Previous Adventures



 Sailing Log





What does Trafficated mean?


By Shelly

‘Sail away, sail away,             An amateur’s account of sailing


It is early morning off Tahiti, after my first big sail of two and a half long days.  It is so peaceful here at the bay as the sun comes up; I can hear birds chirping and roosters crowing, geese honking and dogs barking softly in the distance.  It is so calm and still all around me, the odd fish jumping out of the water being the only disturbance.  I can see jagged, lush mountains, tall palm trees dancing at random angles and what look like acacia trees with their flat-tops and spindly undergrowth.  The boys are still sleeping after the sail from Rangiroa, having worked hard, taking shifts during the nights, navigating the winds, currents, other vessels and keeping ‘Spetakkel’ on course.  We had great winds and an average speed of 5 knots/hr.

I have to say as much as I love being on ‘Spetakkel’ when she is anchored, I am not cut out to be a sailoress.    Although, I wasn’t physically sick, I felt pretty ill most of the way so, I didn’t do a very good job as ‘First mate’ as I couldn’t even focus on anything for long enough without packing it in; namely the compass, cooking, cleaning, scoping for other boats or reading maps.  I think I helped put out the sail once and inflated the dinghy when we arrived, but apart from that I pretty much just rolled around groaning, wishing we were there already and dropped sleeping tablets.  I did manage to hop up and keep Daryl company on his shifts (big of me I know) even if I wasn’t in the best of spirits, some company is better than none right?  He was so sweet and patient trying to get me to eat, laugh, be comfortable or anything to distract me from the sickness generated in my mind and manifesting in my tummy.

As much as I love ‘Spetakkel’, she isn’t the most comfortable of sailboats as she is only small, especially with three people and all their gear, doesn’t have much cushioning, ventilation or shade and smells of petrol as the engine is a bit leaky at the moment.  I sleep on top of the engine where the smell is most potent, on an uneven compartment comparable to the size of a letterbox.  You can’t really lay or walk anywhere easily, you have to harness yourself to the kitchen while you co-ordinate cooking of any kind and it’s a real juggling-act  even making a cup of coffee.  I felt pretty helpless most of the time like a baby; especially when all I could stomach was red cordial from a bottle.  Daryl fed this formula to me while I was lying down and peeing in a bucket brought back memories of potty-training days, except this time I wasn’t quite as proud of my accomplishments.

Of course there are always positives to any situation and these ones were pretty spectacular.  Idyllic islands, amazing sunrises and sunsets, brilliant constellations, shooting stars, phosphorous glowing in the water, traveling with mother nature’s breath and feeling the rhythm of her waves.  Spotting sea birds so far out at sea and schools of flying fish in unison, make me smile at the wonder of her many talents.

Sailing into the bay was a bit tricky as there are many reefs and therefore some big surf. The captains did a top job though through the skinny pass.  As we sailed in, I could smell flowers and see them floating out to greet us, perfect offerings of pretty, pink petals.  After dropping anchor and our clothes for a long overdue bath, we took our wobbly sea-legs to the yacht club for beers and then hitched into town for some big ‘steak frites’.  Back in top form.  




  © Copyright 2004. Kjell Otto Stave. All Rights Reserved