Getting Away Page 5

Mitzie Ruffles

24.3 Nautical miles to Ribadeo

Mike’s head appears in the companionway hatch.

“Ann, there’s a fishing trawler bows to the wind just sitting there riding the waves. It’s right on our course, about one thousand meters ahead. Let’s hope the skipper realises we have the right of way”.

Ann says, “Whatever next this is getting ridiculous one thing after another. If it’s not the wind, it’s the waves, if it’s not the waves, it’s pigeons, and now it’s a trawler right on our course”.

She gets up off the settee and crawls over to the companionway steps, pulls herself up and climbs slowly into the cockpit to take a look.

I hear Mike say, “The trawler is over there. Can you see it, no over there, a little to the left, off the port bow”?

“I can see it. It’s huge and getting bigger as we get closer. I’m going back down below to get the grab bag ready”.

The grab bag is a waterproof bag with all the essential documents, passports, bank cards, boat registration, boat insurance, photos, and many other things.

With a shaking hand, she reaches under the port side settee, pulls out the grab bag, blue in colour with black straps. It has a drawstring on the top, which she pulls open. She releases the double flap and peers inside. Checking the contents and adding the mobile phone, the handheld VHF Radio.

She crawls over to the chartable and lifts the flap, reaches in and takes out a large-scale chart of the Bay of Biscay, adds it to the contents of the grab bag. She adds a torch, protractor, calculator, and handheld GPS. Then proceeds to fasten the bag up, ensuring the flap is correctly shut to stop any water from getting in. She placed the bag next to the fridge, located just to the left of the steps behind the mainmast.

Mike’s voice shouts, “The stupid trawler is not moving. We can’t head more into the wind. We’ll just get pushed back towards him. If we go round his stern, we will get pushed off course, and it will take ages to get the westing back. In fact, it will be very uncomfortable and wet, heading more or less directly into the waves. It’ll be a nightmare”.

Mike says, “They must realise that we can’t manoeuvre as well as they can, we’re a third of his size. I’m going to keep on this course, they must let us pass, we have the right of way, come on trawler make some room let us pass ahead of you”.

800 meters to go.

“Come on, move over”.

Mike reaches up and pulls the VHF radio mic off its mount and calls “Fishing trawler, fishing trawler in position 44 Degrees 0.64 North, 6 degrees 57.76 West this is sailing yacht Ruffles Spray, 800 meters off your starboard beam do you read me over”?

Boom, boom, kaboom, kaboom

“Fishing trawler in position 44 Degrees 0.64 North, 6 degrees 57.76 West this is sailing yacht Ruffles Spray, 800 meters off your starboard beam do you read me over”?

Boom, boom, kaboom, kaboom

“Fishing trawler in position 44 Degrees 0.64 North, 6 degrees 57.76 West this is sailing yacht Ruffles Spray, 800 meters off your starboard beam do you read me over”?

Boom, boom, kaboom, kaboom

Mike says, “700 meters to go, come on, man, get out of the way”.

Boom, boom, kaboom, kaboom.

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10 Responses

  1. At least I know the trawler didn’t sink you. I assume you hit it to test your welds. Good read Mitz, hurry with next episode.

  2. What a really enjoyable beginning to the adventures of SY Ruffles Spray. Written through the eyes of pet Mitzie one understands the challenges constantly faced. I was certainly pulled into life aboard during a storm from a dog’s point of view. The relationships between the dogs and their owners was sympathetically told. I loved Mitzie saying ‘Maths, I don’t like Math’s’. I laughed ot loud at the pizza saga, and wonder what happened to the pigeon stowaways. I am fretting about whether the trawler responded and moved out of Ruffles Spray’s way. I also thought the noises of the storm were evocative. All in all a well constructed first chapter. Looking forward to further installments – soon! That trawler!

  3. What a wave hanger! I want to know what happens next. This is a great story of life time goal and adventure, massively overtaking the experience of the sailors, so we already know it’s going to be ‘interesting’ very atmospheric, and exciting. Go Ruffles Spray Go

  4. Having sailed to some of the same places as Mitzie, Mike and Anne I was taken back to my own experiences of sailing into the unknown. You can’t do a voyage like this without a mix of courage, madness and humour, and this first chapter has buckets full of all three. I look forward to reading more doggy antics.

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