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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, 10/12

If we have to sail upwind, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect first week. We've had a reefed main out, the staysail, and the jib on port tack, and the only trimming has been to the jib. Granted we've been sailing slow - anything over 5 kts feels fast - and are envious of the boats reporting 5.5 - 6.5 average speeds. But we've been much more comfortable this time and I think a lot of it has to do with slowing down. Last night was the first slightly uncomfortable night with the boat crashing off more waves and generally bouncier conditions, even though it didn't seem any windier than usual.

Even though we've seen lots of them the entire way, we had our first boarding of suicidal flying fish last night. Ziggy was coming down the companionway with the first one before John caught him. So now he's in his harness waiting for a dawn release. It will be better once the moon is more full. My theory is if there's enough light to see by, the fish are able to avoid us more easily.

I forgot to mention my latest "home improvements." As nice and clear as the days are we still have to have every hatch and port hole closed up against the ocean spray making it very hot and stuffy below. We take a lot of sun through the hatches above the salon. One day I got the bright idea to open the screens (which hinge down), lay paper towels on top of them, and latch them back in place. Now we still get lots of diffused light without taking the direct sun. I think it also cuts down on the amount of heat entering the cabin. With that in mind I also taped a bandana over the quarter berth port hole where the morning sun was bothering me on my first off watch of the day. That too has helped keep the berth cooler. Can't believe it's taken us going on six equator crossings to think of simple things like that.

You may have noticed that we're sailing quite far east of Hawaii. This is in anticipation of crossing the ITCZ and getting into the northern hemisphere winds where we'll be able to crack off the wind and have a nicer sail to Hawaii. Or it's because we're heading to Mexico. That decision is still out, but we should be making it soon.

Sailing slow, but very comfortable and happy campers!