Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 13 - halfway

We just passed the halfway point, about 1380 nautical miles from both Mexico and the Marquesas. This is one of the most remote areas on the planet, and certainly the most remote location that I have ever visited. We haven't seen even a single jet contrail to remind us of civilization.
Two days ago (the last blog entry was in error - should have read Day 10), we passed through the predicted "mini-cyclone." We only saw winds of 25 knots, but the seas built quickly, giving us a pretty bumpy ride for most of the day. We also got our first rain, which gave the boat and its passengers a warm and quite welcome washdown.

By the end of the day, the winds had died back to 15 knots and the seas had flattened out. Yesterday was one of the nicest days thus far - enough wind to fly the spinnaker, and long, gentle swells with hardly any chop. The sky overhead was clear, while fluffy cumulus clouds marked the horizon in every direction. Its warm enough now that we wear bathing suits around the clock. Really a delightful relaxing place to be. However, we did get hit by our first squall - a low, compact stratus cloud pushing winds of about 20 knots and packing some rain. We'll be seeing lots of these for the rest of the trip. They require us to shorten (reduce) sail, because a sudden blast of wind could tear a sail or knock the boat on its side.
The captain's temper has been frayed by a finicky generator. We carry solar panels, but not enough to power the refrigerator, freezer, autopilot, radar, computers, and other power-sucking devices on board. The generator needs to be run every day for a couple of hours just to keep the batteries partially charged, but the raw water pump that keeps it cool by circulating seawater through it doesn't suck in enough water while the boat is underway, especially if we are heeled. So we have been forced to slow the boat down for a few hours a day while Dennis tries to coax the generator into submission, and I try to stay out of his way.
PS - happy birthday to Ruth, Tonya, Steve, and Nicholas, and happy anniversary to Will and Kim! Vicki likes to keep track of these dates, even though we can't contact you separately at this time.
Our position this morning is 08 deg 30 min north, 125 deg 15 min west. Mark
Hey all, I miss you tremendously. We keep ourselves busy with scrabble, cribbage, reading, and I've been the assistant, and sometimes the 'lead' person in the galley. What I feel the most lack of is exercise, but I try to do my stretchy bands and some Jane Fonda & yoga now and then. Not easy while heeled over! I think of my friends and family every day, and especially during my night watch while I listen to music. So often a particular artist brings up a specific person in my thoughts, and I find myself reviewing fond memories of these people. Love you. Vicki

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