Monday, April 22, 2013


I'm not really into big boats - one of my favorite rules of thumb is that happy sailors have small boats.  When we were boat shopping three years ago we were looking for a boat no more than 42' long.  But of course you don't get everything you want, and Galactic was the right boat for us in a whole lot of ways, even at 45' (that's 13.7 m for everyone else in the world).

So I'm not one to sing the praises of a bigger boat.  But I gotta say that I LOVED having a boat this size for crossing the Tasman and going down to the Aucklands.  Partly this was because Galactic, at more than twice the displacement of our last boat, Pelagic, is plenty comfortable at sea.  But the real advantage of a bigger boat in those waters is the speed.  We have good sails and a fast underbody and when we got a reasonable weather window we could poke our noses out of whatever snug anchorage we were in and make eight or nine or even (with a bit of help from the tide) ten knots (below) so that we were in the next snug anchorage before the window closed.

The other thing that made me happy about our setup while we were down south was our anchor - our really really big anchor.

We've got a 40 kg / 88 lb. Rocna, which we got at a steep discount in California when we were fitting out the boat.  And when the wind started williwawing in Erebus Cove in the middle of the night, with Galactic heeling over and spinning around on the chain, I didn't worry for a minute that we might drag.  (Touch wood!)

And, well, I don't like to go on about practicalities too much on the blog.  More than anything else, I was aware of how much we relied on our various routines to do everything - our routines for finding an anchorage at night, and pulling the hook in the morning, for cooking dinner at sea and gybing the boat when sailing wing and wing in a big swell and for standing watches through the night.  All those things are completely second nature to us now - it's almost like we can just put ourselves on autopilot to get these tasks completed while, hopefully, we're mentally scanning the scene for the possibility of something that isn't routine.

Anyway, it seemed to work...

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