Monday, June 23, 2008

9:27am PDT 25 52.7N 158 08.5W

Brian and Eric and the Mahi Mahi
Lots to talk about in this log. Yesterday was an eventful day. We are all still struggling to get into the routine, but all seems to be working well. We have been close reaching since we left the islands over a day and a half ago. The wind speed has ranged from 10 knots to 30 knots, but mostly in the high teens and low 20's.
Yesterday, about 24 hours after leaving, Eric caught not one but 2 fish simultaneously. Two medium size Mahi Mahi met their end by the hands of the mighty fish hunter Eric Rone. For lunch, Brian cooked up some hamburgers on the BBQ and also a test portion of fish as well. That really hit the spot.
Yesterday had it's trying times as well. The genset misbehaved and was starved for fuel, so when we put it under a heavy load it would sputter and sometimes stall out completely. This was a problem since the only way we have to use the fridge and freezer is the genset. When we charged with the engine, it too was cranky and would fluctuate RPM's. Kurt and I eventually did some trouble shooting. Kurt found the manual for the genset and we worked out a course of action. One thing I didn't mention is the genset also gave off an alarm indicating overheating or low oil pressure. Bottom line was it didn't have proper air circulation and the fuel filters needed changing. We also found that it helped to turn the engine key on (without starting the engine) which powers on the fuel lift pump. The downside to this is this adds hours to the engine meter even though the engine is not running. I'll have to fix this. We changed the fuel filters for all the Racors and that helped the generator and seemed to solve the engine problems as well. It's possible the fuel is dirty enough that we will have to do some more replacing later. Hopefully not. All is well for now. As a matter of fact the generator is purring along right now, charging batteries and cooling off the fridge and freezer.
We all have been a bit contemplative and not very talkative each living in their own world. I suspect this will change as we get our sea legs and in more of a routine. Last night we did the 2.5 hours on shifts again but rotated so that the person that did the last watch the night before did the first watch last night and everyone else moved back a slot. This put me on the last watch. The sunrise watch.
Brian at Sunset
I'm going to preface what I say next with this. For a long time now, since PJ and I met we have always planned to get a boat and sail away. This morning was very emotional for me. I'm generally not one "to wear my emotions on my shirt sleeve" as the saying goes. I came on watch got the boat settled in and picked some music to listen to on the IPOD. As I sat in the cockpit letting Jorje (Hor-hay) drive I stopped a moment and soaked in the beauty of my surroundings. I've spoken of this before in previous log entries for the Vic-Maui races I've been on. Basically there is nothing in the whole world like being out here. And I do forget exactly what it's like. there is a Jimmy Buffet song that has the lyrics "I just want to live happily ever after every now and then". This morning was one of those now and thens. This morning was different from my past experiences on Vic -Maui races. For one I'm not racing and don't have the all-consuming drive that racing takes. Secondly, this is the first time I've done something like this on my (our) boat. I while sitting in the cockpit, reclining against the cabin bulkhead I reached down and gave Capaz a pat. I was finally starting to feel like this was my boat. Ironically the autopilot (aka Jorje) picked that moment to cut out and slowly spin down into an accidental jibe. I guess Capaz was letting me know that: "Yes, I'm yours but you still have to take care of me".
The sunrise was mine too. As the sun came up, I was again filled with emotion and I believe it was the first time I have ever cried because I was happy. I suppose I was happy and sad and relieved just lots of different feelings all in one. It's hard to explain. I even get choked up as I think about it now. The sunrise was spectacular: a sunset in reverse. It was if the clouds and sun arranged themselves thus to produce this painting just for me. I did snap a few pictures before the sun rose, but the spectacular part, when the sun surfaced out of the blue sea, I kept just for myself. I guess I'm a little bit selfish. That and sunrise/sunset picture rarely do justice to the real thing.
Well, my watch is over but the rest the crew is still asleep. The wind is blowing 20 knots and we are charging along at about an average of 8 knots. This won't last. Probably in about 24 hours the wind will really start to slacken and we will have to motor through a light spot. If the weather continues to take shape on its current pattern, we will come out the other side of that spot in a day or two and will be sailing downwind for a long stretch. Only time will tell.

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