Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 9 ICTZ

0300 zulu 1005 miles (sadly not in straight line or we would be there)
lat 7 deg 50 min N
long 159 deg 10 min W
course 179 T
speed 3-5 knots motoring
Wind speed/direction 6 kts S (unless it is back to the NE)
swell 4ft ene
cloud cover 100% (saw a teeny bit of sun earlier in the day) intermittent light rain
bar 1010 down 2 points over the last 4 hours

Well, today we didn't have too much convection (there was convection all around us though), so managed to dry out for the most part. Had good sailing until noonish, then full on ICTZ mixed bag of tricks. We able to use the sails for awhile, but then the wind shifted to the South, then behind us, then south, currently is behind us. So we are motoring along, making water (yay, can't wait to have the good stuff again), drying out, opening and closing hatches. Pretty much a typical day in the ITCZ (sure hope I got those letters in the right order). What it really stands for is squirrelly weather zone.

I had a good watch last night - actually put the partial jib out around 0500 (all by myself, didn't have to be told by the captain) and saw some sustained speed of 8-10 kts - nice. For sailing that is - not so good for Dennis trying to sleep in our bed..... Oh well, the stars must have been aligned just right, because after I went off watch Josh had trouble with the windvane. Better him than me, I say. I had wrestled with it for the first 3 hours of my watch. I guess you know you had a wet day, when things actually start drying out at night. Crazy.

So lots of reading and lolling about today. Pretty comfortable, baby jesus driving and lots of jesus juice to charge things up. Josh has just about finished all the episodes of Game of Thrones. (somebody out there tell me the order of the books? We have them, but not sure of the order.) Josh says he guesses he will have to start reading the books, he says the series is a little different from the books, so won't ruin it for him.

Today I relearned how to place the flags on our boat. All very proper etc. So our US flag is off the starboard backstay, the R&R burgee is going to come down off the flag halyard on the starboard side and the Kiribati flag will go up with the quarantine (yellow) flag below it. In theory nothing is supposed to go above the burgee and it used to be flown from the masthead. But, with all the instrumentation on the masthead these days people fly it on the starboard spreader. So, it is a dilemma on how to be correct. My fix is to just take down the burgee, it will last longer that way too. Now you have had your sailing etiquette lesson too.

My final commentary today is on food and cooking. So provisioning is a big deal and I am pretty good at it in general. This trip is a little different as our first destination will not have much if anything in the way of fresh provisions. So, my freezer is full and I have a good supply of citrus (it keeps well wrapped in foil) but, we are already pretty much out of fresh green stuff. My main fresh provisioning run was done the Tuesday before we left - or almost 2 weeks ago. Our fridge doesn't keep fresh stuff that long at the dock - so imagine out here (and it is small). Add to that, I am not a chopper and cooker at the best of times, and underway - well they are lucky to get food at all. I call myself the one pot wonder. Since I do all the dishes and cooking on crossings, I do my best to keep dishes to a minimum. Also with all the rocking and rolling getting pots out and putting them away can be pretty hazardous to the health and well being of my toes. Doesn't seem like the same amount of food goes as far as when we started either. (darn teenager) I keep out 1 pot, the pressure cooker and the fry pans. The pressure cooker is great for cooking pasta in. I don't put it under pressure, but with the lid tightened down just a little, I don't worry about it falling off the stove and burning me. I worry about it falling off and having to clean up the mess, but that is just a mental pain. All that being said - I have a couple of cabbages and actually the tomatoes are still doing well and some zucchini. Don't think that will last another however long it will be til we get to Samoa. Wish I would have gotten more Thrive green stuff but oh well - its not that we will starve, but I guess I better make sure the crew is all taking their vitamins. And so far no one is complaining about the menu (much). The other thing about meals is that breakfast time is during my long sleep, so I am not up until lunch time. I personally have no problems with a granola bar for breakfast, but I am not a growing boy either. So breakfast has been pretty unusual (read peanut butter filled pretzels or mixed nuts) for Josh. He says he keeps forgetting that there is yogurt in the fridge and it really is too unstable to have cereal with milk (its just not a good look on your t shirt and more laundry - stuff of another rant). You can imagine that by lunchtime he is one hungry boy. As is Dennis. So food is the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing (before email) I do before bed.

I hope you have enjoyed your inside look at the glamorous life of cruising. The good news is that we are having a good crossing - very comfortable measured against the last one, and it is almost over. Sigh just as I was getting used to it (not).

till tomorrow

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