We're close. We'll drop the anchor tomorrow.
Sailing conditions have improved over the past 24 hours, finally. We now have an idea of what we have to look forward to, over the coming months, sailing-wise.
On the breakage front, I notice everything is rusting and corroding. We had a lot of rain a couple weeks back, but since then, with the boisterous sailing, everything has been repeatedly drenched in salt water with no rinse. The stanchion bases are the worst. There was a bit of orange weeping onto the gel coat before we left, but in the past 14 days it's come to look like our decks have been blasted by rust-colored paint from a fire hose. Down below, the little hand pump on our Hart Systems Tank Tender gauges is no longer working with the smooth action it's had since we bought the boat. Unfortunately, it's been in the line of fire of the sneaker waves that have burst through the galley portlight.
There is a kayak in front of the portlight above Windy's berth, so we rarely close it as the likelihood of water finding its way through there is slim--but not impossible, as we found out two days back when at least a couple gallons rained down on our v-berth. Now, her fan (beneath that portlight) is squealing like a 2-year-old.
We're looking forward to some rain.
Oh, it's probably unrelated to salt, but we noticed yesterday evening perhaps the worst failure of this passage; our wind instrument--the one that tells us direction and speed of the wind--is not functioning. I suspect a bird attack on the sending unit at the top of the mast, but we won't know until I haul Windy up there after we anchor. It's funny because for all the years I owned her, I didn't have a wind instrument on the last Del Viento and I never missed it. I kept pieces of magnetic tape tied to my rigging, tape pulled regularly from a worn-out Joni Mitchell cassette. How in the world did I sail? How did I know when to reef? How did I heave-to in the pitch dark to put in a reef? It's a mystery to me, like how does anyone get out of their car to open a garage door after learning to live with a garage door opener? Fortunately this disaster did not befall us before this point in the passage. We'll limp into port somehow.
A note on stores:
We're still on our same 10-gallon propane tank, and not for lack of use this past month. We've baked and cooked up a storm on this passage. But I do expect it to run out soon, which will leave us our remaining tank until we reach Tahiti, which may be a challenge.
Nearly all our perishables are exhausted. All that remains is one jicama (will be eaten today), about a dozen limes, two potatoes, three onions, one tiny cabbage, and two heads of garlic.
And water. Our family of four left Cabo with no watermaker, two 50-gallon tanks full, four 5-gallon jerry cans full, and three 2-gallon jugs full. We use fresh water (foot water pump in the galley, hand pump in the head--pressure water off for the duration) for drinking, teeth brushing, very light dish rinsing and some washing, hand washing, cooking (such as pasta), and some cleaning (floors and bodies). Here on day 26, one-half of our port tank remains, one-quarter of our starboard tank, all of the 5-gallon jerry cans, and none of the three 2-gallon jugs. We could definitely be more conservative and go for much longer than we have. That said, we've consumed about 30 liters of milk, 4 liters of apple juice, about two-dozen small cans of club soda, about three-dozen cans of beer, about 16 small cans of ginger ale, and 16 tiny cans of Coke (night watch caffeine source). We hear there is plenty of fresh water in the Marquesas and we'll need it--heaps of it--to wash all our filthy bedding and laundry and to rinse away all the salt that's found its way below.
As I sign off, 10:00 pm on May 9, 2015, we are 85 miles from Fatu Hiva. On her sunrise watch, Windy will surely be the first to see the islands.
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Position Report: April 26, 2017
12 hours ago