Toau to Hilo: Day 4

Things settled down into downright tranquilo last night. We sure weren't setting any 24 hour distance records moving along at 4 knots but the calm sea was a welcome change to the thrashing stampede of the past few days.

The only issue is the wind had been coming around more and more and pushing us West, so we have lost much of the East we were gaining for the first few days. This is a huge annoyance and entirely unavoidable, so for now, we ignore our GPS, which is not showing us making the track we want, and try and just go North, hoping we make up our lost Easting when the winds return to their normal pattern. There is plenty of room out here in the big sea, so we feel its better to relax and see what comes than get too anxious about a few variations this early on.
Of course, we have no idea what we're doing--so hopefully, this will work out for us!

Jon fixed the fridge, with some mechanical wizardry that involved banging various things with a hammer. The last time they went awry, he dutifully took the motors and pumps apart and cleaned everything and put it together with painstaking care and it worked fine for a week but I think this display of restrained violence helped both the water intake pump and the fridge motor to remember who was actually boss around here and they grudgingly complied.

First on our wish list (someday) is a nice air cooled fridge with something SLIGHTLY less than the forty amp drawing beast that we currently operate--but hey, the thing is thirty years old and it still runs most of the time, so there ya go. This is the trick about cruising on a limited budget: you just do what you CAN. Sure, we are envious of people who don't have to worry about water or power while they are out in the middle of the nowhere--or their transmissions, or heat exchangers or any other thing relating to a thirty year old engine and boat--but its not impossible to do with a lesser, or not-so-efficient or slightly crumbly version of the same shiny new thing. In fact, it makes me sort of sad that so many people these days won't go cruising because they think they have to have EVERYTHING just perfect. A sound hull, good rigging and sails and a willingness to keep on top of everything and not expect it to go smoothly has gotten plenty of sailors around the world before--and hey, new stuff breaks too, right?

A beautiful night sail, we fall into watches, laugh with the kids, stare at the sea, read, read, read and spend HOURS talking about what we each want to eat when we make landfall again: Ice cream, hamburgers, spinach, club sandwiches, berries, REAL milk, yogurt... Never, ever, take these things for granted. They are small miracles and the fact that they are readily available is a thing we will never let slip our gratitude, again. The closest fresh produce, available to us at this moment and for the next 20 days or so, is slowly passing us to Starboard, 208 miles, East, in the Marquesas. A two day sail is a long way to go for a mango, so I think we'll just tough it out with canned peaches until Hilo.

I was taking advantage of the relative calm and having a luxurious sponge bath (with a whole HALF a kettle of hot water) on deck this morning and watching the sun come up, when I noticed a few birds ahead. 'I should put a line in", I thought, but O was covered in soap, so... Not moment later, a flock of flying fish burst out of the waves alongside the boat, followed by a HUGE, Mahi-Mahi, leaping and jumping, clear out of the water, hunting them in a spectacular, flourish of air-borne predation. The golden sunrise, glinted off his green and turquoise body, the huge yellow head and sharp, peaked tail flashed and glinted as he leapt out of each wave and soared after his quarry. It was like watching some sort of aquatic dragon. Hunter came on deck just then, and sat with me in stunned awe, as we observed the glorious fish in action... with us in the best seats in the house.

This photo photo of a Mahi-Mahi ---> Flying Fish chase is borrowed with gratitude from Katie at the Toodles cruising blog.

As much as we LOVE fresh, Mahi-Mahi sashimi, I was happy we had not gotten our line in that time, so we could just be witness to this incredible natural display... Besides, with our recently cooled fridge, I have six huge lobster tails that need to be put on the grill tonight, so why be greedy?

Kai's Mahi Mahi facts:
Habitat: Swim rapidly in open water, generally in small aggregations of one or two bulls and several females (mom and Hunter saw a Bull).
More abundant in warmer years, they are circumtropical and subtropical.
Brilliant silver and display bright yellow and yellow-green and blue irridescent spots and washes.
The females display brilliant iridescence and washes with blue markings on head.

COG:329 TRUE ( yeesh)
WIND: 8 knots
SOG: 2.8 knots

24 hour run: 96 miles :-(


  1. saltwindrun, past Heave and Hilo's, cross curve of space to bend
    of bay, brings them by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to
    Snug Cove and Environs.

  2. If an ichthyological Kai
    Hooks a mahi mahi on his fly
    In that zone circumtropical
    On a plane microscopical
    With pleasure his cousin he'll fry

    And likewise his sister that dish
    Does so closely resemble a fish
    That when diving her pins
    Turn at once into fins
    O I'd like to be them don't I wish