Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pacific Passage Update- Day 14 complete!

Well something happened today! Its funny how our daily routine and weather patterns can get shaken up by the simplest things. They also make blogging updates much easier to write, even though this one is late.

Despite several sources of professional, governmental and amateur weather forecasting information, it turns out Mother Nature has her own say. And the winds that were supposed to slow down yesterday havent, and the squalls and rain we were supposed to be done with several latitudes ago (60 nautical miles to one degree of Latitude) havent abated until.....finally late this afternoon. After three days of a reefed mainsail, we have unleashed the "Beast" and are sailing along in relatively manageable seas and making fast tracks. I am so thankful for this great family that seems to take the bouncing motion of the boat in stride and never complains. We are trying to go as fast as we safely can, even if its a bit more bouncy, as a shorter trip leaves us less exposed to potential issues. The sun is finally out and it should be a beautiful sunset. Its a far memory early this morning in the dark, when we werent able to dodge a squall and took a strong down pouring huddled together in the drivers seat.

The day started with our generator not wanting to continue working, a pretty decent inconvenience given that we use it to charge things and run the watermaker. "Fault No. 36" had a number of different causes from overloads to several fuel issues, and Heather, relating back to her ATV Tricycle days properly diagnosed something wrong with the fuel. At this point we were still bouncing around in overcast weather and avoiding squalling thunderheads, so we initially wanted to wait to tackle this issue, but after a while we decided to give it a go- unpacking our 4 scuba tanks and their holder to access the generator. Tristan and Heather did a great job holding up a towel and using their bodies to deflect the ocean water spray from entering the compartment and I changed fuel filters, oil & oil filter and bled the system to get back a happy generator, just in time as the rain started pelting down. We hope we didnt get a bad batch of fuel, but we'll know shortly if the port engine acts up, as it shares a fuel tank with the generator.

We also had some fishing excitement- as we ALMOST landed a 5 ft. Wahoo. We had him, or her, as close as its head on our swimming steps but couldnt gaff it in time, and it made a final, successful kick to unhook itself. It was extremely exciting for the family to see the fish up close as it was astoundingly beautiful, and so, so powerful. It made several hard runs once we had it close, so we got several chances to see it, but ultimately it wasnt to be. They apparently are even better eating than Mahi Mahi, so its an extra bummer, but the lures are back out and we will be better prepared next time. We had several debrief chats about what we could do differently next time, and even after gaffing it, I think its a monumental task to land it and keep it without slicing up your fingers and legs on its razor sharp teeth. Our local kids swim team is named the Wahoos, so it really would have been groovy - I even wondered about keeping the head or the whole skeleton? It really is an amazing looking fish, and one I realized I have never seen before, and one you arent likely to see in an aquarium ever.

We are debating what to make for dinner as its hard to follow up Tristan taking the initiative and making Pizza from scratch last night. It was quite tasty with hand made dough and sauce and toppings including bacon, ham and bell peppers. He is quite excited and has been perusing the cooking books today for an encore- something we highly encourage.

Tomorrow is a big day for us- its Easter, and we hope the Easter Bunny knows where we are, AND we will cross the Equator tomorrow!!! We are currently at 01 degrees 13 minutes North Latitude- which means we have 73 southerly miles to go. We will probably remember this Easter for quite a while. We have gone 2372 nautical miles and probably have slightly less than 700 nm to go! We told the kids three and half weeks for the trip, and I was personally hoping to beat three weeks, and if all goes well we should do that easily. Its hard to believe the progress we have made, and that the end is starting to come in to sight- its truly been a multi decade dream, and a pretty big sailing milestone that we have almost accomplished. We hope for continued safe travels and for the boat to hold together and we are starting to read the island guides in greater detail!

We hope you are all doing awesome and having a great weekend- Happy Easter!!! CHRIS

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