Adrienne's view on Day 18
04 May 2010 | Underway from Mexico to Marquesas
Hi again from me, guess I am getting used to talking to the ether. Got an email from Phil Lowe, he's almost like a trusty mascot, cheering us on and commenting from his comfortable lounge room in Hobart, most every day, we get a missive, mostly they make us laugh and we feel so loved, (thank you Phil) He told us that there were comments on the blog since I wrote in. It went straight to my head! Oh the fame! I'm kind of glad I can't see them 'till we get to the Marquises, cause I might get all shy and bashful again. Mind you like everything else in French Polynesia internet is very expensive and difficult to find, so I may not know what you have said until we are closer to a major continent!
Our boat email doesn't work for you dear friends unless we know you are writing us and then we can put your email address into the system. A classic catch 22.
Must check the water maker's progress the tank may be full. . . .
Nope, still going. It took us a year to get this wonderful device to work!! Replacement parts, agonizing struggles with repair, finally, finally it is working. It only makes 3 and Â½ gallons an hour and really you need to be running the engine, so we make water when we need to run the engine for others things such as, propelling us (gentlemen don't sail to windward - they motor -) charging the batteries (our solar panels can not keep up when we are running our navigation lights and radar, chart plotter, all night long.)
So anyway now we keep the tanks topped up and gradually I trust it enough, so as to not fill every recycled drink, vinegar, bleach bottle I can get my hands on . . Not to mention the 25 gallons on deck in jerry jugs!
What clinched it, a few days ago, was a bottle of water that spilled when we were in rough seas and soaked our charming carpet After a few days I realized what the new and familiar smell was. . . You will never guess . . . Ancient kitty wee wee. Yup! Dave and Sandra had a trusted pussy cat on board and now I know that she didn't always make it to the litter box.
So I am grateful to the kitty for giving me a final shove in the direction of de- cluttering the cabin.
Today after sailing all night westward we are motoring southwest to get past the unfavorable current and southerly wind. We should pick up the trade winds in another 50 to 100 miles. Less than a 1000 to go now to land fall.
We had several breakdowns as we were leaving the Doldrums, they just had to have their way with us didn't they. It had been so easy up till then. I think Joe has told you about all of this . . . Broken regulator for battery charging with the alternator and broken auto pilot. My job, , , helpful suggestions, finding AND READING all the technical info stuff we have about each bit, and keeping Joe's spirits up. He on the other hand has to do the dirty work which often involves schematic drawings to try and figure out what the heck those who came before have done, testing, jury rigging if necessary and ultimately fixing nearly everything that breaks. It is a part of him that most of you don't know intimately, Joe the fixer upper.
Perusing the other cruisers, honestly, they are mostly nerds with tans. Don't believe all those glossy pictures in the magazines, and yacht brokers ads, what you need is electrical, mechanical skills, brute force, common sense, and a love of the unexpected. Also, we have our experts, and the radio to ask other cruisers, our fellow tanned nerds.
We are not yet weaned from our dear friend in Panama. Rick -o - pedia we call him. When ever Joe was stumped we called fellow sailor Rick off of the vessel Inshallah. He would come, I would keep him fed and well watered with forty- nine cent Panamanian beers and he would go to town solving our problems. Not always the cheapest solutions to our problems because he always went for quality parts but by and large the best. Probably the greatest thing he gave us was a crash hot installation of our long range radio so everyone can hear us.
So now when Joe goes kind of white with tension as another apparently insoluble problem arises, I say ask Rick. Joe fires off an email and by the time he has explained the problem to Rick he's Â½ way to fixing it. Most often we don't hear from Rick until the mini crisis is all over but he has helped as always. So thank you Rick again!
I've noticed that most everyone's psychological and physical problems get projected onto their boats. So there is very little call for Adrienne "the counselor". Once in a while I find someone who is curious about the Ancient I Ching or I am able to bring out Kate's wonderful 1000 images for a playful reading, but mostly as I say everything gets projected onto boats, and government bureaucracies - - the same the world over, irrational logic and desperate to appear brilliant in their management of all things under their jurisdiction. Mind you, occasionally we find a real human being beaming from behind his or her desk and then the process is just refreshingly simple. And you get lots of beautiful documents with gorgeous colorful seals or stamps on them!
Enough for today, bless you all dear ones. From A
PS a wonderful birthday to you Kate.