Saturday, March 28, 2009

From s/v Circadia

Friday, March 27
12:00 noon Mountain time, 11:00am PST
Position: 17 degrees, 48 minutes N, 116 degrees, 31minutes W
Nautical Miles travelled: 510
Many thanks to my friend Michael ( for posting these blog entries, which we are sending via single side-band radio.

Our fifth day. And now the sea resembles nothing so much as a wilderness, a vast blue desert. Life is sparse and when it appears, usually solitary: a single Laysan Albatross, a White-tailed Tropicbird (which circled the boat, longingly inspecting the rigging for possible resting spot). Watching a tiny storm petrel zig-zagging over the waves, it seems unlikely that such a thing survives here; yet it would be warm, its heart beating, and it would smell of the musty oil it secretes to waterproof its plumage.
Our routines are now settling, the day and night dissolving into pieces of wakefulness and sleep. When not on watches we read and write, cook, and eat. Our appetites are coming back, which is a good thing as we have A LOT of food on board. Hammocks lashed to the ceiling rails above me swing heavily, stuffed with grapefruits, oranges, jicama, avocadoes, pineapple…
The night watches are cool, we had to dig out sweaters and fleeces for first time in months. The southern sky is thick with constellations, which I must spend some time untangling soon.
The days are punctuated by small things. For example the haircut I gave Tavish-leaving (at his request) a jaunty mullet (which has fortunately been recorded in photos, as he is threatening to cut it off).
When the winds are steady and we can sail downwind we hoist the big blue spinnaker and make 7 or 8 knots. Mostly the wind has been light, pushing us along at 5-6 knots. A couple of nights ago we lost it for a few hours and drifted slowly, the rigging banging, reverberating in the drum of the boat, until we gave up and ran the engine. We have to be careful with fuel. The trip is 2600 miles long and we have enough fuel for about 300 miles. (And after a few hours of no wind, we definitely want to be able to outrun the dreaded doldrums, which still lie many days away).

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hello Alison- seems like a year since Honduras. I envy you traveling from the smell of green through the smells of squid and storm petrel feathers. Hoping to hear of whales breath. Take care.