06/06/2009, 37 25'N:20 08'W, 3 1/2 days to Gibraltar
Not much to report from the high seas today. We are watching a low approaching well to our north that continues to track toward the Bay of Biscay and should not throw any adverse weather our way, but we watch it anyway in case it decides to come south at all.
It has been a day of playing the genoa in and out and adjusting the motor RPM’s up and down just trying to keep us at our target 8 knots of boatspeed while using the least amount of fuel possible.
The big news of the day is that I was able to confirm that chewing crunchy items such as Nutter Butter mini bites while wearing noise canceling headphones, does in fact, make the crunching sound considerably louder in your head (just in case you were curious).
I think we are due for a good philosophical meandering so tomorrow could be the day… stay tuned.
Today’s Trivia: The term ‘tip’ as it refers to a service related gratuity was originally an acronym for what three words?
06/05/2009, 37 55'N:23 39'W, 4 1/2 days to Gibraltar
As we motor sail along as we have done for the last 24 hours I remember requesting the most boring delivery weather from the forecasting service. They have done their best to accommodate and so we sit with 10-15kts of breeze pretty much dead astern. Both sails are poled out wing-on-wing and we getting pushed along by the engine and breeze at about 8kts. It is remarkably underwhelming given what we have come through to get here. So here’s what happens when the boat is sailing itself.
Food Happens. Lot’s of it. Kate cooks away and we each act surprised when she produces another bowl full of some yummy concoction of stuff I didn’t even know was on the boat. Between these caloric power sessions we focus our attention on the masses of comfort food on the boat. My particular weakness is a variety of processed gelatinous sugar items. Air-Heads, Wine Gums and other masses of gummy sugar stuff – don’t get me wrong I’ll happily dive into any bit of the 9 tonnes of chocolate on the boat when a crew member pulls it out and will augment my straight sugar habit with the odd Recees Peanut Butter cup (mini of course – let’s not get crazy!). Cookies, Crackers, Chips, Nuts, Rice Cakes, Granola Bars, a 7 gallon tub of Animal Crackers and Cheddar Cheese goldfish top the list of snackables. Not to worry it is all made ok by the bag of Clementines that we are gradually making our way through too. Gosh I need a snack – I think it is time for some popcorn!
Entertainment – Lot’s of Scrabble and other cerebral games, we read and do book reports on what we read, then we take turns every night reading poetry that we each wrote during the day. Then after the singalong we have a daily circle of compliments for our fellow crewmates and a group hug. Then my head fell off and I sewed it back on with dental floss…(hopefully you have a furrowed brow and wry smile because you just realized i was joking :) Actually it’s more like wake up make fun of each other, the odd game of solitaire and a minimum of 2 hours a day of the flat screen keeping our minds suitably mushed with seasons of Dexter, Weeds, Seinfeld and Flight of the Concords. There is lots of reading onboard and finally after nearly a month off I finally have time to get the guitar back out to practice. Somehow we manage to make the days go by and will most likely not want to get off the boat when we arrive…
Boat duties. Well today it took us 3 hours to decide who was going to go to the bow and set up the Genoa out on the pole. After careful consideration and proper committee meetings we all went. Tomorrow we will have a similar discussion on who will go empty the first of our fuel bladders into the forward fuel tank. This is expected to be another riveting discussion between snacks. And of course it is all a big buildup to my next Unilateral Declaration of Time Change as we advance an hour in the next day or so.
So that’s boat life on the other end of the spectrum. I honestly don’t miss the raucousness of low pressure systems or the seasickness inducing massive waves of the north Atlantic and will ‘touch-wood’ that we will stay on this mellow track for the rest of the trip.
Today’s Trivia: What was the smallest margin the Tour De France has ever been won by?
06/04/2009, 38 17'N:27 20'W, Just east of Pico Island
In the stunning sunshine today my mouth was agape as I sailed past Pico Island. The beauty of the 7000ft peak wrapped in clouds with a nub of the mountaintop sticking out over the top of the clouds mesmerized me. It looked like my grandfathers thumb tip when he did that corny separated thumb ‘magic’ trick. This island created a gradual rise out of the sea over the course of 15 miles rise to this great height. I have never seen an island greater than 3500 feet – what a sight this was. There were English countryside’esque fields leading up most of the slope to the mountaintop. The lush green was peppered with small towns of white buildings with red roofs. We sailed along at 8-9kts in perfectly calm sea in the lee of the island. Just glorious. I was banging away on the keyboard of my Blackberry…
Hi. My name is Jonathan and I am an addict. Hi Jonathan. It has been 1 hour since my last use. I think about it constantly. I miss it. When I approach an island I review the topography and calculate where the tower might be so that I know how far out I will get it. I put it on charge the day before landfall. I choose my port based on coverage. Even after all these years I still get that giddy feeling when it powers up. I trade stocks, write emails and send pictures to my girlfriend and Facebook. Lately it has gotten so bad I have to make excuses why I am Facebooking during dinner. I now have two – one big one small. I have 2 chargers and 6 or 7 SIM cards. Welcome to BA, Blackberryaholics Anonymous…
Yes today was a brochure day of sailing. Big puffy clouds, nice winds, calm seas and the promise of more of the same for the next few days – Just glorious. And yet within the reception limits of the island of Fail and Pico there I was on my Blackberry juxtaposed between some of nature’s grand treasures and my need to be in touch. I am an easy target for my crewmates given the amount of time I spend on my electronic devices staying in touch. I usually take the limits of acceptable use and exceed them by a fair margin. I don’t mind. I say those of us that are addicted share a common bond. We not only smell the roses but we reach for the Blackberry to try and share the moment with the ones we love. Yes today I was texting away as I sailed along the islands, and liked it! I may have a problem and might research a cure… hang on let me get my Blackberry…
Today’s trivia: In two different Seinfeld episodes this man’s name is used for humor. In one episode Kramer’s girlfriend played by Sara Silverman has this ailment know as the ‘blank’ legs. In a separate episode Elaine goes to a benefit dinner in which Kramer is the guest of honor and Mel Torme sings to him. Elaine’s date for this dinner is ‘blank’.