Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 24 - last full day at sea

We're now less than 100 nautical miles from the Marquesas. We've had to slow the boat down in order to time our arrival for daylight tomorrow.

The weather has been quite mellow the last couple of days - gentle swells of 8 feet or less, winds less than 20 knots, resulting in light chop and a fairly smooth ride. Night watches have been cheered by the light from the waxing moon. Yesterday we were surrounded by a pod of very small and very frisky dolphins for nearly a half hour. It felt like we were being welcomed to Polynesia. The sunset was one of the more colorful ones we've had so far.

Some summary of the voyage seems in order, before memories fade. For myself (Mark) I can say that I was never scared or seasick. On the other hand, I never really felt 100%. I expected to adapt to life at sea, and I have; however, I never really enjoyed the passage as much as I had hoped. The highlights for me were the intense, deep blue of the sea; the knowledge that we were traveling through one of the most isolated places on the planet; and the surprisingly easy sailing conditions that we enjoyed for most of the trip. The drawbacks were boredom -- the feeling that the voyage was WAY too long; the dearth of sea life (a few dolphin sightings, no whales, no albatrosses); the difficulty of getting enough exercise; and the constant need to hold on or brace against the movement. Generally, I felt confined, nearly imprisoned. This is not good when I consider that this boat is larger and more comfortable than our own boat. We enjoyed pretty much unlimited water and a wide variety of food, which will not be the case if we do the crossing in our own boat.

Am I glad I did it? Yes, it has always been a dream of mine and I'm very grateful I finally managed to do it, even though I didn't get here in my own boat. Would I do it again? At this point, I'm not sure I would give up the time and freedom to repeat such a long passage. But I won't pass final verdict until we've seen something of the islands.

Vicki now: I too am glad I've done this passage (almost there). Signing on as crew with Evergreen has allowed me to experience this passage with less stress, since it's not our boat, but now here we are without Southern Cross, and I'm ready for my own 'home'. Today is day #24 at sea, and I will admit that it's been very, very difficult for me. The movement of the boat, trying to hold on and balance,lack of exercise, and struggling with seasickness has at times put me 'over the edge' within myself. I've managed to maintain, with meds, and I've done my part as crew, which has been 6 hrs./day watch and helping out with galley chores. Each day in itself has passed by quickly, with the exception of missing sleeping with my hubby, but many times I have talked to myself about how much I wanted to be done and off the boat. I also found myself thinking a lot about family, friends and the beauty of the NW, our home/surroundings, and our sweet, so livable small town of Corvallis. So, what's next? We'll see how we do during these next couple of weeks, as we have until May 20 when we fly out of Papeete in Tahiti. The land based travel will cost us way too much money, but hey, we're here, so we'll do and see what we have planned. I certainly could go on and on about the group dynamics, but that can wait for when I have more personal time with all of you.

Today is Briana and Jesse's wedding, and our hearts are in SoCal with them. Congrats to you two! Other happy events coming up: B-days: Missy (today), Bryan , Eric H. Bruce and Larry H. (all in April).
May: Bob R., Mark W., Ian, Claire, and Faye. I'm listing these now, as we've heard that internet on the islands can be as much as $60/hr., thus not much contact with all of you until we return to Mexico May 23. We love you all, and REALLY miss you all.

1 comment:

Jules said...

We miss you guys!!!