Day 25 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

170 nm as I write these lines, late Sunday Afternoon Local time or Early Monday morning Zulu time, we should arrive in Atuona. The progress has been so steady that we have been predicting this date as early as, day 14 of our passage.

But Letitgo still keep us on our toes, an impeller lost two blades (will have to recover them after arrival) so no water was running to cool the engine. The charger had decided to play fussy during our morning charge and the eco throttle switch played havoc just before on our Honda generator. Oh well, nothing that a little calmer sea couldn’t help cure this morning this enabled me to access all problematic areas. We still have to dive for the right prop, not to worry we haven’t forgotten.

I had secretly hoped that the wind would allow us to perform the entire crossing on one tack Port. But last night after supper we had to use the other side of the sail, a difference of 20 degree angle. Still a true reflection of the regularity of the trade wind, 3350 nm on one tack unbelievable.
To relate a typical day of our trip, we made this little table so you get an idea.
Benjamin Valerie Laurent Generator 0.00 Sleep Watch/ listen podcasts Sleep
1.00 Sleep Watch- crosswords Sleep
2.00 Sleep Watch – movies Sleep
3.00 Sleep Watch – read Sleep up for something 4.00 Watch Sleep Sleep
5.00 Watch Sleep Sleep
6.00 Watch Sleep Sleep
7.00 Watch Sleep Sleep
8.00 Morning Nap Sleep Fruit/Veg/egg rotation retrieval of email 9.00 Morning Nap Sleep Clean the deck/ read
10.00Wake up for Snack Breakfast Read/ up load movie to computer ON
11.00 nap mess up with my mother Read or Write Cook dinner preparation and get lunch ready ON 12.00 start to think what to eat Prep Lunch Position report/blog/manual log 13.00 lunch lunch Lunch
14.00 Afternoon nap Dishwashing Sleep
15.00 Afternoon nap game mummy Write and Edit blog & email Sleep 16.00 Wake up for Snack Baking bread or yoghurt Sleep
17.00 Dinner Soon Read / Write read /movie ON 18.00 Dinner nap Upload movies Posting of blog and e-mail ON 19.00 Dinner Dinner /Talk radio Dinner Talk with VA3 JEQ 20.00 Sleep Sleep Watch
21.00 Sleep Sleep Watch Position report with Pacific seafarer net 22.00 Sleep Sleep Watch read /movie
23.00 Sleep Sleep Watch

Valerie’s front:

Less than 160 nm left to ride! Is it true, really? Well I am not done with my book yet! Ok better get back to some reading quick?
For those you care to know, tonight is “Soiree Crepes” traditional French meal before landfall, enough to get us in spirit!

At 17.00 on the 72712/2014

Latitude 09 19.57 S
Longitude 135 29.63 W
Distance from previous day 137 nm total 3411 nm or 94.5 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 170 Starboard
Course over ground 260T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the NE at 13 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from E
30 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1015 steady

Day 24 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

Welcome to the South Pacific! Seems to be what Neptune is telling us, from drizzles we went to squalls overnight. Just the beginner one, but still going for 24/7 10-14 knots to 30 knots in seconds encouraged by a monsoon rainfall in total darkness, this makes you realize that you just entered another world.

Also you recognized to yourself, ok we are done with this &%$# get us to our destination Letitgo. Yes we have reached the point on day twenty third, when we all said “ok it was fun now let’s discover another world”. I feel tired by lack of my 8 hours beauty sleep; this is what puts me over the edge. Not the boredom, not having social interaction, not comfort, just feeling tired and afraid to make a stupid mistake.

One good thing is that we got a good rinse; Letitgo is sparkling clean and will arrive dust free from Ecuador. The rigging was dripping black soot and for the last three days that’s gone, even more so after what we got today. Mid-morning again, I could see the black clouds forming; I could see the water turning flat and a strange color. Five minutes later we were engulfed, just on time for me to bring the towels that were drying indoor. It passed in less than 5 minutes and we were back in sunshine, just plain amazing. Oh! Before I forget, we crossed a boat last night yes? yes? would you believe it!! Amazing a big

one with lots of lights?? time to get in port before we get excited of having another half dozen flying fish land on the boat.

