Before I left on this trip, I, and the world famous "Monkey Brothers", climbed the highest peak in the 48 lower States; Mt. Whitney in CA. It was a 3 day exercise in suffering. This climb was 11 hours of the same. For the last 3 hours of down climbing I was in excruciating pain and last night Suzi moaned in agony at regular intervals. Today we are hobbled, yet proud and enriched. Tomorrow we'll be fine, and we'll sail to the island of Pentecost where the natives perform a ritual we call, "Land Diving." You've seen pictures on "Ripley's Believe It Or Not". This is where they tie vines to their ankles and jump off enormous towers of scaffolding to crash into the softened earth below.
What an amazing window on the world this cruise has been.
P.S./ I was asked a question about my last dispatch. I apologize if my response is boring and technical. It's attached below if you are interested.
VMG - It stands for velocity made good. SOG is speed over ground. VMG computes the speed I am making relative to my target waypoint. SOG is merely the speed the satellites are tracking me at.
Example - My target waypoint is 100 nm due north. If I was sailing at exactly 360 degrees and SOG was 5.0 knots then my VMG would also be 5.0 knots. However, if I crack off 20 degrees for comfort and my speed stays the same my VMG will no doubt drop. In other words: I might still be moving at 5.0 knots, but I'm not moving in exactly the correct direction at 5.0 knots, so my VMG is less than my SOG (the computer has a program for computing this). Flip side of the coin: If I crack off 20 degrees to increase speed it's possible that as my SOG increases to, let's say 8.0 knots, my VMG might actually rise above the 5.0 knots I was doing even though I'm 20 degrees off course. This later point is less probable the closer to the target I am.
Hope that helps.