our mast. I tried to reassure Maia who was awake inside and then tried to find a safe direction to steer.

The only thing we could do was head back to Oregon, which meant crossing a potentially dangerous river bar with a destabilized rig. As I spoke with the coast guard and outlined our plan, the situation brought back every single memory of the last time we did this.

And the realization that this coast is cursed for us.

So now we’re in Coos Bay, which is lovely and friendly. The mast is still wobbly and we’re working out theories of what happened (which we’ll cover in another post.)

We’re both surprisingly calm and confident though. I guess dealing with things and getting into harbour safely is a sign that lets us know we’re more than capable of handling what comes our way.

Or it’s a sign that we just shouldn’t be out here at all and we're just too stupid to pay heed…

September 9, 2009


Some people say passage making is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of terror. By that definition we’re on a boring passage out the Juan De Fuca Strait. The sea is glassy calm – so calm that as we motor along I’m able to spend my time watching sea birds squabbling over a perch on a kelp raft, as well as the slow process of a mama and baby dolphin as they swim across our bow and make their way north.
This is the same body of water that my great x5 grandfather, Charlie Taylor made his way down after a trip up from San Francisco during the gold rush, about 155 years ago. He probably would have sailed through the same low pacific swells (if it was a calm day) toward Victoria, then just a muddy little Hudson’s Bay Fort that wasn’t yet part of Canada. For whatever reason he never headed off to the gold rush – instead he claimed the Island as his home, something I find myself grateful for as Victoria and the rest of BC faded into the distance behind us.
This passage, more than any other milestone this summer makes it feel like we are on our way. Until now we have been saying our slow goodbye – now we are on our way toward something new. I was trying to recall how it felt when Ev and I made the same passage 14-years ago. Too many memories have mixed together to make that moment distinct though. All that comes back as I watch our wake fade away and the familiar mountains recede is the memory of seeing dolphins – but that time they were leaping in our bow wave rather than making their quiet way through the glassy calm.
While the miles drift past, I’m reminded why I like the rhythm of passages. There’s an order to our day that we don’t find on land. We sit and eat breakfast together, then we do our chores (Maia does her school work and I write while Evan does boat chores, or whatever it is Evan does…). We all take turns keeping watch and slowly the day unfolds, the light changes, the wind rises and falls, clouds fill in and mist dampens the air, we avoid logs and kelp, we spot freighters and we contemplate our next meal. All of it is blissfully dull, with lots of time to read and relax and the knowledge that we are getting somewhere – even if it all feels as leisurely as a holiday.
Tomorrow we leap off for California. May it be just as blissfully dull as this.

September 7, 2009

10:00 AM

We were up early again today.
There was no sunrise this time, just sort of a gradual brightening of the grey drizzle. Even though the weather is still acting a lot more like October than we’d like, it’s time to move on. We need to get a bit closer to Neah Bay so that when (if?!) we do get a break in the lows that are marching across the Pacific, we can make a run south.

So we were up at our version of the crack of dawn: 8ish.

We’re not good at getting an early start. I’m not sure why. We’re both more than capable of waking up early to get to say, the airport. But when it comes to getting the boat underway before 10am, we can’t do it.

We’ve tried.

On little Ceilydh we often had passages that would take us about 15 hours. So our thought was that if we could get underway just before the sun rose, we’d be anchored and sipping sundowners when the sun set. Inevitably though we’d sleep through the dawn, wake to bright sun and end up dropping our hook by spotlight.

But today we were up early. And unlike most days, when we watch an anchorage empty out while we’re still in our pyjamas, today we were one of the first boats to get moving. Our first stop was the fuel dock. After two solid days of gales we knew that it wouldn’t take long before the dock had a huge queue. So while the other boats slumbered, we ate our oatmeal and then dressed in our cozy foulies so we could pull up our anchor and get there first.

Then it all went to hell.

For whatever &?&!!*#! reason the !*#$!! crab fishermen lay their traps right through the anchorage. We know this. We watched in shock as one went blasting through the crowded harbour tossing out his line of traps all willy nilly. I think we planned to make a mental note to be aware of this when we pulled up anchor. But it was early and we were sleepy. And we caught one of the lines – but failed to notice it until it was well and truly wrapped around the propeller.

Evan was able to slice the line but when he started untangling it, we discovered that somehow one end of the line had worked its way deep into the cutlass bearing – which for you non-nautical types, is a bad thing. So we re-anchored the boat using the outboard. Then I took a good long swig of my cold coffee (pretending it was something stonger) and we both wondered just how many days and how much money a stupid peice of rope would set us back…

As a last ditch effort before looking for a shipyard that could haul us, we led the crab trap line to a winch and then gave it an almighty tug - pulling it free. Then we tried running the engine and to our shock and delight there seems to be no ill-effect. So we pulled the anchor back up (checking carefully for crab trap lines), joined the now long line for the gas dock and filled up our tanks when our turn came.

Then we headed out of the anchorage – just as my watch said 10am.

September 5, 2009

Island Boats

Well, we’re ready. Or ready enough.
We had a lovely good-bye evening with old sailing friends, Karen and Chris (and offspring Ryan and Mya) from Dessert First (who traded in their boat for a house and minivan and are currently enjoying the vegetable part of life), went to bed early and woke up to wind.
Lots of wind and rain.
A gale actually.
The first gale of the season.
So we’re not going anywhere today, because we don’t have to.
We’re kind of fair weather sailors.

