June 19, 2008
939 miles to go. Engine on from 0400-0630 due to lack of wind. But now reaching with full genoa and main wing and wing. Great sailing. Cabin temp 70 degrees. Discontinued wing and wing in the evening and now beam reaching on starboard tack. Seas calm, winds light, moving at approximately 4.5 kts. Clouds finally receded last night for about two hours to let us enjoy a spectacular full moon. Two small birdie poops on the stern is evidence that we must have had a hitch-hiker.
June 18, 2008
1049 miles to go. Wing and wing. Great sailing! Windvane steering the course well. We’re in shorts and t-shirts, still sailing wing and wing. We’re in the easterly tradewinds now, so don’t expect to make many sail changes. We could use just a little more wind. Seas are calmer today.
June 17, 2008
1154 miles to go. Wind NE 15 kts. 100% cloud cover. Overcast and cool today. One of our cruising guides books says that by then end of week two we’ll be in shorts and t-shirts. We’re counting the days. Very bumpy today, so we’re not motivated to do much. When we’re vertical, we feel like we’re in a pin-ball machine. So we read, chat, nap and share some wine while we listen to our ham radio buddies.
June 16, 2008
1272 miles to go – 100% cloud cover. wind NW 15-18 kts, swell NW 6-8 ft. Sails wing and wing. Still overcast and cool, but the breeze is up somewhat. We’re sailing wind and wing now with mainsail on port side and jib sail poled out on starboard. Today we managed our firsh chilly cockpit showers and afterward enjoyed some nice merlot wine in the cockpit while listening to Jimmy Buffet – life’s good. Ken dragged the trolling line again, but no joy.
June 15, 2008
Father’s Day – 1370 miles to go – More wind, still flying spinnaker and making good progress. Wind NW 10 kts, 2’ swell. 95% cloud cover. Cabin temperature 72 degrees. Our solar panels and wind generator (Genny) do most of the work of charging our batteries, but with 95% cloud cover and no wind they haven’t been able to contribute much. It has required us to shut down the frig and run the engine an hour or so to charge the batteries. We woke this morning to a decent size squid on deck and briefly considered calamari ceviche but were not sure how long he had been dead, so was given a burial at sea instead. We played Emeril this morning; I prepped Ken’s ingrediants and he created a mighty tasty corn beef hash with eggs. We did a bunch of boat projects. We caught a 5 lb skip-jack tuna on the trolling line, but gave him a stay of execution and returned him to the sea.
June 14, 2008
1641 miles to go – No wind. Seas calm. 100% cloud cover. Engine on for five hours. Hand steering. Hoisted spinnaker (a big parashoot weight light air sail), barely making headway. It seems to be all or nothing for the good ship Sand Dollar. Stuck in a little wedge of the pacific high, we’ve lost our wind, but try to creep through the bottome of the high pressure.
June 13, 2008
June 13, 2008 – 1519 miles to go – Things are finally looking up. Seas and wind have both dropped. The improved conditions and last night’s movie break lift our spirits so much that Ken is inspired to cook breakfast. Our first hot meal! Eggs sunny side up with whole grain bread to dip into the yokes tastes finer than any gourmet meal either of us has ever eaten.
June 12, 2008
June 12, 2008 – Tummies feel well enough to read a little today, and we enjoy reading emails from home too. We continue to make progress and today we spot our first bird – an albatros. Slogging through lumpy seas and high winds day after day is starting to bumb us out. Ken decides we need a diversion – a movie! For a few hours we forget all about mother ocean while we laugh at Joe Pesci in my Cousin Vinnie.
June 11, 2008
June 11, 2008 – Sligh improvement, but basically the same. We’re beginning to think we’re in the twilight zone. Our friends and families will retire, grow old and die and we’re still be churning around in this washing machine. The GPS says we’re making progress, so we hunker down and hope for better days.
June 10, 2008
June 10, 2008 – More of the same. Even the dauntless windvane Horatio is starting to feel the strain. He cracked a casting and Ken had to patch him up with a hose clamp. We can’t imagine what these last days would have been like without him. Reading is not a good recreational choice when sea sickness has been a recent malidy, but we have Ken’s ham radio for entertainment. We listen to a couple of maritime radio nets each day to hear weather and reports from other cruising sailors. We also twice a day listen to Ken’s ham radio buddies that get together to chew the rag. Unfortunately, a breaking wave splashed water into the cabin and dicked up the radio’s microphone. Repairs were attempted, but to no avai. We can now only listen – not talk via voice radio. Fortunately, we can still communicate via the computer and post position reports and send/receive emails. We’re gettinghungry, but since its too rough to cook, we opted for a tomatoe sandwich. Even this is a challenge, because in the 12’ confused seas all the ingrediants tend to become airborn. We accomplish the mission however and enjoy one of the best sandwiches we’re ever eaten.