73 hours report
25 March 2012 | Pacific ocean--Galapagos passage
We are about to cross the Tropic of Capricorn at 23 30.00. We have decided to celebrate somehow, but no one has agreed to an apt celebratory gesture. We have been onboard, sailing night and day for more than 73 hours now. Last night was grueling. I stumble out of bed, half thrown actually. No more lazy wandering over waves. The main has one reef and the genoa is out, all night and even now we fly ahead of 20 knots wind at about 10 to 14 knots. The thing is the seas are crazy and every which way and pretty big, about 8 feet. I'm tired of jostling and hitting the waves with power rocking, cannon crescendos along the hull and between the hulls, and the random lurches. An easy downwind sail, my _ _ _ _! I'm turning into a proper sailor with all these four letter words. Barely negotiating the steps to the saloon without injury and another four letter word, I notice the floor is littered with fish scales. It must have been a crazy night for someone else too, I think and plop down on the sofa amidst guitar, pillows, crumpled throws, iPads, hats and other stuff. The outer visual chaos mimics the chaotic motion, but I'm not amused by this fact. I keep having fantasies of an uncluttered zen style house rooted firmly amid a beautiful garden. I keep wondering if this sailing life is really for me. I keep burping, but at least I'm not barfing anymore. Kati feels better too. Thank God for Miki and Rowland and their gift of Sturgeron. It's been a life saver for me and Kati. An antihistamine, that also helps prevent vertigo and that is used all over the world for preventing seasickness, it's not available in the US. Sturgeron has worked so well for us that Kati is reading The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean aloud to us. A book about the periodic t able and it's elements, it's quite entertaining and full of bizarre facts and scientific intrigue. In every direction there is the ocean, the horizon and the cloudy sky. Since we've left Juan Fernandez, we've seen only one other boat, The Silver Pegasus, a huge freighter silhouetted a ghostly gray on the horizon. A flying fish flew in the saloon last night during Kati's watch. She said she heard an unusual flipping and flapping and discovered a desperate stowaway. She collected it and threw it back to the sea, but not before it left the floor scaly. The squid wasn't so lucky. Zach found it on the aft deck with no squiggles left. We are 600 to 800 miles away from the closest land. 1303 nautical miles left to go to the Galapagos at 17:00. Zach says, "Ya, it feels like we're way out here now". None of us are freaked out by not being able to see land. We just want the constant motion to stop. Nick is keeping his beats going and making a new rhyme a day. He seems unfazed by the chaos. Jeff seems to thrive in the moving and all the decisions our movements require. Just now he is repairing the fray in our spinnaker halyard. Next he will recalibrate the rudder position sensor. The rest of us are frumpily and staying out of his way. I can't decide if faster and harder or slower and gentler is better. Hekla is averaging just over 200 nautical miles a day, pretty fast, just like the Porsche of a sailboat that Alex says she is. We should get to the Galapagos in just over ten days at this rate. I hope I'm not Frumblestilskin by then.