We coastal cruised with our daughter when she was aged 2 till starting school
She's now such a fearless and outgoing 21 year old, which I put largely down to this start. We still so enjoy recounting the times we had, or for her, recounting the stories we have repeatedly told of those experiences.
One late evening in the Queen Charlotte Sound (NZ), under full Main and just half a dozen turns in the Genoa
roller, the wee girl stacking blocks in the saloon
, the adults commenting to each other as to disbelief of the windspeed, showing 30 - 35 knots from astern (south), no sea, just running on rails steady and stable as you can get for several hours. We should reduce sail, but we're going perfectly!. In the euphoria we overlooked that the area is famous for gusts from widely varying directions, specially (of course) as headlands or bays are passed. The wind
can be funnelled down the steep glacial gulleys and then it accelerates.
And that's what happened approaching Endeavour
inlet. Bang. The wine glasses fly, the tips of the spreaders shining in the dark just clear of the drink, lapping around the Genoa
We both scrambled to make the companionway
, with blind visions of our daughter being tossed and injured. Once we made it inside, we saw her, looking truly thrilled. She was standing underneath the now vertical saloon
table, with her we feet on the now horizontal piece underneath bit where legs and feet go.
"Hey, stick MORE rag up Dad" she yelled. "MORE Rag ... Then I could slide on the ceiling!".