Day 15 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

We were warned by our weather support team, (indeed Tom you achieve more than one person, just by yourself you are the team), that we would have a swell against wind and we sure do, the sea has been nasty to say the least for the last 24 hours. So what to do stay in the middle or run, we choose the latest option. Yesterday will be 182 miles that will stay on record for a while, Letitgo our overloaded 38 ft catamaran did it on its own thank you. We feel it puts you in the same shape that driving 2000 miles nonstop for 24 hours on a country road during harvest season, but who are we to judge.

Except this we had our first breakage of the trip, Benjamin bathroom hatch handle gave up. I tried with my friends, super mega strong epoxy to come to the rescue but at the first trial in the morning it came apart like a piece of cake depend in coffee.

Having been reminded that we can reef the sail, we just did before dark to get a better night sleep. We will let you know tomorrow how it worked out?

Av speed
Last speed
Day NM Day Total To Go Av/day Av/total Day left Day Left 15 182 2001 1589 55.7% 7.58 5.56 11.9 28/12/2014 8.7 25/12/2014

Valerie’s front:

Truthfully feeling like a zombie all day, so I will let the boys enlighten you with their words?

Benjamin’s

The sun has risen and set by me with a passive enthusiasm akin to a bowl of white rice.

I am racing through novels at an alarming pace, they are my only respite from the boredom I am subjected to out here. I know myself well enough to say with the utmost confidence that the next time I shall cross an ocean will be at thirty five thousand feet with nothing more than a Forbes magazine and my favorite Bossa Nova songs needed to keep me entertained.

I’ve decided to dial back on my new exercise campaign, I realize now thanks to the Paula Deen school of thought that one simply cannot not exert one’s self too far without a deep fried cheesecake waiting at the finish line. Yall. In other news I have come up with a fascinating technique that really helps kill time when on passage. I call it “Stretching” what you do is take a simple task such as drawing a curtain open or rearranging your cosmetics refrigerator, and stretch it over a deeply inordinate amount of time. It once took me a whole week just to pick up a piece of paper off my bedroom floor! The trick is monitoring your progress and taking a nap, or just watching the ocean absent mindedly for a few hours whenever you feel that you have worked enough. In my case I spent a whole four days just nudging the scrap paper about my floor until I was content it was in the perfect spot I would need before taking the soul crushing effort of bending down and retrieving it (that took a few hours of me sitting on the floor looking out my hatch collecting my much needed strength). Now don’t even get me started on how I disposed of the paper. (Because I have yet to do so)

It dawned on me today as I was watching the sun ascend during my night watch, in a short few days it will be the birthday of our lord Cartier it’s a darn shame my store locator app was not picking up any places of worship in the middle of the pacific, I really need a bit of spiritual guidance, and a new watch. But seriously I am a tad melancholic about not feeling any of the usual holiday cheer I usually entertain at this time of year. So I’ve taken on the enormous task of making a Christmas card for all my friends and family freezing like the sad little northern hemisphere dwellers they are. Unfortunately we will be at sea for the day of so I will have to improvise. I am now kicking myself for not having smuggled my dear confidant and companion Xiaoping (named after the great Deng Xiaoping) a little black cat from Bahia onto the boat as we had both dreamed of. She would look so terribly darling in a little Santa paws hat! It would have totally tied together our family portrait, finally I had found a stand in for Emma, and she would not even be here for the picture.

A little message to my dear Japanese friend Kim, your goodie bag has lifted my spirits in several times of despair out here on the ocean. Thank you kindly for your generosity, my supply of Japanese teas you have gifted me continue to act as a beacon of hope for me, guiding me through the emotional fog that comes with being so terribly isolated. You will never know how much of an impact they have had on my disposition through this god-forsaken trip, I will savor them till my return to a proper Asiatic market.

Believe it or not (I hardly can) after god knows how many days we have been at sea for I am beginning to look like Tarzan. My scraggly beard has grown to a point that I hardly recognize myself, I look like a deranged savage. The only cure I can think of for the deep emotional and physical trauma I have endured as a result of this neglect to my pores and cuticles is a weekend at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, lord only knows how much intensive work it will take in the intensive care facial unit to get my psyche back to what it was. But frankly it will all be worth it, now I must find a charitable organization willing to subsidize my recovery. Red cross? The Pope? Anyone??

