02 May 2012 | Underway Toward The Marquesas
4/30 Monday 8pm Day 10
Today was another beautiful blue over blue day with good winds & a fair amount of roll. We didn't fish on account of it. Nothing sighted except a pod of dolphin this morning. They weren't interested in playing with us. No sail changes needed; we continue with a double reefed main & a poled out reefed jib making 6.5kts and the windvane seems happy with this arrangement. Boats ahead are reporting lighter winds, different directions, one was in a counter current- all kinds of good stuff lies ahead. But so far we've really had a nice time. And since we're halfway, we hope that the second half will be as pleasant as the first.
Thanks for all the emails you've been sending- it really helps us feel connected despite the distance. Your thoughts give us things to think about and we find ourselves not only looking forward to these next 6 months of touring the Pacific islands, but also for our plans to home for a couple months this November. We hope to cram in as much time visiting friends & family as we can. Hoping it'll feel like it did when we stored Evergreen in Guatemala for a summer and came home. Being boatless meant we couldn't do any boat projects or feel like we should be sailing rather than doing something else. It was very liberating. We wish we could make some money during this time as well but it doesn't seem possible to fit that in, especially at that time of year. I guess our income will be from Ebaying some of our junk in storage! And retirement? Forget it!
I was thinking that you might wonder about how we live & deal with practical issues on a long passage so thought I would mention a couple things. Garbage: We stick to US laws of no plastic of any sort at any time goes over as well as nothing containing petroleum. All cans, bottles, produce scraps and light paper go over the side- filled with water so they sink immediately. When we're at sea we normally go days without seeing a speck of trash until we get closer to populated islands; then we start seeing their refuse. So even though you could toss cardboard or thicker paper over without hurting anything, we don't because we don't want to see it ourselves. Trash is definitely an issue on most islands and the cruiser trash just adds to their burden but it is something that is inevitable and has to be dealt with. Most islands burn it. With this method though, we don't make much trash on a passage.
Our water situation is pretty good as far as we see it. We use about 15 gallons/day, more when we're in port and diving since we need to rinse our gear each day. Our tanks hold 170 gallons & the watermaker makes 8.5gph. So we run the watermaker every couple of days when we run the generator to charge our batteries. We're addicted to a shower every day & clean clothes to maintain some standard of comfort & joke that we're beyond roughing it at this point in our lives, even though washing our clothes in a bucket isn't a bit luxurious. When we're in port and get a good rain shower, we can catch a huge amount of water once the decks are clean, which saves watermaker run time. My two favorite times of day on a passage are first thing in the morning when we sit outside & have our coffee and then in the evening right after we've showered- that little window of clean before the salt air & warm temps get you feeling sticky again. The running joke is who is cleaner than who- who has scrubbed harder to be the squeakiest clean. Either way, it is the coolest we feel all day. As long as the watermaker works, we're happy with our water capacity and don't feel like we're skimping.
5/1 Tuesday, Day 11
Is it the Law of Conservation that says that a body in motion wants to stay in motion? Well not these bodies! We've been in constant motion for 11 days now, holding on even when resting and even before we left there was never a calm moment on the boat since the anchorage was in perpetual swell. Sometimes you just want to be at rest for a little bit. That's the best part of making landfall, the hope that the motion will cease. Whenever I go up to the forward cabin I look longingly at our bed which is off limits till we reach port. There's even more motion up forward and no lee cloth to keep you in place on the bed which with the waves, you really need. Our sea berth is in the main cabin on the starboard side cushions and it has a lee cloth that goes up about 3 feet & ties to the ceiling to secure you in the bed so there's no way to fall out. It's plenty comfortable but not like your own bed. Oh well, it's not so bad. We've had great conditions really.
Although today the seas were a little unfriendly & we've gotten tossed around a bit. We had 20-25kts of wind most of the day & biggish, confused seas that would occasionally slap the hull or make the boat roll as they slid under us. In the troughs of the waves the wind gets blocked and makes it harder for Monty to know what to do. The saving grace is that we're going downwind- looking behind us and considering having to head the other way is quite scary.
On the way to the Galapagos we figured out the new magic dose of meclizine to avoid sea sickness. In other years we'd taken 25mg/day but nowadays that seems to make us feel drugged but 12.5 mg/day seems to do the trick. So we take a half a pill each day for prevention. This way, I can do anything I want down below despite the motion. I like to cook things since it beats sitting and there aren't many other things I can do underway that don't involve sitting. It can be a real challenge to brace yourself in the galley with the movement and we often witness one another go flying past the companionway trying to regain balance. Jon will exclaim, â€œjust another day in paradiseâ€ and widen his stance. It's a pathetic existence I tell you!
So yesterday I made BLT's for lunch which made me think I was in a diner and beef stroganoff w/ fresh carrots for dinner. Tonight I made my friend Cindy's parmesan herb baked fish with a brown rice kit & sauteed cabbage, which might not sound appetizing but we actually can't get enough of it. And I made chocolate chip bars for dessert. We shouldn't lose any weight on this passage!