After 15 days of sailing on a starboard tack, cooking on a starboard tack, life as we know it has literally flopped around. We are now heading in a NE direction, aka home, and it sure feels good! We motored throughout the night, amongst glassy seas and a dark sky. The fuel line plugged up at around two in the morning, meaning Farrell had to change the fuel filter, which added some excitement to our night. We are daydreaming about an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep. Josh says 10 would be preferred.
It pays to have your nose out of the sudoku book once in a while, as we were treated to an incredible dolphin show around mid-day. Twenty dolphins twisted and turned off our bow keeping with us for around half an hour. Truly one of those magical moments in life. Josh and I managed to get some awesome underwater footage of the dolphins with GoPro, and have been reliving the moment with the footage afterwards!
As Josh cut off the dark bits of the meat, the filet of fish twitched in his hand. Minutes later, seared in coconut oil, we feasted on the best tuna I’ve ever tasted. After days of pasta, canned soup and oatmeal, the fish was everything we could ask for (although some consistent wind would be nice too.) We enjoyed the company of Henry, the albatross, who followed us closely for an hour after we brought in Mr. Tuna, hoping he would get lucky too. Josh managed to filet the fish while it dangled overboard, meaning our cockpit isn’t covered in blood like it was with Mr. Dorado. Always a bonus!
Nothing much to report today, other than we are hoping to start making easting by tomorrow morning. Although we are now in line with Oregon State, we are still way in the middle of the Pacific and are waiting for the wind to change direction to push us home. Upon studying the charts, it shows that we are closer to the islands off Alaska than we are to Vancouver Island. Change of plans? Though tempting, we are ready for some family time, doggy hugs and cat cuddles.
Christine’s note: Tomorrow they should break the 1000nm left mark. They are making excellent distance each day with 122nm yesterday and 112nm today. I am not yet ready to announce their arrival date but … getting closer. I woke up to a much better wind prediction today so am expecting continued wonderful progress.
We’ve reached halfway! The sun is out, we’ve done our daily push-ups (plus some), and we’ve made great distance in the last 24 hours; we are feeling good.
Our planned celebration was of course to involve some beer, it’s been hiding in the bilge out of temptation for this special occasion. But it was to our terror that we found some of the cans empty. As I have been indulging in murder mysteries on my night watches, it is only fitting that I use my sleuthing skills to crack this devastating case.
Theory 1: Our small Hawaiian stowaways (aka the cockroaches) are wrecking havoc and have been partying it up in the bilge.
Theory 2: Josh’s love for beer has caused him to shift his morals and he has been secretly quenching his thirst for a brew while Farrell and I are deep in slumber.
Theory 3: Farrell thinks his status as Captain gives him the ultimate right to double his liquor rations, but doesn’t want to admit it in fear of mutiny.
Theory 4. Obviously I am innocent despite my recent headaches; however, a good detective must not rule out any possible lead.
Theory 5: The seawater has corroded the cans, leaving nothing but a hollow can and crushed dreams.
I must go and test the remainder of the beer, to help determine if my theories are correct of course.
Remember when I said I liked falling asleep to the purring engine? I take it all back. Yesterday’s headache was enough for me to ask our crew, Josh, to write a guest post (thanks Josh!) We are now happy to be sailing again, running at a broad reach averaging 5 knots, sans headache.
Before we left, we followed a family who did this trip to Hawaii and back a few months before us. While reading their Facebook updates, I was always confused why they mentioned food so much. 2 weeks in and I know exactly why. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all consuming processes throughout the day, never leaving the mind (especially Josh’s). How do we make our day more interesting? Definitely with food! So forgive me if you read an update and are thinking ‘I don’t care what you ate for dinner Kayleen.’ I am starting to get better at making something out of nothing. And by nothing I mean canned food.
We are currently enjoying a sunny day, a few games of crazy eights and a shower! Tomorrow marks the half way point. We are all excited to get over the mental hurdle and to begin the final countdown!
Christine’s note: I just got off the sat phone with Farrell. They are in great spirits – getting ready to introduce Josh to ‘A Knight’s Tale’ with movie night. Too full from dinner to get out the jiffy pop and by the sounds of it have barely started on week two’s canned food. So they have lots of ‘nothing’ left which makes me, the provisioner feel good. Given that today is Day 12 – that is great!
I am Josh, the late crew member (aka the bilge boy) and I have been assigned by Kayleen to write a guest blog. I have been having a great time on Fenwick Light! We are living the dream out here in the middle of the Pacific. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that when we are attempting to fix the head stay ruler while taking waves over the bow, when we find water dripping onto our bunks or when we discover we have some small Hawaiian stowaways hitching a ride to Canada (see blog Day 2.7). It is all a part of this epic adventure. Best part? It’s not over yet!
Finally they are reporting some wind, but we are wondering how much of a low is developing near them (too much wind?) and that shifty high has shifted higher up and nearer to Vancouver Island (along with a huge wind system from the NW that will be along Vancouver Island’s west coast.) As usual the home fronts are watching carefully … trying not to count down the days … but ….
and a few days from now … with their current position marked.
The good thing about motoring is that it drowns out all other noise. My bunk puts my head right at the engine and I happily fall asleep to the purr of the iron genny. We are hoping this night and day of motoring puts us through the pieces of the broken up high, clear to continue on in our usual NE direction. Josh and I enjoyed another swim this morning; who needs showers anymore?! And as we get closer to evening, I am hoping we get another show from some Dolphins, which has turned into an almost regular occurrence. Are Dolphins nocturnal? I should really know my spirit animal better.
We have gotten to that point in the trip where the excitement has worn off and the realization that we still have two weeks of travel sets in. The mental challenges that come with thriving on a 34 foot boat with two others are definitely present as we push forward. So how does one fill up a day? Today’s methods to feign off boredom included:
- A few epic battles of X’s and O’x.
- An hour exchanging heroic stories of pain, fear, amongst other personal triumphs.
- Stuffing our faces with trail mix while discussing that we will probably gain weight this trip instead of losing it.
- Cloud watching. I think offshore sailing is a definite way to get in touch with your inner kid again. Not that I had any troubles with that before.
- And of course our daily push-ups and planks. Any other suggestions for boat workouts? Josh thinks he should tow the boat in the next calm.
Christine’s note: Below is a relative close up of their position relative to Windyty. The variations in colour show the variations in intensity in wind which is making conditions a bit frustrating. Hopefully in a few days we will have them in strong but steady winds once again.
One of the most frustrating things for a sailor is when the wind dies and the rigging is slapping against the mast. The sounds gets on your nerves within minutes. Do you use precious fuel? Or wait it out for who knows how long? Is that a wind line on the horizon? The good thing about light winds is that we got to go swimming! A quick jump into the water can make anyone feel better.
Yesterday’s dorado smells like stanky fish today, so unfortunately we had to send the rest back to the sea gods. We were pretty pleased we got through about 2/3 of it. Now back to macaroni and canned food!
One week at sea from Oahu and we are over 700nm away from the Hawaiian islands. Mr. Dorado must have heard about our need for a celebration so decided to help us out.
After yesterday’s catch of the Dorado that got away, we were pretty pleased to wake up with a good sized on already on the line. Josh did the honours of cleaning and gutting him and we all attempted to clean the cockpit of blood. A breakfast of fish steaks was a good way to start the day! Hopefully we will be able to eat it all without any waste in the next couple days.
In other news, we seem to have acquired some friends aboard. And by friends, I mean cockroaches. We are just hoping they don’t multiply too much before arriving home in two or so weeks! But for now, I’ll be sleeping with my eyes open.