At 17.00 on the 17/12/2014

Latitude 05 22.40 S
Longitude 112 32.47 W
Distance from previous day 182 nm total 2001 nm or 55.6 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 120 Port
Course over ground 255 T
Speed average 7.3 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 16 knots
Swell and wind wave 1.5 from SE
10 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1019 steady

Day 14 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

Half way mark has been reached, 1819 nm or 50.7%. Exactly spot on after two weeks at sea. It is downhill from now on, hopefully as enjoyable and trouble free, as the first half has been. If we continue with the average speed we have been sailing from day one, we shall arrive on the 29/12 if we keep up with the speed from the last few days the 27/12. This enables us to keep everything in perspective and not be disappointed when Santa Claus doesn’t find us.

For the last few nights, we been having a little bit of rain around 1.00 Zulu accompanied with an increase of wind to 20-24 knots. This for the duration of an hour, our remote control for the autopilot has decided to express itself in Km/h and was flashing 18 to 19 values for a while. I grabbed Valerie tablet open the convertor and typed gingerly the number; it told me that we were gliding at 9.71 knots over the ground. You remember, I said this is only sustainable for us human on Letitgo for a short while. You hear the sea parting away, the swell pushing side way and our alertness coming up a few notches. Fun if you are enjoying a beer can race in the bay, but not when your family is sleeping and you are trying to enjoy a movie. But to achieve a 160 nm day with no currents you need to move one way or the other.

Valerie’s front:

Friends of ours who are now in Panama wrote to us the other day with a question: What kind of cravings do you have? This caught my attention.
Today we are starting our third week at sea, alone, without shops and any kind of solicitations from the outside world. Three weeks, it sounds and feels like nothing much, compared to what our ancestors navigators went through. Sometimes months at sea, surely this ought to bring cravings of some sort. But have we arrived to that level of cravings yet? We did leave with a boat nicely loaded on goodies, and we live in a very comfortable place so we minimized our cravings on that side. Having said that being of the human species there is always something else we want? Well not the kinds that may come to mind at first like food craving; although a really green salad sounds devilishly appetizing come to think of it! No, not that. But what? Well here is what it is?

With the ocean surrounding us from every corner of the eye I crave to dive in its arm, see from up close how really blue and warm it is. This seducer haunts my dreams with all his mysterious underworld beneath us, but alas this has to wait, the revelation will come soon! I crave silent nights, and peaceful walks, new sceneries, new people. ..

And as we reached this half point, quite celebratory might I add, I think of this book we used to read with the children: ” We’re going on a bear hunt!” We’re going on a bear hunt!

Oh! No? An ocean *changed for our context*

WE can’t go over it, we can’t go under it!
We’ve got to go through it
Splash, splosh, splash, splosh!

At 17.00 on the 16/12/2014

Latitude 04 42.68 S
Longitude 109 35.79 W
Distance from previous day 159 nm total 1819 nm or 50.7 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 120 Port
Course over ground 265 T
Speed average 6.63 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 116 knots
Swell and wind wave 1.5 from SE
00 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1020 steady

Day 13 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

6.38 knots average, we moved to say the least yesterday and last night. Nonetheless life is still very enjoyable onboard Letitgo and truly the catamarans are made for downwind. The stable platform makes it truly livable, cooking, showering or just going to the washroom is not an ordeal, just business as usual.

But today let’s speak of two small pieces of foam that can make a difference in your life. I am talking earplugs, the noise once we reach above 8 knots can make falling asleep difficult or when the sea is not with you. With earplugs no more problem, for the one saying “yes but if you need to be called on deck”, well you don’t wake up somebody by shouting at them, but by gently (or not so gently) touching their leg on Letitgo at least it’s our case. So one suggestion, try it out before leaving your land bed, and then find the ones that will fit your ears, don’t hurt and that you are not allergic to! Then you will be equipped to go through an entire movie in South America while riding the bus, or a noisy hostel and still sleep like a baby even when your boat rocks with the waves.

For reference a Lagoon 380, can reach 6 knots with 12 knots of wind at 120 degree port, 8 knots with 16 knots in the same configuration and we have seen 9 knots but then it’s not as sustainable for the body and mind or just a little bit? After that you just breakdown tired and anxious.