Valerie’s front:

Indeed we are all on the edge, between feelings of restlessness and making sure we stay focused. Here is what I came up with today.
Squally nights coming in, uninvited and unexpected; closing in fast, no time to be contemplative.
Squally skies closing in, darker than an evil dream, somber than your darkest thoughts. Squally nights charging in strong, enough to charge you with electricity. Squally seas developing with gloomy secrets, chasing us rapidly. Don’t you dare sit back and relax, don’t you dare!
Then, just then, it opens up again.
Breathe, and follow you dream once more.

At 17.00 on the 26/12/2014

Latitude 09 04.68 S
Longitude 133 13.61 W
Distance from previous day 137 nm total 3274 nm or 90.7 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 160 Port
Course over ground 240T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the E at 10 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from SE
50 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1012 steady

Day 23 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Day 23 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

08′ 22 S – 129′ 51 W is where we had our Christmas Eve supper in the year 2014, rather unusual and for sure a piece of conversation at some point. Even Santa Claus found us without a problem, technology is amazing these days, but again cookies and milk were set up, so how could he say no.

For the rest it’s been very quiet on this Christmas Day, as always there was too much to eat yesterday which may have been the cause. Rich was the Gratin Dauphinois, amazing was the roasted vegetables and chicken or was it the cookie and ice cream that pushed us over the edge? Or is it simply seeing the last 10% mark representing less than 500 nm to go, no? no? it was just not being able to hear the Queen’s speech that’s what made us be so lethargic today?.

Valerie’s front:

As about 89% of our voyage is done, reflective thoughts upon all we have been visiting and traveling so far are arising. Going down the coast of California, then discovering Mexico which we had not visited much prior to our sailing lives, and then all the way down to Costa Rica, to Panama and Ecuador. Our thirst for voyaging never seems to seize, yet it feels as though there are still so much to learn and visit.

Two years in the Americas, fully immersed, every time we stopped in a bay there were new friends to be made; we have been welcomed in the most humble ways always with warmth and genuine kindness, and never disappointed. Today there is a bit of a nostalgic feeling mixed with a restless one, undeniably excited to arrive. With all that said, my thoughts turn to all the families we have met and humbly I want to say Thank you.

At 17.00 on the 25/12/2014

Latitude 08 42.19 S
Longitude 130 59.35 W
Distance from previous day 128 nm total 3137 nm or 86. %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 150 Port
Course over ground 250T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the SE at 11 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from SE
50 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1012 steady

Day 22 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

Tuna pate instead of foie gras, the oysters didn’t grow on the hull so no go, and chicken instead of turkey (first meat in 24 day, Ben shall be happy). Something is different about this Christmas; I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it is because, we haven’t heard one of those carol yet, haven’t seen one decoration or our senses haven’t been overwhelmed by the shopping frenzy. In our previous life, we didn’t get in the mood until the 24th midafternoon. The month preceding was a total chaos of workload, while everybody else was partying hard. I don’t know something has changed in our life, I will need to think about it when I get a minute.

Last night with no exception we got our Jibe, but again when I say this; these don’t happen really, it is just the sail getting pushed the other way. Let us reassure you, there is no crashing of the boom against the rigging, no unnecessary load just a gentle POOF and the autopilot signaling that his time is up. The engine goes on and we do a chicken jibe by doing a 350deg around and get on our merry way for another 23.58 hour ride. This is why we have a preventer after all; the boom doesn’t move a centimeter.

Cher neveux, alors la je suis au top the kiff a donfe, en trois jours j’ai regarde : Les Tuches, Rien a declarer, Camping et Camping 2. El Lolo, il est au courant que rien n’a change en France et que l’humour de haut niveau est toujours la. Bravo pour vos recommendation, moi aussi j’a une liste pour vous mais bon je ne peux la decrire ici, sous peine de represaille familiale du plus haut niveau…

Chere soeur n’oublie pas de nous signaler la sortie des titres phares de notre cinematographie d’origine, nous devons rester a jour si nous voulons nous inserer dans les conversations francophiles.

Cher parents ne vous inquietez pas vous etes a jour avec ” le pere noel est une ordure ” vu lors de votre visite.

Et bien joyeux reveillons a tous, et buve une coupe pour nous qui sommes en panne seche?..

