Aug 3 2018 – 37’8.60 N, 152’44.60 W

So we have lost the door to our head. Poor Turnagain is getting pretty beat up on this trip and I can’t help but feel for Travis as he tries to manage all of us and our “intricacies”. I have been dreading having to use the head to do my “morning business” as we now have no door and have to announce to the entire boat whenever we need to go. Walking in on someone is just a permanent thing at this point. Wren has been a door for me a few times, but I don’t dare ask her to plug her nose and hang out for 30 min while I negotiate my business. Thankfully, someone has donated a towel and we now have a “door”. Geoff is lucky enough to be tall enough to look over it, which works well when Wren is asking him what he’d like on his sandwich (HAHAHAHAH … awkward!).

The amount of garbage that we have been seeing is really disheartening. I was hoping that the Great Pacific garbage patch was just fake news, but I have counted at least 10 pieces of garbage a day. Everything from car tires, to barrels, and even waffles (!?). The predominant type of garbage appears to be large abandoned commercial fishing gear. We have seen a couple of sea turtles along the way and they did not appear to be in distress. It’s no wonder these poor creatures get caught up in stuff if there’s this much junk floating around. Makes me angry and I wonder if there is more that I can do.

Aug 5 2018 – 40’0.29 N, 145’15.68 W

It is hard to describe what it is like to sail at night in complete darkness. If you have not experienced it, you have to. The total darkness is unbelievable. One night while on watch we saw a bright red light in the distance… tanker! Joe rushed to get Travis… only to have us realize it was the moonrise 😉 tee hee. Your mind plays tricks on you in the night!

I easily count 20 shooting stars a night. On some nights, however, we have no stars at all and the total darkness can make you a little uneasy. You have to trust that you are not going to hit anything. Not only that, every once in a while you hear a wave coming and you have to react to it as it hits the boat. Even better, the phosphorescence light up the waves as they crest about 20 feet above us! Yee haw!

Joe has been thoroughly confused as to how we are not sailing in circles. I don’t blame him. It is very confusing to feel a boat moving and sailing along under you and to not see where you are going. Meanwhile, you are staring at the red glowing compass the whole time. This is where I met Cheshire.

The glowing compass started reminding me of the glowing cat teeth in Alice in Wonderland… hence, Cheshire the Compass was born. Wren and I used to joke about how we only know how to steer by compass, not GPS. Well, thanks to the water maker we had a lot of time staring at Cheshire! We also had to use our headlamps on the night setting… something not all of us mastered (ahem Geoff).

Aug 6 2018 –  40’26.53 N, 144’05.91 W

We have managed to snag something on the rudder so Travis is using a release technique I have never seen before called the drive-the-shit-out-of-the-boat method. Man, Turnagain’s engine can GO. It worked well for removing the debris… not so well for our naps!

We had a great afternoon shift today and Wren spotted something funny off the starboard beam. Waves that seamed to be spraying straight up. Wait a minute! Whales! We did not get close enough to really see them, but we were able to see the spouts for several minutes. Was very cool knowing they were out there.

Tomorrow is my birthday and it has become clearly abundant that we are NOT making it home for that (something I was secretly hoping as I thought it would be SO COOL to have a birthday on the Ocean!). Just as I was settling in with my book Wren jumps up and shouts “dolphins!” Up to the bow we go to watch them play…

To be continued…

Captain Penny

Up Next: Ocean Adventures: Sneaky Simon

Photo Credits: Duncan Cameron and Author’s Own

Leave a Reply