Today is my birthday and no one will let me forget it for a minute! Nope. Every time I get up for shift someone yells “Happy Birthday Penny!”. Ha. The first few times I felt really special and spoiled… now I have a headache 😉
Travis spoiled us with a “gimbled” baked brownie (slightly lopsided, but delish) and BBQ!!! The weather did not cooperate for us to have our halfway party when we wanted to, so we are having it today. Now I feel a little silly because Duncan and I bought leis for everyone in Hawaii (Wren’s idea) and now I am handing them out at my own “party”?! Whatever. We are all having fun and spirits are high.
We have had rain and cool evenings for a few days now. I am starting to really dislike heading up on deck for night shift. I spend my whole shift trying to stay warm in one spot. Heading down to sleep is not much better as I negotiate getting off damp layers and trying to get into my damp sleeping bag. My hands have been wet for days and have been peeling like nothing I have experienced before.
On another note, I had a glass of WINE! It was glorious.
We have been spending more time overlapping our shifts and chatting with Duncan, Paul, Travis and Kait. I have realized that Duncan is full of questions and curiosity. Wren has started calling him Curious George (Travis is “The Man with the Yellow Hat”), and there have been several times where he has gone to fiddle with something only to have one of us suggest that maybe that’s not a great idea! We have also started calling Travis dad and asking “Dad, are we there yet?”
Paul is quite the bartender as we have all realized that we might have a bit too much Costco-sized “drinks” onboard. We just need to knock the shoulders off of a couple of bottles, so our evening dinners now have a glass or two of something that Paul has mixed up. DJ Kait has been supplying us with dinner tunes and we have turned Turnagain into a great party boat! So far the neighbours have not called in a noise complaint 🙂
We are dead in the water. I think if we were not using the motor we would easily add another week to our trip with some of the doldrums we have encountered along the way. This is a good time to catch up on reading (I’m reading Red Sky in Mourning… who does that when they are sailing in the middle of the Ocean!?), and iPods have become a familiar add-on up on deck. We even had some sun today and managed to dry out some of our gear. I have been pouring over Travis’ charts and books and making notes on which ones I should buy to get to know the Coast better. The Hawaii to Victoria chart is pretty white (!!). Other than submerged cables and crazy depths, there is not much to look at!
During our night shift Geoff stepped on a bird. Yup. A bird. In the cockpit while we were changing the guard. I thought I had heard chirp chirp while on the helm, but I just chalked it up to losing my mind.
We have noticed a few smaller birds here and there flying around the waves. They never really got close enough for us to see, but apparently this one decided he needed a break. Stowaway! He proceeded to leave lovely white drops all over Turnagains teak decks and I don’t think Travis is going to be a fan of our new pet when we gets up on deck.
I was right. Travis did not appreciate our feathery stowaway, Simon, so he was asked to vacate the premise. Curious George had grown fond of Simon and decided that he would gently toss him off the boat. He’s a water bird after all, so surely he will fly? Nope. He landed with a wonderful splash and Duncan thought he had drowned Simon for sure!
Afternoon shift comes along and we are back up on deck. Guess who is hiding behind the shrouds up near the bow? Yup. Simon! I’ve never seen Duncan so relieved…
What is not relieving for Team Cruising is the giant thunderstorm that we appear to be heading into. Geoff and I are warming up below, when Wren flies down the hatch to wake up Travis. Time to get the electronics into the microwave!
To be continued…
Photo credit: Geoff Lugar, Paul Carrier and Author’s own