It's taking a bit of time to settle into the routine...a 3 hour sleep schedule, and learning how to walk pitched over at 20 degrees. The winds have been fantastic - so fantastic we had to take the main sail in, and are now just using the genoa and the mizzen. The ride is much better and we are going just as fast. Last night, the winds got up to 34knots, and sleep was impossible. Today it has calmed down some, and we're back in happy sailing mode.
As I was contemplating life up in the dark cockpit last night around 4pm, I was applauding William Garden, the naval architect that created the design for the Vagabond. Imagine this....with a 15 knot breeze, we are able to move a 40,000 pound boat, outfitted with 250 gallons of diesel, 300 gallons of water, 50 gallons of gasoline, and provisions for 6 months for 2 people. At this speed, our journey to the Galapagos should take 5 and 1/2 days, a distance of ~600nm. Not bad. It's times like these that make me question how we as a society seem to forgo the freebies that Mother Nature gives us. Solar, wind....they are all there for the taking, you just need to reach out and grab them.
When I came up for my watch last night, Ron said..."check this out", and shone a flashlight into the dark ocean beside the boat. Thousands and thousands of little eyes peered back. The birds were having a feeding frenzy, and the fish were furiously jumping out of harm's way, some of them even making it to the relative safety of our deck. Safe for us, but not for little fishes. At night with windy conditions (actually in all conditions), we all stay within the safe confines of our pilothouse. I have 3 fears...1) not being able to find my boat in a crowded anchorage after a night boozing on the town (this happened to someone we were with in Cabo), 2) not having an autopilot (we now have 2, plus a mechanical windvane) and 3) coming up to take over my watch, and finding the cockpit empty (this, thank goodness, has never happened). I don't "impose my will" too often over Ron, but he is REQUIRED to take a leak in the head, not over the edge of the boat. Too many sailors have been found with their flys undone.
Time: 11:00am, December 29, 2014
Position: 00 12'.089S, 084 25'631W
Winds: 16-20 knots
Speed: 5.5 knots
COG: 263 degrees
Ground Trip Log: 251.5 nm
Over and out.