On the mental front, I am still not realizing that we are crossing the South Pacific. Even when I look at the map and compute the number, it’s just another sail nothing more. But again, we are not wet cold or even tired. While I write this, I am seating at the table with a view over the ocean, a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a square of chocolate at my side while listening to some classical music. Just like at home and this was the objective when we purchased/setup Letitgo, make it as comfortable as you would at home. Now if the local Indian palace, could deliver a nice steamy dinner, we would be in heaven!

Valerie’s front:

For many it seems unconceivable to live in small quarters with someone else, let alone your teenager! A teenager with a vivid mind might I add and ready to challenge you whenever the chance is offered; albeit this, life onboard Letitgo remains peaceful. Everyone has learned with time to respect, respect their quietness or request for a moment of solitude. You see, with so little space available and on a 24hour basis in our case at the moment; the one square you have made yourself “yours” becomes a true oasis.

Music playing softly in your ears is a bubble in which you enjoy the escape, a breath of fresh air. A book now becomes a place you like to come back to such as your most loyal friend; every word chained to the other transports you in a different place, a different time.

Space (by that I mean physical space) then becomes very irrelevant, it is just one more thing our modern world created to make us feel special, a luxury that not all in this world can attain or even claim in their own lifetime. Space in itself lacks of space…

At 17.00 on the 15/12/2014

Latitude 04 05.25 S
Longitude 107 02.35 W
Distance from previous day 153 nm total 1660 nm or 46 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 120 Port
Course over ground 265 T
Speed average 62 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 14 knots
Swell and wind wave 1 from SE
10 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1018 steady

Before I forget, let’s complaint that we haven’t got a fish on the line recently, maybe that will work like last time?..

Day 12 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

After the highway, we are now on the German Autobahn. The trade winds are blowing 13-15 knots from the SE pushing us nicely. The night was rather rough, we had 30 minutes while under clouds of 7 knots but the sea didn’t stop, making Letitgo roll and uncomfortable for a little while. This interrupting everybody sleeps, as we are all taking watch we can get 6 hours of sleep non-stop normally and are used to it. So today is a rather lethargic onboard.

Still we are making water, laundry showering all this during the day of the Lord. That remind me long time we haven’t see a Church, the Spanish influence must be whining down.

While we record our progress on our program, we often refer to what Longitude on the continent it is equivalent. Today, it was Melaque/Bara de Navidad Area, souvenir came rushing back in our mind. Nostalgia of a good tacos stand and Tamales.

Valerie’s front:

Another day at sea, and it is with rather sleepy eyes that I write to you today for the reasons Laurent just described, and we can’t complain about it as we are making good speed overall! In other words, suck it up Princess? Today the sky is covered with a thick layer of clouds, and some charged with a little of rain, although we are still able to charge the batteries through the solar panel without a problem (we saw 30.6 Amp on the controller today).

I have been trying to think about the questions I had while we were prepping back home that could be helpful to others so today we will talk garbage! Yes, literally. How do we manage it as there is no garbage truck coming regularly nor is there a recycling or a compost bin! Truthfully with our experience up in the Sea of Cortez we got a good training at managing our detritus.

All items organic can go back into the sea, such as vegetable peels, or fruits and paper matter along with metal cans. While all the plastics we keep in a garbage bag which then goes in a bigger one and is stored in our anchor locker until we can discharge. So far we have only filled 2 little garbage bags; and it is mostly plastic wrappings. When we will be able to discharge it will obviously be back on land, and if there are no places to throw it we will burn it. Although back home there is a policy in which you don’t burn your garbage it is bad for the environment, we have found that most places in which we have traveled and especially in islands don’t have other choice to do otherwise.

In some cases, the islanders will say they will take care of it for you against some money, but will throw it back to the sea or simply leave it behind a hill once you are gone? So, take control of your own garbage and burn it yourself if in doubt.

It is almost teatime now, and Benjamin is asking for a game board, until tomorrow!

At 17.00 on the 14/12/2014

Latitude 03 45.16 S
Longitude 104 32.48 W
Distance from previous day 144 nm total 1507 nm or 42 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 120 Port
Course over ground 265 T
Speed average 6.2 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 14 knots
Swell and wind wave 1.5 from SE
30 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1015 steady

Day 11 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

So much excitement today, we could barely sleep all hands were on deck, an event to be talked for generation to come. Well close to it anyway!!

