Loading Map

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Saturday, October 9

We continue to truck along towards the equator and the ITCZ (Intercontinental Tropical Convergence Zone) which is the hurdle we must cross to get into the northern hemisphere weather patterns. We've had a pretty slow start but that made for a very comfortable adjustment period which was actually almost enjoyable. Spray seldom flew over the dodger making it possible for us to stand outside to look out over the sparkling blue ocean. We were sailing close to the wind (close reaching) using our trusty wheel lock to let Nakia steer herself once the sails were balanced just right. Last night the seas became a bit rougher and this morning John fell off the wind a bit (more of a beam reach) and switched over to our Cape Horn wind vane self steering.

Although I was aware of the jerkier, more side to side motion of the boat I neglected to think about how it might affect Ziggy. He was his usual self, pestering me for breakfast at dawn, and I encouraged him to eat a full breakfast of canned food (which, with additional water added to it, is the only water he's "drinking"). Big mistake. How is it that the volume of what goes in appears to triple when it comes back out? All over one of the carpets, which I wiped and then stuffed in the anchor chain locker to grow god knows what. Poor guy has been sleeping it off ever since.

So far this week's mishaps have been a bit costly but minor. During the worst night with lots of adjustments being made to the jib (in and out) a locking Lewmar winch handle managed to go over the side when it wasn't properly locked in the winch. One day John decided to let the fishing lines stay out well into sunset. When he pulled them in he had lost his big purple and pink fishing lure. It hadn't caught anything yet, but it was one of John's favorites. He was using a 400 lb test leader on it so whatever took it must have had something sharp to cut through the metal.

We are traveling "in company" with a few other boats and John is running a radio sked in the mornings for everyone to call in with their position, weather, and any general comments. The boats are all very different models and traveling at varying speeds so we're pretty well spread out, but it's nice to keep track of each other and hear the various wind/wave conditions. About half are headed straight to Honolulu and the others are going to Hilo. We'd like to go to Hilo first where it's easier to clear in with Customs but we'll see what kind of progress we make. We also wouldn't want to arrive there on a weekend and have to wait around to clear in, so it's possible we'd go straight to Oahu.

The weather has been mostly clear and sunny with a few puffy clouds. We see birds daily and one of the first days out I came out on deck to look around and just happened to be looking in the right spot when a whale with a very white belly breached the water and went over on its back off in the distance. I couldn't see the fins but it was pretty amazing especially when that wasn't even my "scheduled" 15 minute interval to be up on deck. What are the odds of that?!