Alone Like a Rolling Stone

At anchor in 35 knots

It is dark. The lights of the beach bars have long since gone out. The bass speakers of the DJ's who amuse the party people have fallen silent. To protect myself from the noise - what else is it when three DJ's put on music at the same time and it reaches you from different directions - I bought myself such a bass box and now drown out the incoming music. This works quite well. Of course, you can't expect quality with this method, but it makes the situation somewhat bearable. At some point I am so tired that the music from the beach doesn't bother me anymore and I fall asleep. In the middle of the night I wake up. The boat drives again and again into the bridle, trembles and vibrates. A continuous hissing has replaced the monotonous bum bum of the bass speakers. The wind whistles through the open hatch into the interior of my bunk. It takes me a while to realize what's going on. By the whirling up spray my feet become wet. I start to shiver slightly.

The party is in full swing Aruba

Finally, the discomfort pushes me out of bed and I look to see what's going on. The anchor alarm, which I let run at night via an app, has not triggered. I look at the position on my phone and realize everything is fine. I open the door to the cockpit, which I always keep closed while sleeping. Only now I realize that it is quite windy. The tarpaulin is flapping, the spinnaker trees are rattling in their holders and some halyard is whipping against the mast. The soundscape is deafening and the DJ's from last night would be happy they could generate such a volume with their bass speakers. I look over to the cruise pier, but the ship from the previous evening has already left, no trace of the giant pot. The pier is sparsely lit, and the only artificial light in the whole bay. I look up and see that the sky is cloudy. Every now and then the clouds break and the light of the moon penetrates to the surface of the water. The water is really boiling. Not that the wave is very high, on the contrary, but the wind stirs up the water and drives it ahead. In the short phases, when the moonlight falls on the water surface, it looks as if a white carpet has spread over the entire bay. Another jolt into the moorings draws my attention to the bow. Another squall causes the boat to vibrate and the background noise to increase into the infernal. The lines are under heavy tension and the anchor chain is taut at an alarming angle. Since there is a lot of space here in the bay and the wind blows mostly from easterly directions, we have put 30 meters of chain as a precaution. At two meters water depth, this is more than sufficient. Nevertheless, the stretched chain worries me and I go back to the salon to turn on the plotter and check the wind strength. I briefly consider deploying a second anchor, but quickly discard the thought. 

Plotter runs with on the Katinka, Aruba

Just over 30 knots and again and again long-lasting gusts with over 35 knots, the device shows. That's up to 70km/h. I look at the clock. Three o'clock in the morning, such a crap, at least another 3.5 hours until it gets light. It all helps nothing, sleep is anyway not to think of. A semicircular black blob forms on the plotter that is running along. I stare out into the darkness and try to locate the position. With moderate success, which is not so tragic, since the technology has everything under control. The eyelids get heavy and I have to think of the last tweet on Twitter. Der Spiegel tweets that Ms. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (do I have to gender Zimmermann now?) would have liked to become a hippie. I imagine her with dreadlocks, just pulling on a bag. In my mind's eye, she's sitting, with Christine Lambrecht on a Leopard tank tube, racing east, singing the song "Alte Kameraden." I shouldn't tweet so much, then maybe the nightmares will subside. All the movement in the ship jolts me out of my thoughts, makes me realize that nothing has changed in the situation, and I immediately lapse into the next tweet. Someone complains about the heat, and that he has to overcome his inertia to berate the Russian embassy. Boy, I'd like to have your problems. 

Sunrise in Aruba

At some point, the sky turns orange and I think of Mrs. Strack-Zimmermann's joint again. I push her off the tank and steal the joint from her. The sky changes from intense purple to delicate pastel tones and then becomes lighter and lighter. I first make myself a coffee and try to shake off what I have experienced during the night. The phone rings. Gaby is on the line and asks if everything is okay. I rather not tell her what I have experienced tonight, after all, I want us to continue our world tour together and who likes to go around the world with a total nutcase. The wind does not let also over the day after. On the contrary, again and again heavy rain showers go down. Around 20:00 o'clock the magic is then abruptly over. From one second to the other, sudden wind silence. Already really eerie I think, probably the climate change.
Have a nice week, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.

Survived another adventure, Aruba



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