Since we turned to downwind, our speed has been very rewarding and like on cue it increased to 6 knots when the wind picked up. The sound of the water rushing against the hull, a pleasure to be heard and we become expert to estimate it as soon as our senses are awakened. That and dropping the fishing line in the water are of upmost importance to the well-being of the crew. After my routine of the morning accomplished, complemented by Benjamin French toast (pain perdu) breakfast, I fell back into a coma, reading my latest novel.

Until I was awake by a strange noise. Valerie came out from bed running, Benjamin also thinking I was running around deck with the generator in hand. But no it was a small helicopter, from a tuna boat. It buzzed us a few time, waved and left us as it came. Now you have to realize that we haven’t seen a boat or any structure now for 6 days, we are out 700 nm from the nearest land. We are not alone after all, whoever can check HC-CON registration and e-mail us where it’s from win, a dinner for 8 people next week-end onboard.

Wow so much excitement, so much conversation starter we couldn’t contain ourselves.

Valerie’s front:

A l’Ouest rien de nouveau!

Apart from being woken up in a rush by a helicopter above us as you read from Laurent; and the delicious French toasts in the morning there is nothing much to report here. It feels as we are gliding on water moving along as every day passes.

On the menu tonight if anyone is interested: Risotto of wild mushrooms

A demain!

Benjamin’s front:

Shaggy is resting, that what Benjamin starts to look like. You know the master of Scoobidoo.

At 17.00 on the 13/12/2014

Latitude 03 41.01 S
Longitude 102 09.58 W
Distance from previous day 127 nm total 1236 nm or 34.4 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 115 Port
Course over ground 265 T
Speed average 6.2 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 12 knots
Swell and wind wave 1.5 from SE
30 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1015 steady

Day 10 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

What a difference the point of sail makes on a boat. We have been able to achieve the same average as yesterday, with half of the wind. Giving us a very tranquil ride, for one we could sleep similar as in our youth crib, balanced from one side to another. Only some special waves once in a while banging the side, like the wall on our crib some of you will proclaim no doubt. If we believe the forecast we should be back in more vigorous winds by late tonight. But my little finger and the barometric pressure inclines me to believe a little sooner.

A 1/3 of the trip has passed under our keel, which makes me feel good knowing that our average will increase from now on. If we didn’t keep a log and posted, days would have morphed together a while back. I need to refer to the previous day’s numbers to be able to ascertain the correct one.

As for the spirit, it hasn’t change from day one. Not bored, not anxious to arrive, just happy to be here and catching up on all the French movies on our drive.

Having to keep busy is not a problem, always something to do and clean on Letitgo. Plus a little siesta does wonder in the afternoon, talking of it time to go and rest.

Valerie’s front:

It is with fingers freshly manicured and painted that I write today! Indeed no luxury is spared on Letitgo, with a diva onboard all treats are permitted; Benjamin even made a mask out of his special mud from the Amazon. Although it might sound very glamourous daily life once on a passage mode is much more organic if I could describe it this way. Following the rhythm of the sun, your days are filled with simple pleasures and in a way we have returned to more authenticity. Time is used in ways that were never possible back in the working days, you can be as selfish as you want while immersing yourself in a movie or a book or be as creative as you want or even find new means to start up a conversation; truly anything is possible.

So contrary to one might originally think, not one day has been dull or dry; it is rather fulfilling to reconnect with your own self. And as I write this, I read Benjamin’s paragraph who doesn’t seem to quite agree with this, it is always interesting to get different prospective!

Benjamin’s front:

Still at sea, still bored, shocker right. I’ve finally finished all 8 seasons of Desperate Housewives (in 10 days? that’s sad) yes, I laughed. I cried. But mostly now I’m worried about what I will do next to kill time. I’ve already finished two novels, and have begun an aggressive workout schedule. Partly in a last ditch attempt to fend off the boredom, and also because I got alarmingly winded climbing out of bed yesterday. Seeing as how I don’t want to end up perpetually wheezing like Anna Nicole Smith I am kick starting my healthy body campaign. It should be noted that this is my second attempt at bringing my body fat percentage from the sluggish 9% to a lean spring chicken of 4%, three days ago I did some calve exercises and I still have trouble walking. I also have not shaved in ten days, I chose to do this because this is the only period in my life where I can go without looking my clean-cut usual self. So now I resemble to some dirty hippy/ eco terrorist. My left leaning sister would be proud. Side note congrats to my Eastern Medicine “Doula” (witch doctor) student sister and her SLAM Poet boyfriend on their one year anniversary! Upon hearing the news I wondered aloud if he would write her a poem, then scream it at her.

