April 5, 2015
I woke up slowly this morning having gone through a night of watches. Sleeping on a moving boat and being responsible for that boat is not relaxing. Even at anchor with a steady wind blowing, I have not been sleeping soundly. My ears, nose and motion sensors are all actively accessing the situation – constantly. The night before, early on, there was a crashing “BOOOOM.” Our telescoping spinnaker pole broke. The extension or telescoping section could not support the tension of the outstretched genoa and crashed back in. Fortunately, it was during Eric’s own watch, so he dealt with it.
9:10 pm. It is still Easter Sunday, but the day has darkened outside. I’m on the first watch from 8:00 p.m. until 10, then I will repeat a watch early in the morning from 4:00-6:00 a.m. The moon is just rising. It is an eerie yellow full moon. The wind is coming from dead downwind. Once again, it is not coming from a great direction for Kandu. We’re trying to conserve fuel, so no motoring right now. We are also trying to see what it’s like to use less energy.
Much of my on-land and sea days are involved in keeping the family fed and watered…and then cleaning-up. This morning, because it was Easter, and due to the calm sea situation, I felt inspired to make pancakes served with applesauce. The boys requested chocolate chip pancakes. We did not have an Easter egg hunt as they had hoped, so chocolate pancakes it was! Instead of an Easter church service, I decided to acknowledge the day with a morning full of Easter music: Handel’s Messiah and later Sylvia McNair singing Exsultate Jubilate. It was glorious music to hear while floating along in the middle of the ocean.
We are a little speck moving on a massive waterway with no land in sight. Most of the time I do not allow myself to think about the possibilities of what could go wrong. But I catch myself at different times of the day, everyday, taking account of our rather precarious situation. We are so alone, out in foreign waters, watching the radar, paying close attention to the sea patterns, the wind, the provisions, the amount of water and propane being consumed, the direction (navigation), and keeping tabs on the general mental health of the crew.
After cleaning up breakfast, we all had some quiet time. I listened closely to Handel while playing a bit of Sudoku; the guys worked on the rigging. Dad taught Bryce how to seize the ends of the lines and ropes, offering him a dollar per end seized. I asked how to do it also and helped with six or seven ends. There are always ends of rope that need attention.
I brought out knives to sharpen in anticipation of catching a fish! Bryce put out the trolling lines, in hopes of snagging some unsuspecting tuna, to no avail. Since it was Easter, I wanted to make sure to prepare delicious meals, well balanced and as fresh as possible. For lunch, I prepared a cucumber, tomato, red onion and feta type cheese salad served with crackers and smoked tuna that we had bought at the Ensenada fish market. It was light and tasty.
Looking through my “Boat Galley Cookbook,” I tried to figure out what kind of fun desert I could make. Bryce decided to bake cookies. He was excited to eat a fresh tasting dessert. Eric doesn’t eat added sugar foods anymore, so I often refrain from baking sweets out of respect for his choice. But with two boys around, they do want to enjoy fresh sweets from time to time. Easter seemed the perfect time to make it happen.
Aside from baking cookies, during much of the afternoon, the boys and I played games starting with checkers, then one of our favorite card games: Rummy. We really enjoy ourselves with that game. We were even able to play outside because the wind and swell were not powerful.
I got a chance to read a bit while Eric worked with the boys on trouble shooting the sump pump for the aft shower. Then it was time for dinner preparations: boiled potatoes, grilled Mexican bacon wrapped hotdogs, and romaine salad with shredded carrots, red onions, celery, topped with our favorite dressing: ‘Annie’s Shitake Sesame.’ All these fresh foods today were quite luxurious since our fresh salad supplies will only remain through tomorrow. We are down to one fresh egg, 3 boiled eggs, 2 oranges and some limes. The rest of the passage will be canned fruit and frozen vegetables along with pastas, beans and rice. Tomorrow we’ll eat bean soup from yesterday’s large pot that I made in advance while in Bahia Maria.
Yesterday, I got a bit overwhelmed with the idea of cooking and providing for 5 people 3 times per day for many days on end when we travel to the Galapagos and then onward to the Tuamotus. I have got to create some future menus in advance for our long passages so the task doesn’t overcome me.
9:50 p.m. My first watch of the night is almost over. It’s been a long day with no nap. Winds are holding generally from one direction. This is important to note before handing off the watch to Trent. If the winds were to have changed, then I would have had to wake Eric to reset the sails; I still defer to him at the moment. As it is, the wind is blowing at about 10-11 knots, but we’re only going about 3.8 to 4 knots because the sails are not capturing efficiently.
A little prayer before I turn over the watch to Trent: “Thank you Lord for our easy sailing south, our solid boat, fair winds and seas. I am grateful for our safe travels. Thank you on this most important day that we remember Jesus’s sacrifice for us. We are blessed…in Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.”
Leslie Dennis Rigney
Post script: today we plan to sail 15 days to the Galapagos from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Uncle Bill is going us.