Things you don't want to know
31 January 2019
Parrot Fish poop makes up 75% of the sand in the Tropics. At least that's what they told us in Bonnaire. Parrot Fish are everywhere and they crunch coral and crap sand all day and all night long.
Someone told us, “The first Pamplemouse you eat will be the best one you ever have. No others will measure up.” Now why did I need to hear that? We made our first landfall in Marquesas in Fatu Hiva. Sopi and his son came out and asked if we wanted fruit. I jumped in their boat with a big bag. They took me ashore and filled it with delicious fruit. The Pamplemouse was our favorite and yes, since we have left Marquesas, other Pamplemouse just doesn't measure up.
“You are only as happy as your most miserable child.” Uncle Larry told me that. Again, not a seed I want planted in my mind. Seems our kids are all pretty happy now, let's keep it that way. If not, we will bring them down to French Polynesia for an adjustment!
Lisa and I have (I'm sorry to say, pirated) a lot of songs on our Ipod. We play on “shuffle” a lot. Sometimes we hear an oldie and I'll comment that I like that song. Lisa sometimes says, “Yes, but that's a WKLH song.” WKLH is a classic rock station in Milwaukee that we listened to on our clock radio in mornings. They had a limited play list and we would often comment, “I never need to hear that song again.” Yes, they spoiled a lot of great rock music for us.
Showers on a sailboat don't drain like in a house. Your feet are below the waterline. Any actual drain in the floor would quickly sink the boat. Instead, there is a small, Teak grate over a sump. When you are finished with your shower, you push a button and a pump, pumps the waste water overboard. I often shower off the back of the boat, rinsing with fresh water. But if I take a Hollywood shower (Hunt for Red October reference), I get to see the water in the bottom of the shower before pumping it out. That can be a shock. We shower every day even underway, sometimes twice. It keeps the sheets clean and we make lots of fresh water with our watermaker. At sea there is no dust or dirt. Still that water from just my skin and hair is a sickly gray color. But on land, water drains right out of the shower and you don't know anything about that. But now you do.
“Cruising is getting to fix your boat in exotic places.” Lynn Pardee mentioned she hates that expression. It is cited often among cruisers. Boats are complicated and delicate. Stuff breaks. We always have a “to do” list. But everything works on Uproar and the list is simple stuff, like fixing a drawer latch or caulking a deck drip. We do know some boats that constantly struggle with fixing stuff. Worse are the cruisers who rely on others to fix their boats. It is rare to find competent mechanics, refrigeration or electrical technicians when you need them. No one touches Uproar but me, unless sanding the bottom is concerned. And I enjoy most of the maintenance challenges and learn something every time I dig into a boat system.
Our last two passages were moderately challenging. We had squally conditions and at times, waves broke right over the boat. During these passages, I did not get any of my clothes wet. Do the math.
Speaking of passages, I'm the net controller, Sundays, for the Polynesian Magellan SSB net. We broadcast twice/day looking for anyone with an emergency, tracking boats on passages, and just general chit-chat from cruisers at anchor. It is a fun way to get to know other cruisers. One boat with a guy singlehanding, was sailing from Fiji to San Francisco. He reported in twice/day and was making slow progress. Someone asked if he was going to stop in Hawaii for a rest. He said, “No, starting a passage is like getting the flu, you feel like crap for the first three days. I don't want to go through that process another time.”
As I mentioned our last two passages were not comfortable. The first one was only three days and the second one, four days. We felt like crap on both of these, not seasick but just lethargic. I wish I had never heard the flu theory from that singlehander, sailing to San Francisco!