At 17.00 on the 12/12/2014

Latitude 03 38.65 S
Longitude 100 03.42 W
Distance from previous day 111 nm total 1236 nm or 34.4 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 110 Port
Course over ground 260 T
Speed average 5.5 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 9 knots
Swell and wind wave 0.5 from SE
10 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1017 steady

Day 9 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

We just starting riding the highway, this truly is how it feels like after 8 days on the secondary road. At precisely noon, we turned Letitgo 50 degrees and now have the wind from behind. All of a sudden a feeling forgotten a long time ago came back, quietness!!!!

We could feel that we were getting closer to that instant for the last 12 hours; the wind was turning slowly and the speed varying considerably. Also the predictions were showing it on the screen, we are not the Polynesian able to ascertain from the shape of the wave and cloud. Where they are and how we are going to get there. We still have some learning to do but again, could they use a computer and a Pactor modem, to each their specialty and motus operatis.

Lunch was served outside and the salad didn’t fly from our forks for the first time, first world problem at its best you will tell me. Even Neptune let us have one of its protégée as you quickly read last night, a beautiful 3 kilo Yellow fin tuna. After a fight of a life time bare hand and the dexterity of a lumberjack on my part, the beast was in our black bucket filleted and rested overnight in the fridge. That will be the official version of this heroic capture. Still at lunch we felt we were back in Vancouver eating Friday Lunch Sushi, Ahoki we miss you.

During coffee and chocolate of course, the sign that Valerie is really over the seasickness. It felt like we were on route for Suchia our little paradise in the Pacific Northwest. The wind pushing us at 5 knots with 8 of wind, we can’t wait to see what it will be with 15. Today also, we decided to move our local time one hour back, the sun setting a lot later than when we departed it felt right and we don’t want to be jet-lagged when we arrive.

On the fruit and veggie basket case, I re-organize the storage possibility bringing a lot more in the fridge, also preparing and freezing the red peppers that we always use as part of a preparation anyway.

Let’s hope that the wind push us steady until we arrive, we can only ask here. As we did for the fish that appeared hours after we posted our non success on this modest page?..

Valerie’s front:

Out of the blue today as we were enjoying our lunch outside our thoughts turned on to our home waters back in the Pacific North West. A lovely meal with exquisite Tuna sashimi tender and melting in your mouth followed by a coffee made us feel right at home; our weekly date lunch. Or was it simply the comfort and quietness of the downwind sail that brought all these fond memories to the senses back. With all that said, our thoughts turn to our friends back home and Emma, so a special *wink* to you all.

And as I am writing this on the table outside, my studious writing is interrupted by a breath, a sound now very familiar to us. Two whales came breaching nearby and started following us for a while until they reached down to the deepness of the ocean only to be seen further away, the water is so clear that you can easily make out the shape and size. “Ben! Come and see there are two whales following us!” and my son only to say from up high his 17 years “Jesus Christ, Mum calm down! There are sharks anyway?” For him any bigger fish while underway always look like a shark!
In any case, every time it is a surprise and every time it takes your breath away, literally.
The sun is shining today and brings with it more depth to the colors around us, we are making good speed and the swell takes us from the back now. Only to bring such a peaceful and comfortable ride.

At 17.00 on the 11/12/2014

Latitude 03 29.26 S
Longitude 098 17.11 W
Distance from previous day 112 nm total 1125 nm or 31.3 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 110 Port
Course over ground 260 T
Speed average 4.8 Knots
Wind from the SE at 7 knots
Swell and wind wave 0.5 from SW
10 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1015 steady

Day 8 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

The wind died down during mid-morning to about 4-5 knots, leaving the boat running at a speed of only 2 knots. This in turn enabled us a little bit more freedom on deck, like putting our feet in the water.

