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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, 10/24

Saturday was probably the windiest we've seen it so far, but mostly a nice sunny day, so beautiful in a wild sort of way. Even though they don't really seem that big, I'm sure these are the seas that I've looked down upon from an airplane flying to/from Hawaii, thinking to myself how happy I wasn't out there in a small boat! But they're not really as bad as they look from above. I give the autopilot a break twice a day while John does the radio nets and email (our autopilot freaks out when we transmit on the radio so someone has to hand steer). I was nervous about standing out there for up to half an hour at a time but I think I gained more confidence as I got used to the conditions.

We had a new nature experience yesterday. I went out on deck before 8 AM for a horizon check and noticed a dark grey shape surfing in the waves off our aft starboard quarter. I figured it was a lone small dolphin and that I had missed the main pod (sometimes a few strays will hang around after the big group has left). But when I went back out at 8:15 to steer for John's radio net it was still there. I soon realized that it never surfaced to breathe and was more fish than dolphin or shark shaped. John joined me after the net and confirmed that it must be a dorado (mahi mahi). The amazing thing is that it followed us for the entire day! Every time I went out to check for ships I got so focused on finding the fish in the waves that I had to force my eyes back up to the horizon to scan for ships. It's been too rough to even think about fishing, besides which we still have a freezer full of dorado and I'm not a big fan of anything but salmon to begin with. Besides, it was kind of fun to have a fish mascot for a day!

We are still plowing through the collected works of "New York Times Bestselling" authors - Dan Brown, Nelson DeMille, Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, Carl Hiaasen, David Baldacci, James Patterson, and Elmore Leonard. I managed to read the latter's "Out of Sight" without remembering the Clooney/JLo movie of the same name until John started reading it and pointed that out to me. Reading one book right after another is making them all a big blur, but it sure does pass the time. I manage to do a crossword puzzle now and then and John listens to pre-loaded podcasts of NPR shows like Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me which keep him chuckling.

The second Equator Hopper boat to arrive in Hawaii is Dazzler. They checked into the Pacific Seafarer's Net off the coast of Molokai last night and expected to reach the Ala Wai Marina (their home port) around midnight. The rest of us are making slow but steady progress towards our various island destinations. The sailboat Entelecheia is checking into the PacSeaNet at night. They are sailing from the northern Cook Islands to Hawaii where they will store the boat until Spring and then make the final leg homeward to San Francisco. Now that's a long passage to Hawaii!