Last night, I was having a grand dream, something of a scale I’d never experienced before. I used to have dreams of spaceships and space exploration, and flying, which on their own were pretty good to wake up from. But last night’s dream felt like I was in a Marvel Comics movie. I just don’t have words for it, and I can’t really recall the play because of an uninvited guest who snapped me out of that crazy dream. A flying fish landed in the cabin and got stuck in a small nook, flapping like he was about to be done for. And he would have, except I don’t want to cook fish aboard. So the lucky dream squasher got picked up and thrown back in his element. Now if only Neptune could do the same and return me my sails!
Today was the first day I had a full breakfast, a full lunch, with desert, and a full dinner, each being made of two servings. Add a few snack bars too! So the man is eating. After banana/granola/milk, we had a three cheese Mac’n’cheese, chocolate cheesecake, and then pasta primavera. Loads of pasta, just as I like it. I remember somebody saying that a good meal to prepare in advance for a hard offshore sailing race, when you know everybody will be seasick, and none will want to cook, is a bunch of cold pizzas. I tried it but it didn’t work for me. I know what would work though: cold bolognese spaghetti, made with a homey sauce (not store bought)! That I can eat cold! I have splurged on many occasions! I love spaghetti! And lasagna too. Ok, mushroom risotto is up there too.
Man, that “primary” autopilot surely is leaving much to be desired. It stopped working again. I’m not sure yet what it is; I’ve received some information to run some troubleshooting (from Jerome of Sailutions, NKE guru, and Phil at PYI, Inc., who imports the Lecomble & Schmitt drives). I’m now running on the secondary AP. Note that I have spares, and a third fully functional autopilot. So we’re fine. But I do prefer to use apparent wind mode when we keep crossing lines of clouds with the wind shifting 10-20 degrees and bouncing up and down between 8 and 12 kts, and I’m trying sail upwind: I have a bruised boom to nurse until we make it home! We sailed under first reef all day and part of the night. On a side note I tried the gennaker today but we were to close winded for its useful range, I think. All day we’ve been sailing along Big Island’s big domes in light wind, making slow progress, trying to escape Hawaii’s grip. I’ll add a fee sunset pics. It’s night time now, I’ve cracked off the sheets as the wind veered a good 30 degrees, and down to second reef too.
I think some of you may be disappointed at how things turned out. This was after all a welcome distraction from the current apocalyptic news barrage: KKK revival? Check. A teacher beheaded, in France? Check. I’ll stop here. My little adventure was (hey! is, please, I’m still sailing, mind you) a window in a world devoid of these troubles. Ah, but sailing the high seas is no walk in the park! It’s grand, it’s fulfilling, it’s hard, exerting all sort of pressure on the body and soul, not to mention the boat and all equipment. And as a result news from the sea are not always rosy. That is the rule of the game: a ship is basically falling apart as soon as it gets out of the “manufactory” and is put in the water. Salty water and wind have harsh teeth!! Anyways, the distraction is over. Almost, there’s still the trip to San Francisco. Put it on 2020, with all the rest. What did I say about hindsight yesterday? Same applies to 2020.
Out there, there was nothing around me for miles. At some point as I was sailing further away my VHF radio went silent. Even the USCG station of San Francisco, with their powerful antennas high up the hills, couldn’t reach us after a while. The AIS had stopped showing any boat after a week I think. I was “out there”. I was where I wanted to be. However my vision of the “out there” didn’t match with what I had envisioned: a fair breeze on gently rolling sea. What I found is a cauldron of water bashing around from seemingly all directions, with a few predominant swells. A real mess! If there had to be major repairs the plan was to wait for a quiet day, a gentle sea, and proceed. What I discovered is that those days are rare. Even if the breeze lightens up, the sea is the memory of everything that happened close by and far away, and it moves big time! I’m being told that this was the perfect year to go: everybody is stuck at home, businesses aren’t hiring much, and what I already said above. Sometimes perfect doesn’t work …