Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day 7

We’ve just completed our 6th day and have covered over 900 miles. We have 2100 still to go. She’s fast, even when she’s loaded down. I love the performance I’m getting out of her. Yesterday we changed headsails (what a nightmare that was in 15 knots of wind without the engine on). With this younger and larger headsail, I’ve yet to post a speed under 7.0. This is going to be a most expeditious passage. I’m predicting my Mother’s day gift to dear Jere Mae will be landfall on May 13th.

I didn’t play the Mahi Mahi (I’ve changed names from dorado since I’m headed to the SPac islands) well enough and my 40 lb test line parted before I could land him. He was a powerful fish. He launched himself 3 body lengths into the air. He’s the one that got away. He’ll remember me too, since he has my favorite lure in his jaw. Most days it just seems like too much work to fish, especially when we still have all this fresh food that needs to be eaten. Lately though, all the strenuous activity has reawakened my hunger for fresh meat. Life as a savage - I love it. My tan is darker than it was in Mexico and my hair is growing back and lightening with the sun & salt. I wouldn’t even shower if Suzi didn’t insist.

In the mornings I sweep the desiccated flying fish off the deck, patrol for signs of chafe, and squint into the rising sun through heavy cumulus clouds. At noon I lead a radio net with 5 other boats. We set it up before we left. The goal is safety and strategy. The safety part is obvious, the strategy is really for the following vessels so they can decide which lead boats they want to emulate. In the evenings we play cards, read, run the generator to replenish the batteries for the night and offer praise to Otto. Who’s your best friend? A long haul sailor will answer that question only one way, “My Auto Pilot”. This 3 week journey would be an entirely different experience without Otto. Thank you Otto.

Since the swell is running beneath us faster than our speed and because the wind and waves our on our stern quarter, Barraveigh yaws and dips and tosses us around a considerable amount. It would be stupid to try and eat off a plate. Bowls only. Suzi has her two step crab shuffle perfected, and we both show off our bruises. I couldn’t help but smile when she took a tumble after a big roller and she declared at the top of her lungs, “Ow! My arse bone!” So cute. She was able to laugh about it today.

It’s a routine, we’ve found a rhythm, it’s trying and rewarding. It’s sailing.

Captain B

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