One thing that's hugely different about this crossing than our last, is we spent no time at all, sailing willy-nilly, hoping for decent enough wind to get us to the trades. As soon as we "jumped out the door" at Taou and put up our sails, we were off to the races.
The Tuamotos lies directly in the trade wind belt, and from moment one of this trip, we've been hauling along in 15-25 knots. Unfortunately, the winds are at an unusually North/East angle ( not what the gribs said when we left) so our hopes of making as much Easting as we originally wanted to, are diminishing by the day. Last night, at the end of Jon's 12-3am watch, the series of squalls he had been subjected to organized into more of a front and the rest of the night (my watch) was a whole lot of heavy wind and building waves. I ended up slowing us to a crawl hoping that most of it would pass without hammering us too much. Hunter came on deck at dawn, took one look at the sunrise trying to squeeze some of its splendor under the low-lying, leaden clouds and declared, "Yucky".
As the skies popped open with a fresh downpour and a cold gust of 30 knot wind hit us, she clipped into her little harness, gamely grabbed the furling line and tailed for me, as I cranked in the headsail for the fifth time in three hours, once again waking poor ol' Jon who was trying to sleep off an inner ear infection during his off watch.
The good news is, nothing lasts forever, especially at sea, and six hours later, all had settled down and the Mexican antibiotics which I had luckily scrawled "Ear Infection" on the outside of the box (the paper from the doctor describing what they were all for has somehow become waterlogged and unreadable and Lord knows I would never in million years know what they were for now), had taken affect and Jon no longer looked like someone had hit him in the jaw with a sledgehammer.
We met for morning coffee as I came off watch and Jon went on (you really do miss your "other half" on two-hander, long passages and shared times, like meals or a half a glass of sloshing wine at sunset become like mini-dates) and began our new ritual of morning check-in with our friends on SV Nakia. Neither Jon nor I have our Ham radio tickets--the test was not offered before we left on our trip or any time we could have taken it in La Paz--so we aren't able to check in on any of the other radio nets like Pacific Seafarers. Twice a day, at 7am and at 5pm we check in with John and Linda and trade position reports and updates, talk about what we ate for dinner, say hi to their cat and our kids and generally enjoy the moral support of knowing that somewhere out there, other people as crazy as you, are doing this same, crazy and wonderful thing. They are smaller than us and have a different sail configuration, so even though they left three hours ahead of Pura Vida, we are about 46 miles apart now. Last night, they went through the same nasty weather as we did and lost the screws holding their staysail in place (not a good thing on a windward leg) and this morning, our fridge pump broke again (Jon had already fixed it once before we left Taou), so it was nice to commiserate with friends about what a joy ocean crossings can be sometimes.
As I write this, the seas have settled for the time being. Jon is on deck thinking out how he will repair our pump (yes we have three spares but they are all old or broken now as well) and I am considering my meal plans if I have to cook four huge lobster tails and three weeks worth of preciously stowed salami and cheeses that we had been saving for this crossing. The good news is, that since we haven't been to a store in six weeks-there wasn't much fresh stuff anyway!
So it goes.
Now, for that sloshy sunset (warm) wine date...
Heading 13*True at 4 knots
24 HOUR RUN: 110 miles