Slofter wly We Sail, Knot by Knot
Balls! or All Balled Up.

It Was Noted In The Log

Careful readers may have surmised that this has not been a stress-free trip, and they would be correct. We've messed up and La Luna has messed up and there has been no "at least it happened here" moments since the alternator died just outside of the marina in Tenerife. We've had so many "Oh S#O*!" moments that I started a list. It now numbers 15. Don't ask.

Still, we try to keep both a sense of humor and a proper perspective. We are safe, we have plenty of food and water, and we are sailing to our goal. Just damn slowly. The diesel fuel wouldn't draim from storage to feed tank. No problem, EW has a small electric pump hooked to a fuel hose. The pump failed. Fortunately, a couple of days later he remembered where the spare part pump was and transferred the fuel. This was one of the easier problems. (There's more to the fuel story, but I'm not going there.)

When we were in Graciosa, I began obsessing over finding a full Disa butane tank for cooking. We had a partially used one (only a week or so) but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry on the crossing. (For those of you who missed it, Spain will not allow foreign butane/propane tanks to be filled. We had to buy one of theirs and rig up an adaptor for our system with help from Doug on S/V Hobnob.) When we detoured to Tenerife, the storm, the alternator, and my sister's illness caused me to forget my butane mission. You guessed it, we ran out of cooking gas two days ago. Fortunately Captain Spare Parts insisted we keep a small one burner butane camping stove and had stocked up on four or five small cans to fit it. We have two left. It's a bitch to use in any kind of sea motion as we must stand and hold the pot/pan for the full cooking time. No worries. It's getting plenty warm and I can make meals with canned veggie salads, and quickly cooked meat from the freezer.

Yesterday, I opened the freezer for the first time in two days to find it totally defrosted. You've heard of folks (particularly in books and movies) who throw things when they get angry? For the first time in my life I threw something, slamming a formerly frozen pack of mozzarella to the cabin sole and screaming bad words. Everything is defrosted. I think I also screamed like in Charlie Brown: "Arrrrgh!" Fortunately, we have a second system in that freezer that allows us to chill it down with the engine. Things won't freeze, but we will still have safe food for the rest of the trip.

That brings me to the log. I designed our log to suit our needs and it works great for us. Each page represents one 24 hour period and offers room for both general notes and a repair log. After EW went to sleep at midnight, I read the notes from his watch. "1800. Bubs noted the DC fridge has stopped and Freezer defrosted."

NOTED? Worse use of a verb. Ever. I did NOT "note". I screamed, I cursed, and I threw things.

I'm entitled.

And in case you think I'm the only crew member on board who is a bit chuffed -- the song lyrics EW was singing yesterday morning was "If they free me from this prison..." He can still make me laugh. Make a note of that.

The wind is building as promised to 10-14 knots, and is coming from a wonderful direction. If this lasts, we'll be in before New Year's Eve. As of 1334 UTC on December 20th, we are located at North 15 degrees 44.55 minutes and West 45 degrees, 50.33 minutes.

If you get this message and have the Sailmail address, forget the alphabet thing and drop us a line.

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