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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday, 1/27

If passage making could only be this pleasant all the time! Since Tuesday the wind and seas have calmed and we're no longer making slow progress pounding into every wave. Instead we're now actually sailing wing and wing (downwind), making speeds up to 6.5 knots. It's so comfortable that we're well rested and fed and it's a pleasure to do things like write blogs. At the moment the wind is in the process of dying but we had it with us for longer than forecasted so we're happy.

In addition to the plastics passing with regularity (another water bottle, another fishing float, and a kitchen step stool are among the identifiable objects) we overtook a fleet of sailor-by-the-wind jelly fish. I'm not sure that's their official name but it's apt. They are made up of a vivid blue oval-shaped "body" (or foot) that floats on the surface of the water. Sticking up above the water from the body is a translucent oval-shaped "sail." The sail slants diagonally across the body from upper right to lower left, giving the jelly the ability to sail. The sail is only about the size of a walnut and looks like a bubble on the water when the sun hits it. When the wind is calm enough that there are no white-caps you can clearly see their little wakes as they sail across the breeze. We used to see these on trips out to the San Francisco Farallon islands.

Ziggy had a bit of a rough morning on Wednesday. After the almost all-nighter we pulled Tuesday night with the engine snafu I was cat-napping pretty hard on my pre-dawn watch. I caught him eating a rubber band he'd found tucked away in a supposedly cat proof corner. I confiscated what remained of the first rubber band and found one more he hadn't gotten to yet. I figured it would pass through as they have before. But in my groggy state I ignored or didn't hear the rest of his forays into the world of plastics and discovered later that he had torn quite a raged hole in our bag of plastic bags. I fed him his usual breakfast and went off to bed when John came on watch. I got up a few hours later and John had been stuck cleaning up the resulting mess, most of which landed in Ziggy's "binky" - a handkerchief that serves as his security blanket. We're probably lucky that it all came out the front end instead of getting twisted up in his gut. I don't know what makes him want to chew through bags that don't even have food in them, but I'd guess it's boredom. Why don't they make something like a rawhide chew for cats? Could you give a cat one of those little chew sticks they make for miniature dogs?

We made a time change on 1/25 as we crossed 142.5 degrees of longitude into a new time zone. We set our clocks forward one hour and now the sun rises at 0700. We're hoping to be able to check in to the Amigo net soon, and we actually heard Net Control calling Robert on Harmony (a long time fixture in Mexico) the other morning.

The water temperature has dropped below 70 degrees since Tuesday morning and the low so far has been 66.4. I still haven't worn any fleece yet! I'm determined to hold out for as long as I can. Interestingly, I think Ziggy is holding onto his fur coat since he doesn't seem to be shedding as much as usual. Which means we'll have a mess when things do finally start warming up and he drops several week's worth of hair everywhere. He hates to be brushed which makes it a real headache to keep the hair off of everything.

John says he thins I'm losing weight, which was nice to hear until I asked him how he could tell. "Because you're getting a chicken neck," he replied. Oh well, I'll take the bad with the good...