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Day 3 "At Sea"

As I write this, EW and I are sailing La Luna to St. Thomas. We are currently at North: 15 36.61 and West 63 12.12 -- which is about twenty miles east of Aves Islands -- a little tiny island owned by Venezuela. It is a beautiful day. In fact we've had nearly perfect weather for the trip. That does not mean I didn't get grouchy yesterday.

We met some incredible sailors in Trinidad -- folks who've completed their circumnavigation; folks who will leave Trini on the last legs of their circumnavigation; and folks who've sailed the rivers and bays of Western Africa, the Med, Europe, South America; and of course folks like us who've sailed down from the States and have been exploring the Caribbean for one, two, or even ten years. Many of the last group have island hopped and never sailed for more than two days at a time. EW and have consistently tried to find routes that would require us to sail for four days or more and sometimes we've been at sea, tacking to windward for four days on a two-day passage. Oh, that's fun.

Last winter, a conversation with Ted and Marita on s/v Aurora led us to try a new watch schedule. In good weather, we take six hour watches at night and four hour shifts during the day. This creates five shifts, so each day we are on a different schedule. The person with the six to midnight watch on one day gets two four-hour off watches the following day, allowing us to get a bit extra sleep and still get stuff done. I prepare a few meals before leaving, then can make a fresh meal on my day "off". If I do it right, I only cook on my light watch day and just heat and assemble on the other days. As I've said before, I like to take the midnight to six watch on the first night, as I'm more likely to sleep a bit better. Still, neither of us get a full 6 hours on our off watch the first night.

Evidently I need a day to acclimate to overnight passages. We left Trinidad at eleven on Sunday -- about 18 hours after we were supposed to leave. Shhhh -- don't tell them. We were rested and the boat was ready to go. We tried to keep to the watch schedule once the sails were set, but it was difficult to nap. On Monday we -- particularly I -- was grouchy. I believe I said, "Where is this reaching and downwind you spoke of?" EW was surprised. "We are reaching. This is a close reach." I snorted. "The boat is heeling and things are rolling. That's not a reach. A reach is when we can use that whisker pole you were so excited to rig. The one we've NEVER used." He didn't know quite what to make of this. We have had 10-18 knots of wind for the entire sail. We have been able to sail the rhumb line. Except for one small rain shower, we have had clear skies with sun, stars, and a large waning moon. I have nothing to complain about. I just needed a little more sleep, and the chance to get used to life on board at sea.

I was so grouchy and out of sorts that I worried about our plans to sail across the Atlantic next spring. EW had no idea exactly how pissy I felt - at least I didn't infect him. This morning, over home-made muffins and portugals -- tangerines from Trinidad -- I told him what I'd been going through. We'll just have to remember that it takes a day or two for me to get into the swim, if you will. In the meantime, I intend to enjoy the rest of this particular passage. We showered on deck while the muffins were baking. So we're safe, well-fed, clean, and enjoying a great sail. What's not to like?

NEWS FLASH! As I was writing this, at approximately quarter to ten on November 6 - EW's birthday - he caught a mahi-mahi or dolphin fish off of our boat! This is the first fish he's caught off our boat. I'm so excited. Photos were taken - once fish was safely on board this time. See the EW is NOT a Hunter Gatherer post to find out what that means. Guess it's fresh fish for EW's birthday dinner. Good thing it's my day with more time off watch.

Comments

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Diana

Yeah Stew!! Your status as a fisherman is just going up and up. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

Diana
S/V One White Tree

Darleen najera

I knew he'd get the hang of it. Yeah!! I bet the fish liked the clean shower smell. Lol happy birthday. You two rock. Xo

Jen

We'll be waiting for you at this end! Excited to see you soon.
Sissy, Jen & Ryan

Tim Holtschneider

It must have been that great fishing training we gave him in Grenada.
Tim

Linda and Chris

Thinking of you and missing you both!

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