We are still here and cruising away.. I never thought I would wake up from a nap and yell, can we slow this thing down... UGH! It has been a wild ride for 6 days now and I am tired of it... but we are all safe, healthy and still somewhat sane. The seas have picked up and are now about 10 - 12 feet of flipping confusion. We decided to go ahead and turn south. We are now at 08.52 n and 129.17 W We are cruising at 7 knts and wind speed has come down to 12 - 16. It was averaging 24 last night.. with gust up to 30 and a ton of thunder activity all around us. We were able to stay out of several squalls paths by changing direction so none of it came over us... they say we will have these conditions through thursday night and then it should start to diminish and then they will be few and far between... one more sleepless night... "Suck it up" I get so anxious that I can't sleep very well and it is hard when you are getting your body slammed to the side of the bed with a roller or a wave pounding the side of the hull that sounds like thunder inside your boat.... UGH>..
We have gone 1770 miles so far and again, I am not complaining... okay maybe I am a little but I am glad of the progress we are making and how fast we are getting there. It is now time to really kick it in and get the hell out of dodge... so we are firing up the after burners and scooting south.
The kids are completely unaffected and every morning when the sun comes up and the little ones... All of them... are sleeping peacefully unaware of all the work that we have just gone through we are oh so grateful that they have adapted to the boat and are such amazing kids. Now if I can only get Alina to stop runniung and jumping around on the boat that would be helpful. Mykaela and I were joking last night that when we got to land we would be bobbing back and forth like a weeble wobble... our body not remembering how to stand up straight...
The skies are clear above us right now, there are some scattered clouds and all is good.
Hugs and love to everyone,
Chris's Thoughts this morning:
Well. this is a Big ocean! And its an amazing blue at the moment as we are surfing down its powerful waves. I wish I could catch waves as well as this boat is doing right now. We finally got some sun today, which is especially useful since I might, have maybe just a little, left the hatch in our cabin open last night to get some fresh air, which I got, but I also got a wee bit of seawater and some rain in there as well.
We're building experiences to talk about for a while, and sailing experience to rely on in the future. A striking moment for me was when the kids were asleep, and Heather and I were playing a 1980's video game Frogger, as we tried to avoid these thunder squall cells that would show up on our radar. We had managed to dodge all of them when we resigned to "not being able to dodge this beast" and we went up to put a second reef in the main. We have had several issues with our reefing system, and a key winch that we use went inoperable two days in to the trip, so it took some creativity to do it properly. The best moment was when we were working away, with my teammate and wife, in the middle of the night, standing on the cabin top and wrestling with the sail, while the rain and wind increases, and you're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It all went marvelously, and we hunkered down to ride out the tail end of a squall without any issues.
Nature is a powerful wonder. We had another cool family moment after dinner, as the sun had set, and to the south of us, below 9 degrees N latitude, many thunderheads lined the horizon. The wind was coming from the north, and we were going west, so we were in good shape, and we had the kids come out in the cockpit to see natures lightning show. Sheet and, occasionally, bolt lightning illuminated the sky, usually from behind these cloud formations that cast a fabulous shadow in front of the light. After a while they got bored, but we enjoyed with Tristan and Alexia as they stood one hour early evening watches to help Heather, Mykaela and I manage the overnight. Nature is Cool.
We're doing this!!!! Every now and then, like just then, it hits me! And now it feels like we are starting to see an end in sight. It's still a long way a way, but there have been different milestones we have been looking forward to, and turning South to head to the equator has been we have been waiting for, for three days. We only have about 500 more miles of Westing to go (the Marquesas are about at 138W and we will be approaching 130W tonight) so now its all about heading South and seeing this ITCZ and equator crossing through. We'll have to temper our "Are we there yet" enthusiasm, but this next section will determine how many days the trip will actually take- but we're moving!
I hope you are all well! and thanks for all of the kind well wishes and happy thoughts- we need them! CHRIS
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