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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Passage Notes

As John already wrote, it's been a little rough lately. Nothing terrible, but just enough bouncing around to make life more difficult than it already is. There are two wave/swell trains. The one from behind us is fine because it simply lifts up the stern and we go surfing down with it. But every once in awhile there's one that comes from our port side that really slews us around, and things below go bang and crash. And sometimes a wave slips up the port stern quarter and splashes into that side of the cockpit.

Two weeks of this is plenty and we're ready to finish it up. Maybe we're a little antsy knowing that we're (with any luck) down to our last week, or maybe it's hearing other boats making landfall that has us wishing we were there too. Antipodes was the first boat in our little group to drop off the radio net after arriving in Hiva Oa Friday night after a fast 20 day passage. Spica decided to stop today at an anchorage before Nuku Hiva, ending their 25 day passage (with five and seven year old children - my hat goes off to them!). Next should be Tara III this Thursday, with Mud Skipper, Chautauqua, and Nakia bringing up the rear.

The night watches lately have reminded me of one of the reasons I hated baby-sitting as a teenager - trying to stay awake late at night. Hard as I tried to stay awake, inevitably the parents would arrive home to find me asleep on their couch, and I'd wake up groggy and embarrassed to be caught napping on the job. I guess it would have helped then to be wearing a watch with a continuous 15 minute timer going off to keep me awake.

I've sure been wishing for a water maker lately. The thought of arriving in a place where water is going to be difficult to get is a downer after a long passage like this. It's going to take us a week just to get laundry hand washed and salt wiped off every surface of the boat. Makes you appreciate places like Mexico where you can pull into a marina for a day or two just to get cleaned up again. At least we've managed to keep all the dead things off the boat. Today Tara III reported a record "catch" of 33 flying fish, none of which were longer than one inch. They have been regularly cooking up their (larger) flying fish and squid deck catch, but I believe they said they were out of olive oil for this batch...

Forecast is for more of the same weather and seas so this is all for now. Oh, and as much as I am finding "The Bone People" to be a great read, I realized that I'd better warn people that the subject matter isn't for the faint of heart. By "magical" I didn't mean Tinkerbell, feel good, but more like eerie and transcendent. It's a disturbing story, but I was immediately drawn in by the characters and the unusual style of writing. As much as one hopes for a happy outcome, I'm sure it's not to be (I haven't quite finished it yet), but I'm reconciled to that. This is a rare book that I find myself thinking about often even when I'm not reading it.