Valerie’s front:

Snowy streets, Christmas lights and children excited for the night to come running around; the last minute shoppers are back home exhausted. The restaurants are buzzing with energy, filled with rich smells; families are reunited once more and sharing delicious food, while the music is playing in the back. Many souvenirs to reminisce and happy thoughts are turned to our close friends and family with whom we shared these nights. No, this year we won’t be flying home for a surprise visit, but soon we will back in France!

The big blue is accompanying us this year, and we can expect another sky filled with Christmas lights too; soon we will have music playing in our background with a homey meal. Our flip flops will be placed around the mast in case Father Christmas comes by; or so Benjamin is hoping?

For Emma Mimi Jolie, Nous te souhaitons de bonnes fetes de Noel avec ton Amie Kate et sa famille qui t’accueille si genereusement. Pas de sapin ici, mais nous en fait suffisamment ensemble pour que les souvenirs le remplace. Mange un gros carre de chocolat pour moi. Mille bisous d’amour.

For my Parents, Maman et Papa Joyeux Noel. Faites un bon feu et allumez les bougies pour moi ce soir, et oui meme dans le bateau je suis toujours excitee le soir de Noel?

For my Mum and Dad and my family in law Je vous souhaite a tous de superbes fetes de Noel, amusez vous bien et profitez de ces moments ensemble. Sophie Les Tuches m’ont accompagnes durant le quart la nuit derniere, effectivement on ressemblaient un peu aux Tuches avec nos balluchons?.pensees vers toi ! Ca ne vaut quand meme pas ” La vie est un long fleuve tranquille ”

J O Y E U X N O E L E T B O N C H A M P A G N E

At 17.00 on the 24/12/2014

Latitude 08 10.96 S
Longitude 128 56.22 W
Distance from previous day 143 nm total 3009 nm or 83.4 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 160 Port
Course over ground 270T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the SE at 12 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from SE
40 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1016 steady

Day 21 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

1.2e+09 Dyne or more easily visualized 1223659.455573 Gram-Force is the pressure that was applied on a carabineer of the preventer and stretched it. Yes our third jibe in so many days, this time due to a squall, but no worry Letitgo and the crew were ready and we had no problem dealing with it. Until a few hours later when I discovered a line on the deck, recognizing it even in the dark as our “anti-crash boom device” or “I would like to keep the mast up prevention system”.

The process of investigation the mystery only took second, the line didn’t part ¾ inches, the cleat didn’t let go but the carabineer at the end was open like a paper clip after a long meeting. Somebody must have been nervous in the night, lucky we were ready.
We slowed down yesterday, the winds have lost their intensity and mini squalls have made their apparition. Also the rain has showed its presence a few times per night recently, we must be getting closer to the west coast of France. For the non-Francophile, Brittany Normandy and the north part of the hexagon are notorious for their shower even in the height of summer.
Only 6-7 days left, damn it I need to accelerate the movies watching or I will not be able to regain my edge on the Tricolor humor of the last 15 years. Maybe I should slow down our vessel to give me more time??..

Valerie’s front:

So truly Mrs. Bunkin tell us: “How does it feel like inside your capsule? You have been in it for almost 4 weeks now, how is it truly?”
The voice comes out of the radio cable as if it was far deep down in the ocean, interrupted only by sharp sounds almost Morse code like. Mrs. Bunkin is sitting there, with glaucous eyes, her brain drawing to the emptiness, how does it feel? What to respond?
“Mrs. Bunkin, Mrs. Bunkin are you there?” says the voice again, this time sounding more like a man in a space suit. Her fingers running through her salty hair, Mrs. Bunkin doesn’t want to talk anymore, her mouth is dry? “Yes, yes, I see? I am here”

And the radio to respond:” Ah, there you are, so? How does it feel inside the capsule?”
“Well!” if only she could put words, but they are not coming out, she looks up with her yellow green eyes and remembers she had it all written somewhere. Such as little flags hanging on the wall she wrote it all out on small pieces of paper and stuck them there, just so she wouldn’t forget. Taking one last gasp of air, she dives in to try and encompass with words.
“Well, it’s grand. It’s an ever changing universe out here; you just never get tired of watching.” “You see, one day it’s like a volcano roaring through, the next a frozen lake sleeping during winter time, and another day it is like a giant breathing deeply in your ears, only to tell you spooky things?” Mrs. Bunkin puts the mic down.
“Are you ready to come out of the capsule?”
Mrs. Bunkin knew this was coming; she takes one last look into her heart. “Well, until I smell the earth then only I will know?”
She closes the capsule down once more, and her eyes shut she thinks. Will she ever leave the capsule? Will life be the same again? Time had been suspended for a while. The radio squeaks one last time. “Thank you Mrs. Bunkin, Bon voyage!”

