Out here in the spooky, kooky, North Pacific, we celebrated with our own brand of ghoulishly aquatic festivities.
The kids spent the last few days composing entries for an impromptu writing competition. Ghost stories galore, judged this evening on a sliding scale. Points were given for; originality (duh), dry humor (why bother with any other) correct use of obtuse punctuation (semicolons, hyphens, colons and other literary sprites that often elude the elementary school writer), scariness, structure, character development and so on.
Twenty smackeroos was the grand prize--to spend at Target in any way they want, once we have arrived in Hilo.
Fueled by capitalist greed and sibling rivalry, they wrote their little brains out for days, peeking over shoulders and staying up late, each trying to get an edge on the other.
In the end, they both won--the stories were really equally wonderful and funny and scary and I wish I could print them but they were each ten pages long!
When we handed them their cash prizes, they were only the tiniest bit miserable that one had not emerged the obvious victor over the other.
The kids dressed up in costumes. Kai went as me, with long messy hair and sunglasses, donning my foul weather gear, Uggs and the ridiculous hat I always wear on night watch. Hunter went as our friend Terry Kennedy, complete with a white cotton moustache and a San Diego t-shirt.
She also dressed as 'Scary Mary" (who says you cant have two outfits), her version of "Mary" from Downtown Abbey-only "dead".
We ignored the enormous seas threatening to spoil our fun.
An extra reef or two in the sails and we stopped flying off the tops of one curling peak and smashing into the next. (The bone-jarring grind of a heavy beam sea gets old, really fast and we would like to be done with that now, thanks very much.)
We conjured what we could from the galley: bbq chicken pizzas were about the final bit of wizardry I will be able to muster out of our shrinking stores. From here on, im afraid, its Ramen and not much else. We are officially out of everything a person might actually WANT to eat. Of course, I have enough for us to survive for several more weeks if we had to... but there is a not much to say of the culinary pleasures gained form eating peanut butter off spoons or drinking re-hydrated skim milk.
We made a treasure hunt for the remarkably horrible Tahitian-brand candy we had stashed away for this Hallows Eve and Jon and I hid in our head so the kids had a door to knock on and "trick or treat!" as we handed out precious bags of real M+M's that had prior-to, been hiding in the ditch-kit.
It may not have been exactly up to par, when you're used to canvassing entire neighborhoods with empty pillowcases and filling them with a year's worth of loot, but for 350 miles offshore, it wasn't too bad.
(Last year, the kids trick-to-treated the boats anchored in the Magote in La Paz and ended up with all sorts of weird prizes (old prunes and spare batteries) from unsuspecting, crusty, cruisers.)
Then it was off to bed for mom, while the kids piled in their berth and watched a scary movie on the computer. Between his every 15 minute horizon checks, dad (on his first night watch) peeked in, and tickled toes, making sure things didn't get TOO scary.
|Hokupa'a (North Star)|
As I finish this up, I am beginning my second watch of the night. It has been a long and not terribly comfortable one so far, with no moon and the boat careening around, but the good news is, the little meter we have on our navigation pod that tells our TTG (Time To Goal) which, on long passages reads >99 hours for what seems like eternity... now fluctuates (its based on your Speed Over Ground) between 48 and 56 hours! (...as of 10AM Friday morning.)
A sliver of crescent moon is just now rising over our starboard rail-to be followed, shortly, by the sun, and whenever the looming black clouds ahead of me part, and I look carefully and low on the horizon, I can once again see the North Star.
279 miles to Hilo!
Note from Emily:
The photo on the right is from the Polynesian Voyaging Society's page about traditional maritime navigation. (Very interesting read!) The photo shows the North Star (at the top), as seen from approximately where Suki, Jon, Kai and Hunter are. At such latitudes, it appears about 20* above the horizon.