Ocean Adventures: This too shall pass…

July 30, 2018 – 28’10.6 N, 158’28.08 W

We have been on a starboard tack for 4 days now. I don’t remember what it feels like to stand on solid ground and my hips are bruised from bracing myself against the counters and tables whenever I walk around inside the washing machine…

Thankfully, my avoid-getting-sick-even-though-I’ve-never-been-sick meds have left my body and I am back in tip top (albeit sleepy) shape. How did I get them out of my system you ask? Buckets of water and about 357 naps in one day appears to do the trick!  😉

The evenings are damp. And I mean DAMP. Everything is wet and the only way to find a dry place is to sit in one spot for your entire shift and soak up the dampness with your gear. I am quickly realizing that I have significantly underestimated how many pairs of base layers I needed. I go from damp/cold layers, to putting on damp/warm layers. Then I promptly cool them down again when I’m back up on deck. Not ideal. Thankfully my -20C MEC mummy sleeping bag is keeping me toasty warm!!

We are all acclimatizing to life on shifts. The shifts are as follows:

  • 0600-1200 Team Cruising
  • 1200-1800 Team Racing
  • 1800-2200 Team Cruising
  • 2200-0200 Team Racing
  • 0200-0600  Team Cruising

and so on… We rotate around and around and I have found my favourite shift to be the double night shift when we get off at 0600. There are millions of stars out here and I easily count 20 shooting stars each night. I watch the sunrise, have a bowl of oatmeal and then secure myself with my lee cloth for 6 hours of glorious sleep. It usually ends up being about an hour or two of sleep interspersed with reading, music and swearing about not sleeping, but I’m not complaining.

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July 31, 2018 – 31’23.63 N, 157’25.33 W

I finally saw an Albatross! The prehistoric creature appeared off of our stern as I was helming. It promptly buzzed past us and took off to find something more interesting. It is amazing how low they glide over the waves. It was nice to have something to look at other than blue on blue and black on black though. We lost sight of Kraken a few days ago, but Travis keeps in touch with them via email. We have had several flying fish join us along the way as well, and I even had one hit my arm during the night. I almost had a heart attack!

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Team Racing is managing to catch us a lot of tuna and Chef Travis is keeping us all well fed. Chef Paul is creating all kinds of wonderful dishes which I appreciate, as I am not a fan of fish (at least I wasn’t until this trip!). I’m not sure how they are managing that as it seems like they are grinding the winches every 2 min… joking (sorta), but I definitely appreciate the delicious, fresh, tuna.

August 1, 2018 – 33’33.48 N, 156’45.29 W

Geoff has seen the light and has been reborn! Yup, he has been out for several days. I threw him on the helm as soon as possible and started coaching him through the waves. We’ve been having wonderful winds and are easily cruising around 10 knots. The waves are an easy 10-20 feet at this point and are still a bit chaotic, but super fun to surf and helm. Once again, I am ever so impressed with how Turnagain rides it all. She has grace and style 😉

Our water maker issues appear to have caused our AIS / GPS system to go down, so Travis has resorted to good ol’ charts and his iPad (maybe not so old, but still). It was too bad as I was looking forward to playing around with the electronics as I don’t have many of these on my Spindrift. I’ll do an entire post on how we managed all of that another time…

When it is time for dinner to be cooked, we usually bear away and surf the waves a bit to help the Chef keep the pots on the stove. I have just woken up from an afternoon off and I opened my cabin door just in time to have the boat knocked by a huge wave and to watch Travis fly across the galley to the other side of the boat. There goes the head door… now what?

To be continued…

Captain Penny

 

Photo credit: Duncan Cameron and author’s own

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