A water so blue, it reminds me of the color of that paint tube during my youth. That blue you wonder where they observed it, that blue that feels surreal, well ladies and gentlemen it’s out here right under us.

The sun is probably helping, to bring that crystal quality out of it. Depending on the angle you look at it, it feels different from up high, you perceive it as dark and opaque until you throw a banana peel overboard and see it disappear for a while. From the window on the inside hull, it’s a light turquoise from the back step a deep crystal blue color that attracts you like a magnet. Until you put a feet in and realize it is freezing.

We will try to take a picture but they will never do justice you really need to come and see it yourself.

For now our vegetarian diet has been changed by the sea, we have two lines trailing: one with a nice fancy lure and one with my home made garnish with small squid. But nothing has awakened a crazy fish to take a bite?.

By early afternoon, we were back in the saddle. Having noticed the small clouds afar, we didn’t engage the engine and waited patiently, once under them we roared back to 6 knots in minutes. Come on fishy fishy, you love a lure at that speed.

As for around us no boat, no plane, no animal we are truly alone except the flying fish and squid.

Valerie’s front:

Truly everything out here seems purer; we are so far out, that pollution of any kind has not reached it. The air we breathe is so clean, it makes you want to open up your lungs as wide as possible to build a gigantic reservoir in your body and keep it for the future.

This makes one feel so much more respectful towards nature in general, in South America they call it “PachaMama” Mother Nature: powerful, enchantress, she has so much to offer and there are plenty to fill up a free spirit.

Because we are so close to the elements now, you sense things around and you come to a sort of bond with it. Every cloud taking a new shape, the swell coming and going always different in size and height, the wind along with its speed and intensity. The color of the sea, so vibrant and inviting, no wonder mermaids were for a long time thought to live here; it would be easy to let your soul go and start hearing them singing at night! Wait? Is this hallucination?

When we were still back home during our “prepping” stage, one sailor had once written on her blog that any slight change on the sails or wind direction, or a different noise she could sense it right away. It was incredible to me, how such a big “machinery” as a sail boat with full sails on could make you so attuned to it. Yet, it is true; it is almost like the change in the cry of your newborn, you become very sensitive to it and it is just the beginning of a beautiful love story.

And as we were about to fire this post off, we caught a yellow fin Tuna! YEAH!!!! sushi tomorrow!!!!

At 17.00 on the 10/12/2014

Latitude 02 28.05 S
Longitude 096 52.1 W
Distance from previous day 108 nm total 1013 nm or 28.2 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 60 Port
Course over ground 200 T at time of writing 260 T
Speed average 2.5 Knots at time of writing 6 knots
Wind from the S at 4 knots average at the time of writing 16 knots Swell and wind wave 1 from SW amazingly no major wind waves
30 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1016 steady at time of writing 1015

Day 7 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

What a party you missed: candles, cake and even ice cream! A total extravaganza of the sense, ok, everybody was in bed immediately after dinner, killing the buzz of the party. But Mother Nature had a present for Valerie, a reduction of the wind for the night giving a very smooth night sleep. We lost a little speed but for the comfort of the birthday girl, who is to complain? Benjamin put the engine on twice for half an hour to keep the speed above 2knots and so avoiding the sail banging with the swell. First time in a week, doesn’t hurt them to get warm once and a while.

The Grib files (weather forecast) and our land support (thank Tom), made mention of this for the last two days and we were able to pass North of the calm patch. Unfortunately, we may not be as lucky tonight and tomorrow the prevision shows a drop in wind speed in front of us, we are trying to lose as many degrees in Latitudes to gain the trade winds but our autopilot has been stuck on the same setting for the last 7 days. We can see a typical front cloud formation ahead of the boat, maybe the prevision will be wrong, we will keep you inform.

As I type those lines I realize that we achieved 25% of our distance and have been at sea for spot on a week. The longest we have ever been at this point and for the moment it doesn’t feel like it. My body requires exercise this morning, it’s very nice to be sitting and relaxing after all the hard work we put in to get off; but it’s over now and I needed to walk a little, my muscles were asking for action.

