Wind and confused seas.
We kept busy, pointed the boat high to make our Westing and gave the old girl a little push. It was fast, good sailing, despite the overcast skies and grumpy sea. We haven't spent this much time close hauled since...well, ever. We have been nose to the wind for about 400 miles now. By late afternoon, the seas started coming steeper and breaking- time to reef her in and settle down. No need to strain the rig or anyone's nerves.
Kai has graduated from tailing at the winch to actually cranking the whole darn sail up or down. It helps that he is the same size as me now and getting stronger by the minute. It's awesome to have him on deck with us, a fully functioning part of our crew.
Everyone was tired from two days of bashing and rolling but there's not much we can do about that, a† the moment. Jon downloads the grib charts for the weather and determines the best course. We are looking to catch the trade winds, that blow steadily from the North East, this time of year. Sailors have used these reliable winds for centuries to make their way across the seas. Imagine a highway of wind, the fastest way to travel from the Northern Hemisphere to the South. Of course, there are no street signs, so one must sail out into the ocean looking for the latitude where they traditionally begin. We rely on recent weather updates to fine tune our strategy. The grey skies reminded us of how important it is to sort out the Hydro-generator Jon is working on. Our battery power is a constant source of Skipper preoccupation. Fridge, water maker, SSB radio (our ONLY source of weather info and sail-mail communication-we have no internet or phone out here), running lights and auto-pilot all draw off our batteries. Jon's latest attempt to stabilize this draw when our solar can't function (like at night or when shadowed by sails or during a cloudy period) has been this hydro-generator. We got the idea from a fellow cruiser in La Paz but so far, the thing is ALMOST working-which isn't quite the same as ACTUALLY working. More on this, from the Captain himself, when he actually has a minute to write something.
Hunter adopted a tired Brown Boobie for a day. The silly bird landed on our boat and hitched a ride, spending the night on our solar panels. Unfortunately (and over Hunter's protests) he pooped so much, that Captain booted him as soon as he woke up and discovered the stowaway.
Everyday, I come off the 3am-6am watch, make coffee and Jon wakes up from his off-watch, to check into Amigo net. Our friends in the fleet are keeping close track of our progress and log our position and course every day. We also have a good long chat with our buddies on Manta (back in Escondido) over the radio waves, so that sets a happy tone for the day. The kids and I have been writing names on pieces of colored cotton and the pillow case we keep them in is filling up! Even (as of his posting) nearly 500 miles out to sea, we feel we are not alone.
All is well.
We are busy, tired, happy, awed, scared, overwhelmed, amazed and grateful...
And looking forward to finding those Trades!
Kai's ocean fact for today:
The annual global by-catch mortality of small whales, dolphins and porpoises alone is estimated to be more than 300,000 individuals.
Most of these animals are caught by long liners and drift nets looking for Tuna. Maybe next time you want to have Tuna or Swordfish at a resturaunt-think about having a burger or chicken instead or make sure you find out how a fish has been caught before you order it.
When I go fishing I only take the kind of fish I am going To eat and I don't take more than it takes to feed my family.
I love sushi and I always want to eat it a lot but I have learned that Sushi and especially tuna needs to be a treat. I live on a boat and we catch what we eat and do not take more than for us. Don't eat sushi at the mini mall or even at Wholefoods - SUSHI is NOT POTATO CHIPS. Lots of animals die that shouldn't because people eat it too much. A great way to have sushi if you really want it is to make it yourself. You can buy it from a really good local fish store who knows how to get their food the right way. When you buy a whole fish you also get more sushi for less money. And NEVER eat blue-fin because they are almost all gone.