Dolphins Playing next to Capaz
From Captain Brad:
Good morning. Yes, it is a good morning. I'm on watch, the only person awake. This is the last watch of the rotation. We haven't altered the boat time for our changes in time zones, so even though the sun has been up for a while. I'm on watch from 3:30am to 6am HST which is 6:30am to 9am PDT for most the people reading this log (those on Pacific Daylight Time). I've said this before, but this is my favorite watch. For this watch you are well rested, get to enjoy the morning light and get time to yourself. On the first watch of the rotation, since many of the crew are night owls they stay up during the watch to read, watch movies or socialize. There is nothing wrong with that. We all get along wonderfully. I don't believe anyone is getting on each others nerves or anything like that. But, it is nice, for me at least, to spend a few hours in solitude. During this time, I often go on deck, listen to music or just enjoy the feel and sound of the living boat and ocean. At times like this, I can let my mind wander. It's almost a meditative state.
We made great time yesterday. The wind filled from a southerly direction and we beam reached for several hours. Even with the wind into the 20's at times, the seas never really amounted to much so the motion of the boat was not severe. Writers note: while I was typing here I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and spotted a low flying albatross, not more then 25 yards from the boat. These sightings are common place. Anyway, we spent the day blasting along right towards where we wanted to go. At some point, during the day I believe we all took naps. The weather was damp with a very dense marine layer, bordering on fog to light drizzle. We had cargo ship appear on the AIS heading for Dutch Harbor, Alaska. It passed about 15 miles astern so we never did see it on radar and certainly not with the naked eye. AIS is great.
The movie yesterday afternoon and evening was a DVD given to us by a friend of Scott's. I believe his name is Rick, but his last name escapes me at the moment. In any case, he is a surfing photographer and movie maker by profession. He burned a copy of his latest movie for us to watch, which was good fun. It concentrated on the huge break that can develop at Waimea Bay on Oahu and had interviews with many surfers. It was very cool. Once the movie was over, we broke out a deck of cards and played a game of Hearts. Kurt said he'd played before but needed a refresher on the rules. Brian was a Hearts virgin, but was a quick study. Card shark Kurt ended up winning the game handily. We all realized that Kurt was obviously some sort of card shark when next he said that he must have been lucky and wouldn't we all want to play for money? He probably has nick name in Vegas, like the "Hoenester "or something. Well, we all agreed to have re-match today which I eagerly await.
After card playing, it was getting dark and thus time for our fireworks display. Capaz has accumulated many flares most of which are expired, so we decided to "test" a few. I didn't want to alarm any other vessels that may have been nearby so checked the radar and AIS carefully. I also got on the VHF and sent out a broadcast to see if there was anyone else in VHF range. Then, the fireworks display commenced. First on the show was the pistol fired flares fired off by Eric Rone. Next I set off a rocket/parachute flare. It was actually good to set the flare of as I now know what is involved. The flare is in a plastic tube. You pull a safety bine and then switch a lever. The flare makes a very loud Swoosh and a fair amount of smoke as a rocket/mortar shoots into the sky to a respectable altitude. Once at altitude a flare ignites and some sort of parachute deploys. Those flares are very bright as they slowly float to the surface of the water. I believe we lit off 7 parachute flares total. Four of which we launched at the same time for the grand finale. Only two of the flares actually ignited for the finale. All four did launch. Safety tip learned from this is expired flares really do go bad, so keep up-to-date flares.
After the fireworks display, the looser of the card game got to make dinner. This was Brian. He cooked up steaks in a frying pan and boiled some corn on the cob. It was a delicious meal. We are considering making a cookbook. Since we don't have a working oven and the BBQ isn't all that reliable and the microwave decided to stop functioning, we are down to pretty much stove top cooking. As it turns out, you can do a lot on a stove top. So the cook book will be how to cook anything in frying pan.
The wind is blowing 15-20 from directly astern. Unfortunately, this makes it so we have to sail dead down wind if we want to go directly to the barn. However, while I've been typing the wind has been shifting and I believe it is time to throw in a jibe. Which I shall do now. So I'll sign off here. Cheers!