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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A lot of reading in the ITCZ

Well, we are good and stuck in the ITCZ now and are taking any course but due north or due west just to keep sailing. At sunrise today we could see a big black cloud to our left (north) and when I came on watch at Noon the BBC was behind us and we were still motoring. Since it wasn't raining and the decks were clean from all the rain yesterday we took the opportunity to change jibs. Other than squalls the winds are anticipated to be lighter from here on out so we dropped the small jib, folded it on deck, and put up the big jib. Finally, after 24 hours of hot, noisy motoring, the BBC caught up to us and morphed into a big gray overcast with some breeze and we shut down the engine to sail. Ah, peace and quiet at last.

John is now reading the B. Kingsolver book of short stories and I have finished both The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and Alibi by Joseph Kanon. The former, of course, is the source for the Kate Winslet movie by the same name and I thought both were very moving. It surprised me when the Kona librarian who checked out the DVD to me said she hadn't liked either the book or the movie. The Reader is definitely not "feel good" material but it's thought provoking and well done. I don't usually pick up mystery/thriller novels but Alibi is set in Venice so I couldn't resist. And it turned out to be an engaging read with almost non-stop dialogue and an interesting view of post-war Venice and it's ex-pat inhabitants. Now I've started to re-read A Fish Flew Through the Porthole by Gerri Miller which is an account of their passage from San Francisco to the Marquesas in a small sailboat similar to ours. I had forgotten what a great sense of humor she has and I was already laughing just reading the prologue. This is a self-published memoir so you're not likely to find it on amazon.com but it's a hilarious tale of a passage fraught with more than any sailor's share of mishaps.

Here's a list of some of the things we'll miss after living in the States again:

Driving a car
Free Wi-Fi
Good multi-grain wheat bread (though I just realized I never got a sourdough bread fix!)
Having a library card for renting DVDs and doing internet
Shopping and pizza lunches at Costco with Ralph and Glenda
Brian Williams (NBC news; sorry Diane and Katie but after hearing Brian's guest spot on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me we love his sense of humor - which he occasionally lets creep into his newscast!)
Noah's bagels from Costco
The resident turtles (Stumpy, Barnacle Bill, Old Blue, and the rest of the gang) in Honokohau Marina
DQ Blizzards at the mall
New episodes of The Office, Lost, and The Amazing Race (even though the digital signal w/o cable was often weak)
Fresh fish from our charter fishing neighbors in Honokohau
Lava Man Red Ale from the Kona Brewing Co. (that's John's entry)
Did I already mention shopping at Costco?!

So we continue to read, sleep, eat, and (hopefully) sail our way across the Pacific. Oh yes, and we crossed the half way mark on Monday night!