Benjamin’s point of view:

Having such an abundance of time on one’s hands has afforded me with the luxury to carry out the tasks I do so adore preforming, yet typically may not under the exhausting burden of my social and school schedule on land.

Thanks to my new outlook regarding all the free time I am now at the helm of, I have steered myself from melancholy plagued, boredom based days at sea. To a highly productive day which consists of both intellectually and physically stimulating activities to keep me occupied. My mornings now consist of a light Yoga session while everyone is still asleep. Early mornings are often spent my Novel du jour (At the moment I am reading a book about the Kennedy administration and more specifically the three wives who married into the Kennedy clan.) and gathering my strengths for the day to come. (I have made it my top priority not to sleep during the day as napping upsets my highly sensitive biological clock leaving me groggy during the day and fitful in the evenings) Late mornings are the first half of the scholarly portion of the day. At this time I will either read one of the many textbooks my ever enchaining sister Emma has bequeathed to me from her University days (I am currently reading a book on Psychology, a topic that has fascinated me for many years). Taking a leisurely break for lunch at around noon I discuss any upcoming plans with my parents (SPOILER ALERT Ocean ahead!). After this time of relative relaxation I am ready to return to my voluntary studies some days it is learning how to operate an Excel spreadsheet and balance a budget, others it is teaching myself new words I have come across or iron out a mathematical problem that has been bugging me. After this in the late afternoon I take time to relax and return to my novel, perhaps bake a small treat for the family I feel we have earned it or take a moment of philosophical pondering on the top deck, usually at the time of day where the sun starts to descend into evening. Following a period of relaxation and rejuvenation the whole family congregates for a family dinner either on the exterior dining deck if the weather is permitting, or indoors if a more formal setting should be desired. Proceeding this I help out by washing up, and preparing myself for an early nights rest much needed seeing as how I will need to wake up at 4 am.

Typically during a night watch I start by filling out my private log and reflecting on the day, what I have learned, etc. Then I will either watch an episode of Suits a television program about lawyers recommended to me by a young Dutch friend of mine who now accordingly works in corporate law, or an episode of National Geographic’s which I find equally captivating and informative! By the time I am properly woken up and a whisper of light is starting to form on the Eastern Horizon I listen to my Learn Mandarin Chinese podcasts quietly reciting the various sentences and words as to not rouse my parents from their slumber. Proceeding a light breakfast (some days when the mood strikes me I fix the family a lovely breakfast, being the domestic god I am.) I either begin to assume my day or if it’s an odd day I do some aerobics and weightlifting to keep the blood clots at bay.

And some days when my parents feel the need to assure the world that their pride and joy Benjamin is still alive and well, I grace them with a few moments of my time to compose a medley of words in my never ending crusade to please the people en masse.

Ciao for now, Benjamin.

At 17.00 on the 23/12/2014

Latitude 08 10.28 S
Longitude 126 32.68 W
Distance from previous day 127 nm total 2866 nm or 79.4 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 160 Port
Course over ground 270T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the SE at 10 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from ESE
40 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1013 steady

Day 20 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

During the night we just passed Vancouver’s longitude, yes on day 20 we regained all we have travelled from day 1. Rather amazing the angle that the American continent sits on the globe, when in our collective frame of mind, we see it rather upright. Excluding the geography professor (if any are left from those times of real education Monsieur), or the sailor that discovers it when frustrated after 40 days passage along with a few nerds locked up in their mother’s basement with only an atlas and no internet. After all the Panama Canal, doesn’t run North/South by a magnetic anomaly.

Having nothing else to do than play with our mapping program, I did some calculation for you. Relax no excel spreadsheet, I did them the old fashion way with a ruler on the map and calculation with a calculator, based on our average speed to date of 5.7 knots. This is when I realized that it would have taken us from California/Mexico Mainland 2800nm 20, days or Panama 3800nm 28 days. We shall be 26 days if all goes well from Ecuador 3600nm.

