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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 4, Plata to Galapagos

"Ssuwweeet!" as my nephew would say. Day 4 gets a gold star. For me it started out with a nice slow night sail, some shooting stars, the Big Dipper poised vertically and setting with the leading edge of its cup ready to scoop up some of the sea, the Southern Cross slowly laying over on its side to the southwest, followed this morning by a rising Venus, then a sliver of a moon, and finally, - ta dah! - "Sunrise, The Extended Cut." This was the first sunrise I've been able to see through all the overcast sky we've had. There was the perfect blend of cloud and blue sky to make it one of the longest and most colorful dawns I've seen on the ocean. I stayed up to breakfast with John (yogurt and granola; not the bagel and cream cheese I fantasized about all night, but still good), and he spotted a waved albatross again. When I woke up at Noon he was starting to cook the pinto beans that he soaked over night, AND he was getting ready to take a shower on deck! Now that's how you win a woman's heart. I have never mastered the art of the spit bath, and only feel really clean after total immersion in soap and water, so a real shower sounded great. We were on a slow more downwind point of sail so we used the salt water wash down pump on the side deck to get wet and soapy and rinsed, and then got under the sun shower in the cockpit for a fresh water rinse. That had the added bonus of rinsing away some of the salt from the cockpit teak on the port side. We dried in the sun; John added onions, peppers, garlic, and rice to the beans and we ate that for our meal of the day; and the clouds moved in again to keep things cool. We even opened some hatches and portholes since it was so nice out today.

I don't think I've mentioned our revised watch schedule which goes like this:

0800-1300 John
1300-1800 Linda
1800-2200 John
2200-0100 Linda
0100-0400 John
0400-0800 Linda

This better accommodates the HF radio skeds John participates in at 0900 and 1800 on 8143 USB. The evening net (Pacific Passage Net) is one he got going again after it began to die when the first wave of boats headed to the Marquesas got out of hearing range. It mostly follows boats headed from Panama to Ecuador/Galapagos/Marquesas/Hawaii, and from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. We are at the tail end of "season" for this run, but there are still a few boats making the same trip, and it's nice to be able to keep track of each other via the radio.

In the last 24 hours we did 95 nm DMG, sailed the entire distance, and have about 140 nm to go (that could be a little higher since I'm not sure what the last few waypoints are, but it's close). We are keeping well south of our destination so that we can heave to and drift north if we need to kill some time Sunday night before going into the harbor at first light Monday morning.

Linda and John