Loading Map

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 12, Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday morning, after I'd all ready written the daily blog, we found the real North East trade winds. We started out in East-North-East winds to 20 knots with a reefed main and full jib. It got worse from there. By evening we were down to the second reef in the main (really a third reef, the remaining sail being so small) and just a little of the jib rolled out. Finally this morning we rolled up the jib entirely and put up the staysail. We've sailed in the Gulf of Tehuantepec in up to 35 knots of wind with this configuration (double reefed main and staysail) so we're hoping we don't have to go to anything smaller.

Last night the winds were easily over 25 knots in the gusts and probably over 30 in the squalls. We are on a beam reach which means the wind and waves come directly at the side of the boat. It's rough. This is probably as rough as we'd ever had it at sea, including the times going down the California Coast. Those trips were better, actually, because we were going with the wind and waves instead of across them. The cockpit is totally uninhabitable, every few minutes a wave breaks against the side of the boat sending spray and sometimes solid water cascading over the cabin top. We still go outside, every 15 minutes, to take a look around and make sure there's nothing about to run us down. Strangely, during these brief times on deck the waves mesmerize me to the point that I have to remind myself to stop looking at the waves and start looking for ships.

So, what could we possibly have to be thankful for? Why NAKIA, of course. Our sturdy little house of 18 years is handling everything the sea can put to her and keeping us safe and dry, if not comfortable, down below. There are many other things to be thankful for, but today, that one tops the list.

I'm sure everyone wants to know about the turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams and pumpkin pie I'm going to cook for our T-Day meal. Sorry to disappoint, but we're making due with an extra large helping of Pepperedge Farm stuffing cooked on the stove (boil water, add stuffing, eat) and some pumpkin bread Linda made before we left and we've had in the freezer for today's festivities.


940 miles to go to Hilo