Valerie’s front:

Nothing too exciting to report today except that we are happy to be moving again with good wind speed, we shall see what the night has to bring. We spotted a few dolphins earlier on, and it has been overcast most of the day the temperatures are still not very high we are in the 20s? Voila that’s all I have for you today folks!

At 17.00 on the 09/12/2014
Latitude 01 54.70 S
Longitude 095 06.67 W
Distance from previous day 116 nm total 905 nm or 25 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 60 Port
Course over ground 260 T
Speed average 4.75 Knots at time of writing 6.5 knots
Wind from the SW at 10 knots average at the time of writing 18 knots Swell and wind wave 1.5 from SW amazingly no major wind waves 50 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1014 steady

Day 6 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:
Lucky we have e-mail on board or we would have lived through an important day without noticing, more exactly not remembering. It is Valerie’s birthday today, so how do we celebrate such a day at sea?

First we all take a shower, wash a load of laundry while we make water; the crew is refreshed and clean; major bonus. Then you are exonerated from your turn of dishwashing, a non-negligible luxury. Third you get some smoked salmon compliments of Kim and David, thank you for the treat! And lastly for dinner we will have some brownies with a ball of ice cream. With all that said the wind hasn’t die down for the last 24 hours giving us another beautiful day on the ocean.

On passage preparation tips, we learned the hard way on the Panama to Ecuador ride and didn’t repeat some mistakes? Such as, secure the bridle with Zap-strap so it doesn’t fly in the water and get damaged. Double tie the dinghy on the side and also put a safety line for the lifting line, so if it cuts through with the motion the dinghy doesn’t fall all the way. Tie down chain and line inside the dinghy so they don’t fall in the water. Get the generator out and the electric cord so even in bad weather, we don’t have to run up front.

Well time to prepare tonight’s fiesta, but starting to wonder if anybody will show up for the party, you receive the invite didn’t you!!!!

Valerie’s front:
As every year passes by, it keeps coming back whether you ignore it or not… So let’s celebrate together. Chocolat for everyone!

With that said today is the day I want to honor my Mom for bringing me to this world with all your love and tenderness that only you know how to give. Because even though I know how much you hate knowing us being out there all alone, and you would much rather have us close by; you still send me encouragements and in your voice I can feel your warm smile. Thank you Maman, I will blow my candle tonight with a wink to you!
As we were discussing over our lunch today, we are feeling grateful for all our travels sailing through Central and South America as it has given us a solid ground to do this now. A passage was not as daunting as it might have seemed few years prior, we knew how to organize ourselves. What is amazing so far is the wind which keeps blowing in the same direction at fairly the same speed, we don’t have to tweak the sails every now and then, and we are enjoying that part. And truly we just don’t get tired of watching that big amazingly blue ocean.

On the fish front some of you might wonder? Well nothing yet?

Benjamin’s front:

Somehow between inhaling 7 Seasons of Desperate Housewives, and doing half a jumping jack yesterday I am just exhausted. Waking up at 2 in the afternoon I have headaches and lightheadedness due to my over exertion no doubt. But on the bright side I must admit life at sea sans the seasickness patch has proved to be so much better, who would have guessed that a life without audial hallucinations and lucid dreams was even possible, let alone enjoyable! Anyways life at sea is still about as interesting as the Golf channel. Though there is a huge(ly anticlimactic) milestone taking place on Letitgo, the sands of time are drawing through my mother at an alarming rate, and shockingly enough she is taking it with an air of dignity that has made me check the first aid kit for any empty bottles of tranquilizers. Perhaps it’s only me who takes ever birthday like a dagger to the abdomen, digging my claws into the ground as each passing day robs me of my youth. I always dreamed of a mother who would lie on the daybed in a head scarf and big black sunglasses passing her birthdays with the curtains drawn and Edith Piaf playing in the background. To show my appreciation for birthing me I baked my mother a pan of Betty Crocker brownies (yawn), see I told you nothing good can ever come from being this far away from a Cartier store. Till next time.

At 17.00 on the 08/12/2014

Latitude 01 43.60 S
Longitude 093 15.91 W
Distance from previous day 129 nm total 789 nm or 22%
Autopilot set to wind mode at 60 Port
Course over ground 250 T
Speed 5.5 Knots
Wind from the SW at 13 knots average
Swell and wind wave 1.5 from SW
70 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1013 steady