Day 2 at sea
27 March 2011 | Pacific Ocean west of Puerto Vallarta
We departed Saturday at 1145 am from La Cruz and sailed South West, course 230 degrees magnetic. Banderas Bay had very light winds so we had to motor an hour, but as we approached Cabo Corrientes, the winds built slowly from 4 knots, to 5, to 6, to 7.... as the sun was setting we had 12 knots of breeze and were making 8 knots speed towards our destination. We managed 7 to 8, even 9 knots boat speed the entire night and most of today, though our speed was reduced to about 6 knots mid afternoon, and then in increased again to the 7 knots we're doing now. We covered 140 nautical miles in our first 24 hours, not bad considering we spent many hours in Banderas Bay waiting for the wind to fill in.
Our first evening I made dinner, as an appetizer: a frozen mini-pizza (one tiny slice per person) and freshly made guacamole and tortilla chips (because we have a ton of quickly ripening avocados), then for the main course: chicken and onions in a garlic herb sauce over couscous for dinner. Everyone was pleased.
We sorted out a watch schedule: Francois early evening, Pascale late evening, John midnight to 3 a.m., and my shift from 3 to 7 a.m. The captain always takes the least desirable shift.
When the sun rose this morning, there was no longer any sight of land. We are on our way.
We are monitoring many things aboard: so many things are scarce and must be rationed. Electrical power is a primary concern, relying on our solar panels and wind generator some times isn't enough to keep up with our inverter, refrigeration, and watermaker. We must turn off our inverter (which converts 12 V DC to 120 V AC) at night if we wish to have any battery power in the morning. Fresh water is scarce, even though we have a watermaker, it takes electrical power to make it. Every gallon requires 72 watt-hours of power to produce. We have a sea water tap in the galley and use it to pre-wash everything, with a final rinse in a tiny amount of fresh water. Even our showers involve sea water first, then a rinse with miniscule amounts of fresh water.
Despite our conservation efforts, we are running the water maker 2 or 3 hours per day, which produces 12 to 18 gallons. Divided by a crew of 5, that's about 3 gallons of water per person per day, for drinking, cooking, dishwashing, personal hygiene, and laundry. Fresh water is a precious resource.
Our first night aboard was not very restful; it takes a lot of getting used to sleeping aboard a sailing boat. It's nothing like sleeping in a boat at anchor or in a marina. There's the constant sound of water rushing past the hull. There's the constant rocking from port to starboard as swell of wave approaches on our beam reach. There's the sound of the wind moaning in the rigging. And there's the sound of the boat's wood and fiberglass structure creaking and groaning with every shift in position. It's kind of trying to sleep in the middle of a construction zone. One eventually can tune it out. I'm going to try earplugs this evening.
This second evening, I made another guacamole (those avocados are ripening quickly), which we enjoyed as the sun set with a glass of red wine. As we toasted, we drank in the realization that, by God, we really are on our way to the South Pacific! Then we had pasta with grilled chicken pieces, onions, peppers, and tomato sauce.
We are making way rapidly to our destination, hopefully we can keep this good pace up.