Instead, I get to look around at the anchorage and contemplate some of the very special boats that are out there. We like to call them Island Boats. To an uneducated eye some of these craft might appear derelict, while others are simply odd looking. But if you know a bit about the history of boat building on Vancouver Island (think wild west frontier meets Gilligan's Island) you’d know these are special craft that combine island quirkiness and ingenuity, with the inspiration of a couple of visionaries.

Island Boats (by our definition) tend to be junk rigged (or maybe schooner rigged, or maybe ‘what the heck kind of sail is that, anyway?’ rigged) vessels that were owner designed and built (usually in a backyard, on the beach or on a deserted piece of crown land) and made out of materials that were either found (think telephone poles for masts), scavenged (furniture from the side of the road), borrowed (that friend won’t miss his decorative port lights) or acquired at deep discount (someone ordered this then never came for it, not sure what it is...).

While by our own definition we almost count as an Island Boat, there tends to be a few other distinctions; Island Boat owners rarely have any nautical know how and what they do have comes from a well-thumbed copy (probably borrowed) of “Sailing Alone Around the World” as well as those visionaries I mentioned.

The junk rigging part (as well as the idea that anyone can build their own boat using a few simple handtools such as an axe, saw, plane, and chisel.) comes from Allen and Sharie Farrell, who built 40 wooden boats up and down the BC coast. The two are folk heros in the region and inspired generations of island kids to become Island Boat builders. And thanks to their lovely boat, China Cloud, there are probably more Chinese style junk rigged boats in BC than anywhere else - except China.

The other inspiration was John Samson. He built the first ferro-cement boat in North America then sold plans to dreamers all over the world (although most of them seemed to be on Vancouver Island…) His book, The New Way Of Life, suggested anyone could (and should) throw off the shackles of working life, build a boat and sail off to the South Pacific. Then as a boat broker, he encouraged hundreds of green, blue-water dreamers that even if they didn’t want to build there own boat they could still buy an affordable one (probably built by some other dreamer who ran out of cash…) and head out.

So that’s the reason that if you pull into any Vancouver Island anchorage and play “what type of boat is that?” there’s often no right answer. Sure we have the glossy production boats, but alongside those staid white hulls will be boats of uncertain pedigree, built from welded steel, ferro-cement or wood timber. Their lines will have odd proportions and the rigs will confound you. Some will be covered in junk and barely afloat, while others will be lovingly cared for. A few of these boats have made it out of their home port: having crossed oceans and made names for themselves. But the majority were never finished. They still sit in backyards or on vacant land, their telephone pole masts toppled and their hulls crumbling.
When we see one afloat though – it’s hard not to smile. Their clunky hulls and mismatched sails are a testament to a sweeter, more innocent time when people thought all you needed to cross an ocean was the will to go and a boat made from a bit of timber glued together with some random substance.

September 4, 2009

Sulking and working, working and sulking

We were up early enough this morning to see the sunrise.
Despite the rosy glow, I sulked. I wished it were rising somewhere else, somewhere further south, somewhere where my breath didn’t linger in the morning air. And I wished we were magically transported there – now.

Even though we’re in a lovely place and the weather is pretty decent (despite the stupidly cold mornings) I’m not so fond of this part of boating life. We’re in the stage called limbo. We still have stuff that needs to be done before we can head south but while we work to get the stuff done our weather window is beginning to slide shut: 
Which causes me anxiety and makes me grumpy.
I’m the first to admit that I worry far more than I should. I often wake in the middle of the night concerned about totally random stuff – last night it was chocolate chips (should we buy them now? Or later?)
Evan rarely seems to worry, which annoys me. But he when does show stress, I know things are bad and I get even more worried.
Which leads me back to right now, Ev is beginning to show signs of stress. He’s done the bulk of the physical work that got the boat ready. Yes, I played a supporting role but because one of us needed to hang out with the kid, only Evan got to deal with sharp tools and toxic chemicals (those aren’t good for kids to play with…) So, despite the fact I’ve always been a cocaptain on our boats – this time we went with tradition and divided into pink and blue roles.

And I liked it.

I like not getting dirty. I like not worrying if a screw-up on my part could cause us to sink. I like being oblivious to how this was installed or that was designed. I've become the type of female boater I never respected: the kind that doesn’t really like to drive my dingy (it has a twitchy throttle) and would really prefer not to touch yucky chemical stuff while hanging upsidedown in a cramped locker.

But I’m discovering a problem with this. I haven’t got much idea about how anything works on the boat. I never know which switch to flick or where the technical stuff is kept. I know all about housekeeping, but I’m pretty useless when it comes to getting the boat ready. And here we are, running out of time.

This is the point where I could claim to have an epiphany – I’d realize I’m sabotaging my sailing life by not jumping in and draining the transmission oil out of the engine. But honestly – I think epiphanies are an over-used literary device that writers employ when they want a good ending to a story. I don’t think they really happen. I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll suddenly wake up, all raring to climb the mast or disassemble something greasy.

So, while I’ll probably not suddenly decide it’s my calling to work on the boat rather than cook dinner, I do know where I want to be: south, where the morning air is light and warm. And I know there’s only one way to get there – by actually working on the boat and not sulking. 
But I also think I’ll buy the chocolate chips on this shopping trip and make cookies to feed us when we stop working.