Today was a new one in the annals of Ocelot sailing ... a day of so little wind we barely made 100 miles, even with a favorable current. If we had appointments to keep and places to be, it might have been frustrating, but it has been surprisingly peaceful. At a mere 5 knots of wind the sails billow, and we move along about 2.5 knots. It has been a day to catch up on sleep. To have quiet conversations. To read and study.
We celebrate breaking 3 knots.
Not the most comfortable way to wash hair
The sea rolls and swells, heaving upwards in long heavy lumps. The only white caps are from flying fish, diving seabirds, and feeding dolphins. The fridge works hard to maintain our need for cold water. The solar panels revel in the direct sun. Though the equatorial heat beats down on our teak and white fiberglass deck we can escape to the bliss of the shade of our bimini and in our large and airy salon.
We have discussed jumping in the ocean for a swim, but not with the boat still moving. The fathomless deep blue is both enticing, and gives us pause. Amanda and Sue wash their hair with buckets of 80 degree sea water. The evening sun shower gives the final fresh-water rinse of the day.
Night watches are glorious under waxing moon, the air now warm and moist. We no longer need jackets or long pants to keep warm as we did over the cool waters of the Galapagos.
Arthur, the sea-cat, has actually left his helm seat and wandered below to say Hello. But not for long. The cockpit teak deck under the bimini calls him for a nap. On calm nights he is awake and keeps us company much of the night to alert us of approaching dolphins.
Ocelot and her intrepid crew drift along 547 miles from Fatu Iva. The GPS tells us we are at 6° 26' S, 130° 23' W. The numbers keep changing so we must be going somewhere, but our vast platter of blue sea never changes. Today only the sky changes from glorious star-studded night, to the pastel blue of pre-dawn, to the deep blue of noon, and now the pink and gold-lined cumulus clouds of sunset.
All is well on board. -- Sue, Jon, Chris, and Amanda
10 June 2003
Hello everyone, those I have met, and those I haven't.
This comes from Arthur, although I can't exactly spell, and my paws can't hit the right keys very well, so Amanda is typing this for me. I wondered why Amanda forced me out of my delightful mid-day slumber to let you know what I'm feeling, but then, when she told me about my huge fan club out there, I just couldn't resist.
Arthur keeping Jon company on the helm seat
Life on the ocean - I can't imagine these people did this to me. All that... wetness everywhere. Good thing I'm safe and sound up on my seat. I seldom leave it. The water's further away. I could probably jump the height myself if I wished to, but water is not me, and so far it has not tried to take me from my safe comfort. Down "below," inside that cage that my humans call the salon, it is terrifying. All those water sounds all around me, and then the ground under my feet leaps up. It's all I can do to stay on my own four paws. The last few days have been better though, not as much movement or noise. Very peaceful in fact. I miss sleeping on Amanda's bed at night, but as she stays up with me occasionally, that's not so bad.
And all the smells around! The water, the salt - water I know, and the smell of it is always welcome, but it is still odd to me the mixture of salt into it. Salt is for licking, and then you need water. Perhaps someone decided to make it more convenient and mix the two? My food, never far from me, and the homey smells of... well, my home! But most importantly is my food. I have noticed if I do not feel like jumping down off my perch, all I have to do is bite whoever is sitting up near me and voila! the food approacheth. It is fun manipulating my family. For example, if I smell that fishy smell that I have noticed sometimes, and hear a puff of water and air, I sit up and look around. The next thing I know, all my humans are running around, yelling "dolphins! dolphins!" I'm not quite sure why they do this, but it is fun to know I have power over them.
Today is hot, just like o so many that have all blended together in my... what's that word? mim...? mem...? ah, well, I cannot remember. I personally think these humans are crazy, to stay up so long while it is so hot, and so I shall retire to the cool of my tent on the seat for yet another nap, and let Amanda finish up with the technicalities of this message.
We changed our waypoint to Ua Pou, about 50 miles further away than Fatu Iva, so we have just passed 500 miles - again. The wind is still light and we are ghosting along at 4-5 knots. We're at 6° 46' S, 132° 06' W at 16:30 PST.
Blue skies, happy sailing, and whistle for some wind!
The Ocelots - Arthur, Amanda, Chris, Jon, and Sue Hacking
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