A long night.
The South East trades blew wide open, we had 22 knots on the forward quarter and a fast, 10-15 foot swell on the beam.
Back to the grind.
In order to keep us from falling too far West and missing Hiva Oa (tricky business, this estimating your course to make landfall, when sailing across a great distance), Pura Vida had to scratch and claw her way along on a close haul and take those big rollers straight on the beam.
We soldiered on. Took it on the chin. Peanut butter and crackers for dinner...again.
"Milk-Run" my patootie.
We've done more close-reached, hard on the nose, sailing on this trip than we ever have.
But we are getting hardened by the experience.
A salty glint flashes in the eye nowadays at the smell of bad weather.
Everyone on the boat has lost about ten pounds due to the 24 hour isometric fitness class we've been taking on these rolly seas. Kai has also had a major growth spurt in the last three weeks-so he's like 9 feet tall now, and rake thin-and is still the color of milk (no matter how much he tries to "tan"). He looks like some sort of giant white Heron we are smuggling into Polynesia. We are all looking forward to Hiva Oa, where the baguettes are supposedly wonderful and cheap. I'm sure Kai will sort himself out in no time!
So, the roll was back and the jerk and slosh and the waves were creeping higher and higher. Occasionally, a really big one would smash and break rudely over our rail. I got hit with a soaker in the cockpit and with it came a HUGE flying fish. It flopped around in it's death-throws, in the pitch black, smacking my bare legs with it's wings. I was shreiking and cursing until I could find a towel to grab him with and huck him over board. I'm just lucky it didn't flip down the open hatch and land on Hunter or Kai who were sleeping right beneath me in the sea berth! Only five more days or so..but five more days of this... was gonna be a grind.
We fell off a little and reefed in the sails. Night watch was gonna be another howler, nothing to do but sit behind the wheel and listen to the ocean hissing like a wet cat.
"Yeah , yeah..." I said, rolling my eyes at the challenging sea. "...what-ever". Sometimes, it works to speak to the Ocean in hushed tones of awe and gratitude but... there are other times, when you just gotta show some teeth. Treat her like she's your home-girl, and all the world's your ghetto. "That's right, you see me, putting this reef in?" I called out to the spitting Sea, "I'm just sailing across you, bitch, and I got ALL night, too..."
A little smack-talking goes a long way, when you just want to wet your pants you're so tired and scared.
But by late morning, we were best friends again.
The winds settled and the waves laid down, we could hold a good bearing on our course again...