LINKS FOR THE YEAR 2001
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Log for 5/6/01 by APW.
Not Quite half way to the Marquises. We have been 12 days with 15-25K winds from the SE, seas are 8ft. We have all sails up and haven't touched a sheet the wholetime. No others ships or airplanes sighted- one plastic trash bag seen floating by on the waves. I've been sick once, Stew once, and Phil not at all. I check in every morning on SSB with the "Little Fish net"-18 or so other boats all headed in the same direction,the only other wackos in the middle of the Pacific.One turned back because of steeing failure, one blew out their mainsail, two computers lost, one from a wave crashing on deck and the other from falling on to the floor. After listening in to this net, I am embarassed to be an American. More on that in the full log. Iwalani just keeps on going- no problems knock on wood. We are eating well- cooking relieves the boredom, and have become full fledged Jaba the Hutts. We move from one semi-prone position to another and call it a day. I can not fathom the mentality that enjoys this lifestyle. We are making baggy wrinkle, to stave off boredom- a type of sail protector wrapped around the metal shrouds to prevent chafe. We also have been emailing people-if you get an email that sys 433876410@c-link-that's us-don't delete it. Time to slug up the companionway and check for ships-Hahaha-APW
Log for May 13th, 2001 07 24s 129 14w Approaching Marquises by PS
For those of you who thought I most have taken a Bitter Pill before writing my last log, I'll try and explain our situation in more poetic terms. Blue, white and black. These are the only colors we see. Constant motion under our feet,never able to relax. Except for sleep.(Although it's like being in a cradle,suspended from a tree branch,in a strong wind.) Sleep is our only escape from this world of heaving and three colors.In sleep,we can dream of green hills and colorful flowers. In sleep, we can stand still. Perfectly still. Without the fear of being thrown to our knees.In sleep,we can smell damp forests and low tide.But sleep is not totally ideal.We sleep alone.Our partner on watch. Fall asleep alone.Wake up alone.After years of nighttime companionship,it's hard to adjust.You never adjust. Sleep just overtakes you.
I hope you begin to understand what life is like at sea. It's not the weekend sail along the coast, where the scenery constantly changes. Where navigagation and weather tasks keep your mind working. This is tradewind sailing across vast streches of ocean. Where you never touch a sheet or change your course for weeks at a time. Where your mind goes numb.
Enough.Everything on the boat is going well. Between the tradewind sailing and the autopilot, Iwalani is like an entity of her own. If we set her sails and the autopilot back in the Galapagos, took a water taxi back to shore and waited for her 4 weeks later in the Marquises, she would arrive of her own accord. What a boat.PS
Log for May 20,2001 by APW.
NukuHiva,Marquises. We made it. 26 days at sea.No major problems. Last night,Phil,Stew and I had a luxurious sleep together, like flatware in a silverware drawer. I became landsick once the boat stopped rolling and had to re-apply Scopolamine. We are anchored in Taioehae Bay, with 38 other cruising boats. Most of them, we have seen before. The bay is surrounded by very tall steep sided verdant mountains giving it the appearance of a green mixing bowl, with us yachts as small pieces of macaroni bobbing around in a cup full of broth at the bottom. Waterfalls send fresh water into the bay clouding the water. The concrete street running through town is clean and neat. No litter anywhere. Grass neatly raked and many flowering hibiscus, bougainvillas, orchids and other exotics I can't identify. Architecture has a French flavor- no cement square Ecuadorian buildings here.No buildings bigger than two stories. The people are prosperous.They have been selling Noni, a fruit which is fermented and sold to the US; everyone drives a fancy brand new Land Rover 4x4. The windows are tinted and scowels abound on the driver and passengers. Gone are the infamous beautiful wide Polynesian smiles. Colts and horses wander around downtown like stray dogs.They are fat and shiny, hopefully the French influence doesn't extend to include them in the Polynesian menu. Food is expensive, I guess everything is expensive here. We have one week to pay our bond. This is equivalent to the cost of a one way airplane ticket out of here-roughly $1600 for the two of us.They do accept credit cards, and we get our money back when we leave Bora-bora, but in the meantime the French get to use our money for three months while we pay the exchange rate fees. It is a highly lucrative racket. We celebrated Phil's 46th birthday on Saturday out at sea. I made him some fudge, a painting of Iwalani and a book of dirty limericks I thought up to combat the boredom. We also found six more Pepsis and a container of Pringles which really made his day. Oh yes- the source of the black methanous bilge water-duh-70 cans of Pepsi I had stored in plastic bags in the dry forward part of the bilge, they all simultaneosly self destructed. Right now it is dark outside and Phil is still out in the dinghy trying to clean poor Iwalani.She looked like an eighty year old derelict boat when we arrived. A 4in long fringe of green slime coated the green bottom paint and the topsides were brown and yucky up to the bulwark. We dragged ropes the last week hoping to clean off the gooseneck barnacles- most were knocked off. Tomorrow we will investigate what there is here for internet, it doesn't sound like much, so for now this is coming via Inmarsat and Ben(Thanks Ben, I know you are busy with muons,applications and exams)APW
Log for the week of May 27 2001 Nuka Hiva,Marquises by PS
Well it's been another week in Paradise, although I'm not sure what Paradise means.If it means that I would rather live here than Maine, well that is certinly not the case.
We spent this week working on the boat and trying to find food. I spent two days in Paradise scraping off gooseneck barnacles. The Micron CSC bottom paint did NOT keep them off. The bottom was covered with them, right down to the keel.We have to get hauled out in Tahiti and re-paint the bottom or our speed will be slower then we could walk. That's Amys gauge for our progress.She wants to sail around the world faster then we could walk. I also changed the staysail halyard which chaffed through and replaced the leather on the gaff jaws. We got the leather from Alva Simon, who wrote the book"North into the Night". We tried getting some at the hardware store, but they kept trying to sell us cooking stuff.It just goes to show that even with an english-french dictionary, communication can be difficult.
I spent two days trying to get Amys computer to work. She's quite upset, as there are alot of pictures and books she has been writing. And of course I haven't been backing things up.It's a hardware problem."Disc controller failure".I can only hope that the hard drive will still be accessable.I have hooked up the CD writer to my computer.From now on,all our important files will be created on a CD-RW disk and saved to that disk as we work on them.
Amy has been shopping for food.It's not an easy job. The three markets don't always have fresh food and the farmers market is from 5am to 7am once a week. If you are not there at dawn,you are out of luck!
As a break from"It must be nice"work in Paridise,we went for a sail on "Sunbow", our friends 50" catamaran. I would not want to trade boats with them. Acatamarans motion is "Herky-Jerky". It would be fine in sheltered waters,but not on the high seas. Also, they don't go to weather any better then a gaff rigger(although faster)and they are almost impossible to tack.It took us four tries to finally come around.I'll take the "Going through Jello" motion anyday.That's all for this week.PS