It is now day 3 of our crossing and we couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions. We are sailing 8 knts in a 11 knt wind speed flying our spinnaker and heading a course of 224 degrees. Our rhumb line to the Marquesas is 225 degrees so the closer we can stay to that the better. The seas are still mellow with a 1 - 2 foot gentle roll. The only complaint I have is the swell is hitting us on our beam so we rock side to side. Outside the sun is shining with a little cloud cover and it is about 80 degrees with an 80 degree water temp. We are currently at 16.46 latitude and 111.28 longitude. It is 12 noon and all is well. We are listening to the SSB net every night and keeping track of the boats we know and their position. It is nice to hear other voices on the line and know that they are close to you. Chris has a map that he is marking so the kids can see where we are and where the other boats are as well. They like to see the little stickers get closer to the islands. We all take different courses and boats go at different speeds but it is nice to see know they are there. One boat caught a 7' Marlin yesterday... Not sure how we would get that on the deck... But would love the picture/challenge..
We had an uneventful night watch last night. The stars are amazing and the moon is growing and filling out to light our way at night. We are pretty much sailing right into the moonlight so it is beautiful and peaceful at night. Tristan took his first night watch last night. It was nice. I could sleep for an hour and then take my shift. It really helps out having so many eyes. It was a good night to start because I thought we were sitting in the Lafayette reservoir it was so still. I see it in movies the dead calm but have never experienced being 400 miles off shore and having the ocean look like a lake. It was amazing seeing the stars reflect off the water. I kept waiting to see the dolphins but no such luck last night.
The kids have really adjusted to this sailing so far. They have stopped asking "when will we be there" and now just find things to do. Tristan is trying to learn French on our way over so that someone knows how to communicate. I believe he has just been promoted to communications director for this trip. He is really taking charge of the languages and is loving the challenge. We had the Blue fin tuna last night for dinner and ..... yep we will be having big eyed yellow fin tuna tonight. I woke up this morning to the sound of the whirring from the fishing lines (TWO of them). Chris was fighting to bring one in.. which ended up being 24 lbs, and the other line we were just trying to drag the fish till he could get to it. Unfortunately that one shook the hook and we lost it. I guess it is better that we did.. we don't have any room in the fridge and I really don't want to attract the sharks by dragging a fish that long. We are 2 for 3 days...not bad for now... lets see how long our luck lasts. I have been growing sprouts for greens on our trip. We still have broccoli, green peppers and one package of lettuce but we are quickly going thru our fresh supply. Not only is the stuff ripening faster than I thought so we have to eat it but the kids are craving it. On one hand it is nice to see them eating so healthy.. on the other it needs to last another 3 weeks... I believe we will NOT be going through the eggs I thought we would. They just don't sound appetizing when you aren't 100%.
Hugs and love to all.
It really has been a great start to this journey. We know we are pretty new at this stuff and the ocean is breaking us in nicely. Family Circus is also digging these conditions- excelling in the relatively light wind as long as we can keep reaching along, and not heading more southerly. Many folks shy away from spinnakers, but we are loving the fact that we have a variety of lightweight sails for these conditions. We have a gennaker we can roll up (furl) and its easier to manage, and so we put that up at sunset and through the night, but in the morning we are now on our second day of raising our 500 peso "American Flag" assymetrical spinnaker. it is a HUGE sail that is red white and blue, and is a hand-me-down, from a hand-me-down to a hand-me-down. It has patches all over it but is holding together and provides a great in between sail that we didnt have before. For the last two days we have set it up in the morning, and so far its been flying all day- plus its much cooler to look at with its colors. And for $35 USD it is amazing- I hope we can bring it back to Lafayette and use it as a tent for a party!
We are supposed to have light winds yesterday and for the next two days, and I am hopeful we can manage it the way we have over the last 24 hours. It would be nice to be more consistent- but all in all its pretty groovy.
Its also great to see everyone start to get their sea legs and start to feel better- we'll see if we can start some homeschooling and make progress on that front. Certainly I need to get better at fish dissection- as this morning's Tuna was HUGE and I found all sorts of squid in its stomach- maybe one of the scientists out there can help us get some fish dissection expertise. I also have to get better at cooking the fish- as last nights version was only average (not easy when you are trying to bread it to make it kid friendly) We are paying a price for our fishing though as there are some really BIG fish out here- one of our lures on a steel leader was eaten away with only part of the steel left, and we lost one of our handlines that snapped, even though it has a 300 lb test weight! Thankfully I loaded up on some new toys, and also downloaded some instructions on making your own lures out of plastic bottles and chip/snack bags.
Three last favorite moments:
1. Seeing Venus reflect in the water when the moon went down, I've never seen a star or planet shine so bright that you can see its reflection
2. Sitting in a bean bag, sipping Peet's coffee (thank you Andreas) and listening to classical music ("Morning" Peer Gynnt) as the sun rises over 45 minutes. Its a pretty magical deal and for the last two morning's Alexia has even been awake- a startling feat in its own right!
3. Seeing the family teamwork as we take down the "American Flag" monster sail. It didnt come with a furling sock, so it was great to have many hands to gather it in before it flew away!
We're thankful so far, and are hopeful that our good fortune continue! Hope you are all well - CHRIS
It has been a really good trip so far. The winds have been good for the boat and the swells are staying small. My main routine for now is wake up, sometimes eat breakfest, grab the hard drive and start watching movies, sometimes I listen to music but usually watch movies. Today was an exciting day because early in the morning we caught our second fish. It was a big eye tuna that weighed 24 pounds. Today I started the Rosetta Stone. It actually is more fun than I thought it was going to be. I started French and now I know some french. My mom and dad have told all of it so all go over bits and pieces of it. The sky at night is something I have never seen before, the stars are so bright that it looks like they are flashlights shining at you. About 30 minutes after the sun goes down a rainbow of colors appear above the horizon. I like seeing all the flying fish flying around our boat, today we also caught a bird, but then we released it. I hope that the trip can stay like this the whole way.
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