On the chapter, we are getting tired registry and we don’t realize it, we made another booboo last night. We again jibed, the sea state was a little funny at sunset and I completely forgot that we had the fishing line in the water. My best 300 lb line decided to wrap itself around the prop. While we normally have a system in place, key out of ignition, but complacency and being tired got us tangled up in our brain and down below. No big deal somebody is going to go for a swim at some point, when and where will be decided at a later date. Valerie is refusing the jump in, when the boat is going 6.5 knots and the seas are 2 meters, even with a rope around her waist! Oh well? it is not what it used to be, experience is a wonderful thing.

Today the boat smells like a staircase of a social housing development in France, meaning we have cooked one of the cabbages. Why did we buy 3 of those monsters, when we never eat that in our daily life? Maybe, it is from reading too many old sailing books, when refrigeration was not available on boats. Actually, no because we never did read those, so here is the perfect example of a tradition passed down by generation of cruisers and we were not able to break the cycle. Well we did for nearly everything else, so a small price to pay.

On a side note we are still eating fresh fruits and vegetable for lunch and dinner for the last 20 days, not bad really and the fridge is still full. We should be good until we arrive, no problem.

Well time to get ready for my siesta, so we may not make?????

Valerie’s front:

In order not to repeat what Laurent writes first, and bore you to death with futile details I need to come up with various ideas! So here is what I came up with last night as I was laying in bed before sleeping.

Have you ever taken the time to notice how much chatter goes on in your brain? My goodness, it just never stops and it is quite entertaining might I add. When we lead busy lives, between work, the children and their various activities, family life etc etc? you don’t realize it; but when you actually sit there and stop any activity there it is.

It is almost like the “genie” and his magical lamp oil who comes out of nowhere, he pops out and takes my brain on a wheel game! Now, now don’t you start thinking that there are little voices in my head, this is just casual chatter or your brain calming down to rest. It is a wonderful partner truly, never gets boring, it takes you wandering in the world of souvenirs, memories, songs, and smell even, you are amongst friends really. And when you are doing night watches well it is almost like a party time down there, suddenly you have opened the door to this wild world also called your imagination. Now add to this context, a sky filled with amazing stars, such little speckles of light intriguing and mysterious; put a bit of wind noise in your sails which brings a kind of whistle in your ears and waves coming on the side of the boat; there you have it the perfect match for chatty brain!

Just sit back and relax? One could spend an entire night chatting that way, refaire le monde as we say in French, or create various scenarios. You are never alone really and with that you become your best partner!

Well may be, it is just the twenty days at sea, it has opened new doors or simply I am losing my marbles? Who knows?

At 17.00 on the 22/12/2014

Latitude 08 06.90 S
Longitude 124 26.44 W
Distance from previous day 142 nm total 2739 nm or 75.9 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 160 Port
Course over ground 270T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the SE at 13 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from ESE
20 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1017 steady

Day 19 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

Last night was not the quiet one we had hope for, a wave and a gust made us jibe. Which in itself is not a big problem, engines were put on I started the process of putting Letitgo to is proper course. Unfortunately, the wind was picking up and I decided to wake up my co-watch. We have a rule: No sail change, at night alone.

This is when the problem accelerated, one line from the Genoa wrapped itself around the open front hatch, left opened because on the Starboard and we had been on a port tack forever? When it was time to apply pressure on the line? well you get the picture! The screws came off, the frame bent; it didn’t look good at all? After some rest and more light we perused the damage in the morning. It was still not pretty, a bit like a car window that went through a few rolls. The last two screws came out with no difficulty, taken apart it look like the bike of fat Albert after a little too much BMX Xtreme competition, I show you how high I can jump scenario.

With the help of my trusted creme brulee torch we warmed up the aluminum, and were able to give it back a certain shape with some flair. It is now fully re-installed, and we are able to use it close to its original function. Does it look like a well tailor suit, well yes but the model did put 10 pounds on since the last fitting.

This all result from complacency like we eluded a few days back. As we normally always close those hatch before any sail permutation. And after we get a new one in our next well stock port, we will for sure never do that mistake again. That Crème brulee will taste even better??.

Valerie’s front:

Aside from our adrenaline rush last night, today has been fairly quiet. In the end lessons are made to learn and this is how we are going to look at it; nothing less nothing more! Once more being at sea teaches us, that we are not allowed to be complacent, not allowed to become lazy. Every day brings a new challenge, and it is our duty to keep our eyes open.

