Sailing on Zoya

Hello from Charleston!

I am writing to you on Monday, November 21, 2022, because I’m worried I’ll not have time tomorrow to complete the blog by 5pm.  So, I’m getting ahead of the game and trying to have it done early!

Obviously, there was no blog last week.  I think that is the first week we’ve missed since we started this whole thing, but there just wasn’t time, and I’ll tell you why!

Last Monday, I was driving to work and Steve called me.  He says “Terry and Lena don’t have anyone helping them head South, wanna go?”  

Terry and Lena are the friends that I helped come North this March on their boat, Zoya, and Steve was unable to come with me.  I could tell he was excited, so we quickly started to figure out what sailing with them might look like. 

We had to find a place for Buoy, pack, figure out if we’d be with my family for Thanksgiving – all kinds of things. Somehow, it all worked out, and we left with them around 2:30 pm on Thursday, sailed for about 69 hours, and made it to Charleston on Sunday around 11am.

Buoy is with my parents, so she’s with people who love her and all of her doggy friends. Batland is relatively ready to be winterized when we get back before we head to AZ, so things are pretty much in order. I say “pretty much” because we sort of rushed to make sure all things were tied down and ready before leaving. I don’t think we missed anything, but I always feel like there’s a possibility we did when we’re in a hurry.

So, let’s talk about our week and preparing for our sailing trip!

After Steve called, I called my parents to make sure they were okay to keep Buoy. Luckily, they’ve gotten pretty used to our “on a whim” decisions and constant changes in every itinerary we try to make. Mom said “whatever happens, we’ll make it work.” I love that lady.

So on Tuesday I drove Buoy down to NC, leaving a sad Steve behind, and completely missing the deadline for the blog.  It was worth it though, because I got to spend some time with my parents and snuggle Buoy before I left her again.  

Buoy at my parents’ before I left for NC :’-)

We’d already taken down the jib the Saturday before because it was good weather to do so and we weren’t planning on another sail until after the New Year.  

Steve got some new hardware to better secure our bimini, so we worked on that on Wednesday afternoon. That was quite an interesting task.

After removing the hardware and before we replaced it!

The thing is, when you live and work on your boat, there are places where you know you can crawl into and places where you know you can’t. And sometimes, there are places where you just don’t know if you could or not. We knew we both could fit in the starboard lazarette, so we took turns while trying to remove and then reapply the hardware. The port side, however, is not as accessible.

Steve has worked on this before when he and a friend originally put up the bimini.  They cleared out the back lazarette and, their arms being long enough, reached around to where the hardware attached on the inside of the laz.  

I suggested I just climb in there.

This was one of the places where I wasn’t quite sure I’d fit, but figured I’d try it.

Turns out, I did.

I hung out there for around 10 minutes while we undid the old hardware, Steve prepped the new stuff, and then I put the washer and lock nut on as he tightened it from up top. It was interesting to say the least.

For a second, I thought about just how good of a hiding place this would be from pirates – not that we will have any sort of encounter with pirates, but as many Pirates of the Caribbean movies we’ve watched I couldn’t help it.

Anyway, we better secured the bimini. Packed up our backpacks with necessary clothes and toiletries, and on Thursday we set sail!

Zoya is a beautiful boat. Terry and Lena have truly made her feel like a home for anyone who steps aboard. It’s always fun to experience someone else’s boat, because you get new ideas for your own!

Lena on Zoya

I felt this way when I sailed up with them in March, and Steve is getting new ideas daily now that he is aboard with me!

Lena, being the prepared lady she is, made meals ahead of time for our jump to Charleston so that there would be little prep when dinner time came around. Most things she just pops in the microwave or oven, and then it’s ready! Genius!

The first 48 hours of our trip to Charleston were beautiful. At times we motor sailed, other times we cut the engine and just sailed, and then something incredible happened.

Lena spotted dolphins near Zoya so we all started to look for them. Next thing you know, there were FIVE on our bow, swimming in the waves we made.

As a kid, I used to have dolphin EVERYTHING.  Necklaces, figurines, you name it.  Ever since I’ve been sailing, that childhood wonder and love for these creatures has returned.  They’re beautiful, playful, and bring instant joy.  Even Buoy loves them.

Seeing these creatures along our bow was something out of a movie. I’ve seen videos of them surfing on bow waves before, but it was something I never thought I would personally experience! But there I was, watching these beautiful animals splash around me as I sat, feet hanging over the bow, wishing I could jump in and swim with them. I even heard one talking with their little “eeeek” as they jumped out of water. It was one of the coolest moments in my 24 years of life, and so surreal.

Afterwards, I was on a high. I was so ecstatic about what just happened. I called my mom to tell her about it because I just couldn’t contain the excitement inside of me. It was incredible.

After such a great dolphin sighting, we were all very happy.  However, the weather, winds, and waves began to change around 8:30 pm.

Unfortunately, the weather we thought was going to hit sometime Sunday morning, had come Saturday night.

For the next 15 hours we took shifts (except Terry who stayed up all night) manning the helm, watching the apparent wind, and tacking over and over to use the wind while also trying to make our waypoint. At 11am we finally anchored in Charleston harbor.

We were all exhausted, having not slept well due to constant smacking of the bow on every wave. We showered, had lunch, and then went to our bunks to sleep as much as we could. Even after our nap we were all still very tired. Dinner came and went. Tea time was had. Finally, bedtime called our names.

Now, Monday morning, we all are a bit more alive than before.  69 hours at sea, being on high alert for the last 15, can really take it out of you.

We’re so lucky to be safe, anchored, dry, and having warm coffee in a warm boat.

Tomorrow, Steve and I are taking a train to NC so we can spend Thanksgiving with my parents. This week’s weather is supposed to suck until Sunday or Monday, so we will train back to Charleston on Saturday and continue to head South on Zoya.

I’ll try to make sure I write again next Tuesday, but if we are at sea – no promises.



More pics from Zoya!

Published by skyepage

"She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the earth." -Joanne Harris

3 thoughts on “Sailing on Zoya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: