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Kjell O. Stave


Leo's letter.


Hey Kjell!!! leo here. safe back in the homeland, wiked passage back, saw a bit of every weather really. hanging out becalmed in the sun with my brothers for a few days in the middle was cool...

im missing tonga to the max and since i wasnt there for long you were a big part of it. every time hamish starts ranting about what to buy for his boat i just remind him about the 'school of kjell' and how the cost of that would keep him alive for another month. money for burgers and beer so to speak...

this is what i emailed kat while i was up in va'vau about our adventure....

i went out on this crazy norwegian dude kjell's boat, we went to a place called blue lagoon and coming in it was howling wind we couldnt get the genoa in (big sail at the front of a boat) so were flying in to the bay, right in to the shallows where we run aground, drama drama. i finally get the sail in and and we start the motor and try reversing off the beach. which works, then the dinghy rope gets caught in the propellor so we have no way of steering and were charging towards this south african guy pauls boat, which can only be described by saying its a big fuck off steel war frigate with sails, and kjells little boat is hurtling towards it with me at the front getting ready to fend off, pauls up on deck yelling at us, his dogs going nuts. just before it collides i jump onto his boat and throw my whole weight at spetakkel (kjells boat) an try fend off, paul is doing the same and we manage to slow it down enough for it not to create a catastrophe, nevertheless spetakkel T-bones pauls boat and we drop anchor right there and drift back off it. haha. hmmm safe for now, this is then followed by an 'unchodram' which is a quite agreeable norwegian tradition (or maybe just a kjellwegian tradition) which is a shot of rum once the anchor is down, we had more than one after that ordeal, and it took half a bottle to calm paul down!!!

haha thats only the start, leaving the lagoon a few days later the weather was three times as bad and the drama was equally three times as worse... first we blow the main in a huge 30knot+ gust before we even get to the outlet, so we pull that down and attempt it with just the genoa and the motor (which frankly, sucks wiked arse)
this fails miseraby four times so we decide to sew up the main and try again. turns out we are pretty good sewers as well so with a newly patched mainsail, we attemp the killer 2 meter swell, 30 knot gusting passage once again, this time its at night but we have the full moon to light our way. again, the wind is too strong and the waves are too powerful, but we realise this too late and as we pull out the crashing of the reef surrounds the boat (let me tell you, coral is scary enough in the day time when you can see all the sharp bits and pretty colours, but at night all you can see is an eerie glow like its alight - fuck that!!!) so were over the bloody reef, expecting the boat to hit at anytime and rip open and fill with water (haha i can remember thinking 'haha, it aint my boat that would be kinda fun' but i was steering so i wouldnt want to be blamed for that!!!) so we manage to get over the reef with no holes in the boat, but the adrenalin is pumping so hard that we decide to hit another passage (harder, dodgier, sharper, smaller, darker, rougher... in retrospect it was a stunt purely fuelled by desperate insanity) anyway so were attacking this second passage and the wind is so strong and were punching straight into it, first the genoa block busts off the deck and starts flying about literally as fast as the wind, thus creating a large projectile the size of a fist (a bloody stainless steel fist at that), moving at a speed capable of crushing skull bone and coming out the otherside (give me grenade shrapnel anyday!!!) then, while all this is going on, the boat comes to a complete standstill due to the power of the wind coming the other way, this results in us losing all steering and now were moving backwards!!! so were trying to pull in the genoa to get rid of the flying sledge hammer singing past our heads and of course the roller furling goes and jams (a drum that pulls in the genoa) so i haul arse up the boat and try to unblock the rollerfurling, which is a miracle in itself that i made it, the constant whipping of the ropes attached to the flying block and the sail itself beating me down, i abandon this and report to kjell its fully fucked (no other word could explain it!!!) and he sets off to investigate, so kjell takes a wild whipping while i try get the boat back under control as the reef gets closer and closer, this is not easy so i push out the main to spin us round and it works ok... we under control now and heading for clear water in the middle of the lagoon (relatively clear anyway) meanwhile the huge genoa is whipping back and forth in the huge winds and damn near taking kjell with it, hes yanking this and undoing that, hes a bloody crazy norse viking warrior i tell you, but warrior he may be but the roller furling will not behave and is making quite the spetakkel... his plan B is to drop it altogether (which is a pretty big deal to do) to my suprise and admiration he does it anyway, but it doesnt work cos the wind is actually so strong that it holds the sail out!!! somehow, he makes it back to the cockpit alive and were both shitting ourselves about what to do and i come up with plan C, rip all the ropes out of all the blocks an go furl the bloody thing manually. in my mind this is the stupidest idea ive ever had, theres no way a human can tame a huge wild sail flapping around whipping huge ropes and pully-blocks into a murdurous frenzy by hand. haha oh no, kjell is up to the job, off he goes, dodging this and that, getting whipped and smashed while the boats rocking all over the show and puts plan C into action. so he grabs these ropes, and they literally start ripping his arms out of their sockets and throwing him all over the boat, he manages to get one wrap around but cant pull it tight, so hes hanging off this wildly whipping rope trying to wrap it tight but the sail is pulling the other way so he cant, and theres a bloody big bommy (bunch of coral) up ahead so i turn left into the wind to avoid it, this calms down the sail and allows kjell to roll the sail up!!! thank god for that bommy!!! haha god, yeah he must have put the deadly coral reef there just for that reason... so thats pretty much the end of that little saga, we didnt make it out of the lagoon and had to stay another night, big deal. it was meant to be. and i saw a cool turtle in the reflection of the full moon as i was putting down the anchor too, bonus!!! 
hope you liked it, by the way trafficated is great!!!






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