Checking out Gelane on board Oman Sail's Majan
Checking out Gelane on board Oman Sail's Majan

Under Doctor’s Orders

Paul Standbridge's crew on Oman Sail's Majan trimaran await hurricane Gelane

Saturday February 20th 2010, Author: Mark Covell, Location: none selected

Off school, all dressed up and nowhere to go. We sit flopping from side to side. We’re flying no headsails and the main is reefed all the way down to the fourth. That’s what it takes to slow this girl down to a very poorly 8 knots. The leeward hull is no longer being driven down from the pressure of our powerful sails.  No longer chasing flying fish, no longer devouring sea miles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Majan is off her food, off colour, not herself: sipping lukewarm tea from a cup in an aquatic waiting room. This watery waiting room is called the Indian Ocean. It has no spectacled receptionist or heavily thumbed copies of Yachting World or dog-eared Hello magazines. It has no goldfish in a tank or bad wallpaper, it’s just sea and more sea and some sky.

We are waiting for Mother Nature to call us in. We need the all clear, a clean bill of health, no complications, just; “That’s all fine Mrs Majan, you are good to go!”

About 580 nm from us is a very badly behaved in-patient called Gelane. She is very angry about something.

This is a short extract from Commanders’ Weather Corp from a report we received today: Gelane has intensified into a major hurricane – very well formed, small high, intense eye on the satellite imagery. Max sustained winds are near 110-120 kts and gusts to 140 kts. This is one very serious storm.

We need the men in the white coats to come and take her away. That or administer some pretty strong sedatives. Calm down Gelane, this won’t hurt!

Our Skipper Paul Standbridge has no intention of taking us out of this safe room and into mayhem. We have food, we have water, and we don’t need any bandages. The prescription has not changed.

"Take one dose of go-slow pills and proceed to take long calm walks by the sea: nothing too hectic, stay where you are. Don’t raise your blood pressure; don’t eat too much real food, stick to something bland and tasteless, don’t get too much sun and don’t pick up $200 when you “Pass Go"….

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