Feeling truly grateful to have found a way to repair,

Grateful for the experience we are getting,
Grateful to be out here,
Grateful for some sunshine and starry nights.

At 17.00 on the 21/12/2014

Latitude 07 51.45 S
Longitude 122 05.02 W
Distance from previous day 146 nm total 2597 nm or 71.9 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 160 Port
Course over ground 270T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 13 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from ESE
80 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1018 steady

Day 18 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

Wing on wing (one sail on each side), we are heading toward the west not wanting to lose any more (sorry Northern hemisphere reflex) increase our latitude. The sea and wind directly behind us, like I dreamed the South Pacific crossing would be.

But today I like to talk to you about something, that we rarely have time to witness; we notice the rapid change of the timing in sun rise/set, depending on your position relative to earth. When we travel long distance, 99.9% of us normally flight and adjust our watch in one scoop and we are done with it, not thinking twice about it. But here as we are travelling slowly directly toward the west and only using Zulu time for radio schedule. We have been able to observe that 500 kilometer makes a huge difference, our friends who are currently sailing about 1000nm behind us; report during our daily radio chat that they have been in the dark for one hour when we still have sunshine. Now I understand better why so many parts of the word are not on the hour but live on the half an hour mark.

This create havoc with the propagation of the ham radio, we don’t have time to get used to one set of workable frequencies for a given time, that we move to another one. Hence the posting coming out late.

For the rest no major surprise today I even had one of the best siesta of all time. It’s going to be hard to break that habit, but again why should I??

Valerie’s front:

A fresh batch of lasagnas is ready in the oven waiting for us for dinner; each day that goes by we get more set in a routine and with that come our sets of various activities. Laurent is definitely more active in the more morning, while Benjamin and I are the night owls; for those who know us this probably doesn’t come as a surprise.

And with this routine comes the topic of how do we keep entertained? As many cruisers know multiple hard drives are being exchanged nowadays while at anchor, why? Because these are true gold mines for us, these hard drives contain entire libraries, podcasts, movies, TV shows and music. They have certainly given way to the old book exchanges that used to take place although it is still alive and in some places they will even provide a shelf where you drop a book and pick one up; Benjamin found some great ones in Bahia. There are so many information coming with this as well that it is certainly not negligible and a fun way to spice up a bit your own collection. The three of us find great pleasure in watching movies while on night watch, and I also truly enjoy podcasts. Podcasts are so easy to download while on line, and truly offer a wide array of subjects, my favorites are: The Q, NPR, TED, Radio 1. Although I was fairly skeptical at first thinking that you don’t hear the boat anymore, there is nothing to worry about indeed after a week or so at sea, you are so much in tune with the boat, wind and sea that any slight change and you are up!

The tablets and Kindle are great tools to have as well and don’t use up much batteries, certainly a nice thing to consider while prepping.

Well, off to taste those Lasagnas?

At 17.00 on the 20/12/2014

Latitude 07 31.83 S
Longitude 119 41.41 W
Distance from previous day 151 nm total 2451 nm or 67.7 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 155 Port
Course over ground 270T
Speed average 6 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 7 knots
Swell and wind wave 1mt from ESE
00 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1019 steady

Day 17 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

Sorry for not coming back yesterday and finishing my post. But I got absorbed by tasks of the upmost importance, like doing nothing and you know how it’s goes. I didn’t see the time pass and by then it was not the deadline to get out of my cubicle but the one to publish. Then the propagation played with us all night and days, not letting us upload it as quickly as usual. Telling you, we are getting tested around here.

A little tired, more than anything else is my feeling today. We have had a few nights in a row were sleeping was not the easiest due to the sea, not the wind but irregular waves. One of those would come and bang on the side of the hull once in a while, like a good nagging girlfriend not wanting you to fall asleep in your teenager years. Nothing that a good siesta can’t cures, until I got rudely awaken by Valerie and Benjamin loudly expressing them over my head. But this is a story to be told by the protagonist.

