An audio and video podcast of my trip hitchhiking around the world by sea.
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Duck N Jibe

It sounds like a dance move and the way I was moving I could have been dancing with the stars. It all started the first couple weeks of sailing. I was still learning the ropes (as I am 3 months later). Hoist this. Reef that. I had no idea what was going on. One of the first things I learned though was “accidental jibe”.

A jibe occurs when sailing downwind, the main sail catches the wind on opposite side and swings the boom (sail) across the boat. An accidental jibe is very similar except when you’re not expecting it. My introduction to the accidental jibe happened in the Bahamas. I was guiding the boat downwind. Still unfamiliar, I pointed the boat a little too far. The wind changed, sails luffed, then caught on the opposite side. The sail came swooping across the cockpit just missing Dan and my heads as we ducked out of the way.

Heart pounding, Dan explained the jibe. By all appearances, he was calm, but I suspect now he was just bottling his angst. Problem is that stuff has to come out! If it doesn’t, it just builds and builds until it forces its way out. It can take days, weeks, or it can take about two months and come out as you are pulling into a handsome bay with people watching from shore.

Having arrived to Puerto Rico, Dan, myself and our new friend Tony who we picked up in Mayaguez were day hopping down the coast. It was early afternoon, warm sun and light breeze blowing when we arrived to La Par guera-a small Puerto Rican town known for snorkeling and kite surfing. Yes, we were in shallow water and no, there wasn’t much room to work in the canal we were looking to anchor in, but I can’t help but think there was something deeper.

I was standing on deck preparing the main sail to drop, when suddenly the wind shifted…sails luffed and caught. Dan yells, “Boom!” Hatred and revenge bubbling through his chords. The boom swung around but I was too high to duck. With no time to spare, I thought to myself… “What would Jack Sparrow do?” So like a well trained pirate I jumped and grabbed hold of the mast as it swung across the boat and over the water. Moments later the boom ran out of line, bounced and swung back to the boat. My feet grabbed hold, I steadied the sail and proceeded to lower it.

Dan would probably deny malice. And we’ve never actually talked about it, but I have my suspicions. The way he squinted those devious eyes in the sun like he was looking for coral. Well in the end, he got his revenge… but it was I- D. Preston-who stood on deck. Shirtless, shimmering, staring into the distance like I had just been nominated for the well deserved Pirate of the Year Award.

And aye.. I accept the nomination!


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment