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7-8 May 04

Screaming along with 30 knots of wind behind us
Screaming along, 30 knots of wind behind us

Friday, 7 May 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

Yesterday we had a nice quiet sail for the most part, but at 4:30 this morning the wind started piping up smartly, so Chris and I (Jon) reefed the main (by moonlight) and rolled up a bit of jib as well.  Daylight found us with 25-35 knots of wind, thankfully dead behind us.  We're currently running wing and wing, making about 7-9 knots.  But I saw 11 knots on the paddle-wheel knot-log, and the GPS says we hit 13+ knots.  The biggest swells are only about 10 feet (3m), so we're not surfing too much.  Amanda made a delicious lamb curry (with apricots and bananas, on cous-cous) and Chris produced a nice lamb stew tonight, so we're doing well.

The following table shows our position at local noon on each day, as well as our daily run and how far we still have to go, both in nautical miles (about 6,000ft).


You want to avoid these sorts of rain squalls if you can
You want to avoid these sorts of rain squalls
May
2004
South
Latitude
West
Longitude
Day's
Run
Miles
to go
Wind
Speed and Dir
 Comments
Wed 5 16 27' 152 15' 0 1,248 8-17@140  Start in Maupiti
Thu 6 16 19' 154 38' 145 1,114 12-20@165  Nice sailing
Fri 7 16 38' 157 28' 166 950 20-35@165  25kt winds, surfing

We are all well, except that I (Jon) am feeling a bit headachy, probably from sleep deprivation.  Ocelot's sailing very well, but at these speeds we get a lot of bumps and bangs from waves slapping us, as well as some creaks and groans as the hull flexes a bit.  These are all normal, but they keep me awake.  And we're all a bit tired of the color gray.  Where are our blue skies and puffy white clouds that they show in all the travel brochures?

Fair winds -- The intrepid crew of Ocelot


7-8 May 04

Saturday, 8 May 2004

Arthur hates water almost as much as he hates sailing
Arthur hates water almost
as much as he hates sailing

Meow!

This is Arthur, the sea-cat taking a moment from my 10th nap of the day to let you know what the intrepid crew of Ocelot are up to.  They do say THANK YOU to everyone who has written, and they plan to get back to everyone personally, but this has been a rough trip, so it may be a little while.

They're just lucky I didn't have a chance to write this at breakfast time today because I would have used some nasty words to describe what they did to me.  It all started last night when the humans disturbed me from my evening grooming to shake the lines, crank the winches, and wrap me up in a big yellow cloth.  Said there was too much wind!  They did this thing they call "reefing the main."  Never made sense to me.  I thought reefs were things you were supposed to snorkel on or avoid.  But there they were, "taking a 3rd reef."  They apparently took the 1st and 2nd reefs sometime earlier, probably while I was asleep.  They never seem to give the reefs back.

3 reefs in the main & much of the jib rolled up as well
3 reefs in the main and much of the jib rolled up as well

It was a dark night.  The moon was supposed to come up about 9 PM but by then the sky was covered.  No problem for me, but humans have a tough time of it.  I kept everyone awake on their "watch" (which is really cat appreciation time) until about 4:30 AM when Chris was outside with me.  Well, the wind started howling like a rabid dog and the rain blew sideways into the cockpit, and the silly yellow cloth over me just soaked right through me and Chris and everything.  Jon came out all wrapped up like a yellow-fin tuna and he and Chris ignored me while they steered the boat with the engines on.  They were yelling things like "fall off" (which is the STUPIDEST command a human can give) and "50 knot winds", which sounds like a lot of knots to me.

This went on for a few hours, and I became the punk-hairstyle-cat of the South Pacific.  Disgraceful.  Sue and Amanda came up when the sky got lighter (I hesitate to say the sun came up) also wearing plastic-y yellow clothes.  What made me really mad was that I couldn't bite Sue through the yellow thing to let her know I wasn't happy, wanted my food, wanted to be dry and cozy.  Speaking of food, these dumb humans put my bowl outside the galley window twice in the night, and twice it turned into swollen, mushy junk not even a dog would eat.

The sun poked through later in the day, Sue gave me dry food in a bowl with a cover (DUH!) and I got a chance to groom away the punk look.  Here's how we've progressed as of noon each day:

May
2004
South
Latitude
West
Longitude
Day's
Run
Miles
to go
Wind
Speed and Dir
 Comments
Wed 5 16 27' 152 15' 0 1,248 8-17@140  Start in Maupiti
Thu 6 16 19' 154 38' 145 1,114 12-20@165  Nice sailing
Fri 7 16 38' 157 28' 166 950 20-35@165  25kt winds, surfing
Sat 8 16 41' 161 01' 145 805 20-55@165  55kt squalls in am, 30kts all day

We have 3 reefs in the main, the jib is partially rolled up, it's been blowing 30 knots all day(!) and we're splashing along at about 8 knots, with whitecaps following us.  They're using 2 towels and an old sail-cover to keep me dry - the cat with the most towels wins!

Meow, Cheers  --  Arthur (telepathing through Sue's fingers)

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