Three Things
La Luna and her Moonbeam

The Endurance Crossing Continues

The 27th of December was a beautiful day. During my watch at midday, I enjoyed swell swells (yet another thing that has been lacking during this crossing), rolling up and under the boat in a calming rhythmic motion. EW sat on the settee down below, playing guitar and singing. This was how cruising was supposed to be. Almost.

For breakfast, I had made yet another hoebread, this one with oatmeal, served with peanut butter, and we each had a cup of tea. Heating water for tea uses much less butane than making coffee. EW had enjoyed a cup of tea on the early morning watch, and offered to make me a second cup after breakfast. He heated my water, and the butane ran out.

Of course.

In the meantime, EW had been delighted to inform me over breakfast that he had discovered a feature in the iPad navigational program that allowed him to enter a reciprocal course automatically. "See," he said, showing me the iPad, "here's our course and this pushpin shows the the reciprocal." I was less than impressed (though to be truthful, I can actually see why this could be very useful) and asked him why he thought going backwards right now would be a good thing. He didn't have an answer for that. I continued by saying that I wasn't going backwards for any reason whatsoever, concluding with, "As a matter of fact, if you were to fall overboard and I had to reverse direction to save you . . . I might not." He was speechless. "Although, if you could swim fast enough to catch up, I would help you get aboard. We are not going backwards."

I was still thinking about provisions, no butane, and no cold anything and one or two more nights on the boat. That was when I finally realized how clueless I had been in Tenerife: Even though I had tried to get the butane refilled in Graciosa, I had totally forgotten to do so in Tenerife, where it would been a simple matter -- despite making a huge (for boat life) Thanksgiving dinner including pie. Most of the problems with this trip have no blame, but the lack of butane is totally my bad.

We had 103 miles to go and figured we would be able to anchor in Pointe A Pitre harbor on the 28th. That would leave us with at least one lupper and another breakfast with no butane. Dinner on Saturday was supposed to be canned corned beef hash and a side of veggies with tinned fruit for "pudding". There would be no tea or hoecake for breakfast. As has been my practice during this butane/fridge emergency, I have informed EW of the "menu" for each meal well in advance. "For breakfast tomorrow we'll have drained tinned fruit with chopped nuts, appricots, and dates, topped with muesli." "That sounds good," said EW. "For lupper today we'll have a bean salad unless you want to eat cold corned beef hash like a cowboy." He frowned at that, and I continued with the theme, "If you opt for the hash, just eat it out of the can. Maybe we can make a fake campfire in the cockpit for ambiance. And really, if you're going to go that far, don't bother with a spoon. Just use this knife," pointing to the vicious folding knife we keep in the cockpit for emergencies. At this point I was laughing so hard I couldn't have heard his reply -- if he had offered one.

A few minutes later he went below, returning with our magnifying glass and a slip of paper. He sat in the cockpit, seemingly trying to view something on the paper. "What are you doing?" I finally asked. "Seeing if I can start a fire so I can heat my hash."

We're good. And yes, I would go back to pick EW up if he fell overboard.

We had bean salad with a side of beets, and the fruit mixture this morning was good enough for a breakfast when we we have all systems going.

Update. It's 7:20 LLT and Caribbean time -- which is where we are. Anchored in Guadeloupe. More tomorrow about our last day at sea! Cheers all! The Endurance Crossing has been completed.

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