The Good, the Bad, and the Bitchy
12 April 2013
April 9, Day 12 of our sail to the Marquesas. (CUE: Southern Cross by Crosby Stills and Nash) Here's the report. First, the good. PACIFIC HWY has lived up to our expectations. She's a fast, seaworthy boat and easy for the two of us to manage. Another good thing, it's a big ocean out here but we're not alone. There are about 25 boats scattered over 2700 miles making this same passage. Everyone checks in on SSB radio in the early evening giving position and weather conditions. Many of the crews are friends we made in Mexico. So we enjoy the check ins and hearing how everyone is progressing.
For the first 10 days of this trip we had good winds and Pacific Hwy jumped to the head of the fleet. That's good, right? The downside (not 'bad', just a little bitchy on my part) is that we are not the spry sailors were were 30 years ago. Plus we've been sailing for the past 25 years on catamarans which give a much easier ride than a monohull. The motion of the boat combined with sailing at an angle (remember, monohulls are 'leaners') make simple things like sleeping, cooking, and showering or changing clothes a challenge. I find myself sore,sleep-deprived, and dreading cooking. I have a band of bruises circling my body at about hip level from constantly bracing myself while trying to remain upright when below decks. And my butt is sore from spending most of my time sitting in the cockpit. Bruce has been disappointed that he hasn't caught any fish but I am secretly glad not to have to cook one. On starboard tack, we roll into a lee cloth on the port side of the bed. After a week, we jibed over to port tack and now roll into the starboard side. We joke that we only need to change sheets once every two weeks since we only use one half of the bed for one week, and the other half for the next week! We are actually looking forward the "the doldrums" near the equator so we can have a respite from all this great sailing!
And here we are! Yesterday there was no wind and we motored most of the day so we were able to fully recharge the batteries and run the water maker. Hot showers! I was able to clean out the reefer and reorganize our food supply (less fresh produce more room for beer). The next day (today) we had scant 5-6 knots of wind and sailed at a leisurely 3-4 knots. I was able to (easily) make an awesome breakfast for the Captain and crew. Bruce and I each washed a bucketful of skivvies and festooned our lifelines with our 'Irish Penants'. The best part - we slept long and soundly and awoke to that miracle of modern drugs, coffee from freshly ground beans!
Now its time to finish reading Herman Melville's "Typee", break out the guidebooks, and start planning the next stage of our trip. I may be a bit worse for the wear, but I wouldn't be any place else.
P.S. Bruce has written his first ever blog post - about crossing the equator. I'll have it posted soon!