Complacency is the other problem setting in. We have done the same thing for now 17 days with no major variation. So you take for granted that it will continue in the same way for ever. Unfortunately, it like with the girlfriend cited above, if you permit to fall in a rot you relationship deteriorate and you finish not marrying her etc. etc.? You know the story and downfall. So to combat this problem, what to do you innovate in your food preparation, with my family fishing??.

Valerie’s front:

Another quiet day today, beautiful skies are spoiling us at night lately. Just a crescent of moon and a sky filled with stars, so bright and so high it’s unreal!

This afternoon was punctuated with a different kind of event. Benjamin and I spent our afternoon cooking an apple tart and then did our usual reading. As I peered to the stern, and took my nose out of the book I could see something was pulling on the fishing line. Nonchalantly I got up, fishing is really not my thing? Whenever we dive, and Laurent spear fishes with his Hawaiian sling, I am the one waving at all the fish to go hide, in any case I start pulling on the line and it’s hard and harder, I can tell there is something white at the end of the lure, so not looking forward to that!

“Ben, I think I am going to need your help, it is really hard to pull!” So with a glove and the two of us pulling, the white thing comes closer and looks like?

“Oh No! It looks like a bird!!! Oh what are we going to do?”

“Calm down Mum, Calm down!”

“Well, we have to pull gently not too harm him more!” And by now I am starting to think, oh how are we taking the lure off without hurting the bird too much? Those lures are so good that they only fool birds! But can you believe that we are in the middle of the Ocean, literally, and there are still birds with such stamina to come fish out here! In the end, Laurent came out of his nap and took the lure in charge, which had got into its wing? phew!

The poor bird stayed on the sugar scoop for a while, and then decided to run away from those crazies!

At 17.00 on the 19/12/2014

Latitude 06 43.89 S
Longitude 117 19.09 W
Distance from previous day 143 nm total 2300nm or 63.9 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 125 Port
Course over ground 250 T
Speed average 5 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 12 knots
Swell and wind wave 1 from SE
20 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1019 steady

Day 16 Bahia De Caraquez to Atuona

Laurent’s front:

The fish are not biting, nobody wants to deliver, and we can’t find a Starbuck nearby, why!!!!

May be the fact that we are at the point the furthest from land anywhere in the world doesn’t help. Yes lady and gentleman, we are roughly 1500nm/2800 kilometer from any piece of dirt, a cruiser legend. A bit like an urban one, but a little bit more niche market, if you know what I mean. Yes it’s not everybody on Earth that wonder where this elusive point is, well after playing with my favorite navigation program last night I can confirm, that at 16.00 or about 5 miles from the below reported point, we were right on the spot.

Does it make a difference to us, no not really we been only able to see water 14 miles around us for the last 13 days. Our world is so small in reality that 100 or 1500 doesn’t change our frame of mind that much. Plus we were able to sleep like babies last night and recovered from our wild ride. Sorry I need to go shave and wash myself, I be right back??????..

Valerie’s front:

Truly the snail mail holds many charms, and is certainly a lost art in our time. How do we keep connected while living in a more nomadic way? Fortunately these days internet is available pretty much anywhere, and while underway we have this magic box “Pactor modem” that keeps us connected to the outside world. With it we are able to receive our entire weather information, converse with sailing friends and going back to the charm of the snail mail (or so it feels).

Every night finds us writing at the desk, sharing thoughts and experiences or asking questions. Staying connected with no more social networks at your fingertips requires more effort and determination perhaps but it also brings back the charm of a hand written note; where deeper thoughts are being shared. The excitement that comes with opening your mailbox and finding letters never fails, and organizing oneself to start writing and to collect our thoughts feels richer. Surely we have more time in our hands than most, so we can regroup ourselves in a way that is not always available while in the active world.

In our modern society we have gotten so used to last minutes friends’ updates within a click of our phones, selfies sent every minute if you wish that may be we are missing out on the basis of friendship. We are more concerned and infatuated with our self-image that possibly we forgot the miracle of sharing rich thoughts.

So are we still truly connected while on land?

At 17.00 on the 18/12/2014

Latitude 06 03.33 S
Longitude 115 03.20 W
Distance from previous day 156 nm total 2157nm or 59.9 %
Autopilot set to wind mode at 120 Port
Course over ground 240 T
Speed average 4.5 Knots
Wind from the ESE at 10 knots
Swell and wind wave 1 from SE
100 % cloud coverage
Barometric pressure 1020 steady