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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 4, Galapagos Passage

0800 Wednesday, May 20

Well, as I suspected I forgot to update the Google Earth link to the Day Three position when I copied and pasted the link in yesterday's blog. So I hope you saw the real position on Yotreps.

24 Hour Stats For Day 3 (0800-0800)

Miles traveled: 95 nm
Distance made good towards our destination: 54 nm
Surface Water Temp: 82.4 to 84.6 degrees F
3 hours motoring
21 hours sailing

Tuesday started out nice and clear, but gradually became mostly overcast by afternoon. We never had any rain but could see some off in the distance. The sky cleared enough during the night to see some stars and the waning moon.

We had a great blast from the past Tuesday evening when John decided to get on the Pacific Passage net to see if anyone wanted to check in. We're sort of a one boat show on this evening net which was created by several boats who have since arrived in the Marquesas. We can't hear them even if they wanted to continue to run the net, which they really shouldn't since it's at 1 PM their time and it would cut into their daytime activities. Anyway, John came up on the usual frequency and put out a call, and who should answer him but our good friend Stan, formerly of SolMate. They switched to 12C so John could hear him better, and John had a nice chat with Stan, who was holding his Skype phone up to his mic so MJ (who is cat-sitting near Guadalajara) could hear John too. It really brightened our spirits to hear his voice on the radio again!

Here's a story from John: The biggest news from last night is Ziggy ate his first flying fish. The last time we did this passage we quickly tossed any fish or squid overboard so he wouldn't get them and make a mess (or worse, get sick). But about 0200 last night Ziggy came up on deck and looked down the starboard side deck. Now, we're on port tack, sailing closed hauled in about 15 kts of wind. So it's bouncy and there's a little water on the deck from the bow dipping every once in a while. The fish is barely staying alive in the water swimming around in the scupper and Ziggy was not really sure he wanted to go out there for it. Finally after about five minutes he climbed out on the side deck and walked up to the fish. I guess you would call this stalking, but really he just sat there and stared at it for about 20 minutes. I'm sure he was all for getting a fish, but didn't want to have to get wet to do it.

Finally he picked the fish up in his mouth and carried it back to the cockpit. Of course his initial impulse was to run below with it, but I brought him up short on his tether and told him if he wanted to eat it he was going to have to do it on deck. He was none too pleased with this, and let me know it by growling at me, constantly, for the next 15 minutes. He eventually figured out he could get down into the cockpit well and be alone with his prize and that's where he settled. I took my eyes off Ziggy for a couple of minutes to clean up some lines and when I looked back there was nothing left of the fish. Nothing. He'd eaten everything except one scale and a piece of a fin. I was so amazed I had to clear out the entire cockpit just to make sure he'd actually eaten it. Later he had a look on his face like 'I'm not sure that was a good idea,' but he managed to keep it down so now we can be sure that we won't have to worry about cat food on passages any more.

Our last few meals have consisted of ramen soup with the leftover veggies from our happy hour with Mystic Moon (thanks for leaving those with us, Kathy, but the Oaxaca nuts didn't last past the first night!); tuna melt (w/o cheese) on tortillas, and baked potatoes that John cooked during his post midnight watch (I ate mine at 6 AM). We eat whatever's at hand and/or easy to prepare since it's kind of bumpy.

This is not an upwind sailing boat and we are on an upwind passage the whole way. That's why it's a lot of work and not a whole lot of fun, but even though it may not be the most pleasant way to get somewhere, our mantra is, "We can do it!" We are short tacking close to the wind when we can sail, and slow motoring at 1700 RPM (our top cruising throttle is 2000 RPM). Of course we are also heading into the 2-3 foot swell which another disadvantage.

We saw one tropic bird (at sunset) and one swallow tailed gull (at sunrise, though these mostly follow the boat at night hoping to catch whatever jumps out in our wake). And two unidentified whales.

Linda and John