May 14, 2012
Ice Limit: for centuries, sailors have been concerned about the “ice limit.” This is the line beyond which ice bergs are very unlikely to be seen. “Wait a minute Betty, he’s gone mad… he’s in the tropics and he’s talking about the ice limit!” No, this is actually a different kind of ice limit that we crossed today. It’s the point at which the air outside and the water in our tank are both warm enough to take a shower outside in the cockpit. We just barely crossed it today! It was cool and very refreshing but only just warm enough. Yesterday would have definitely been on the wrong side of the ice limit.
Seven Seas Core Fitness Program: A new late-night infomercial product. Act now and we’ll put you on a boat in the middle of the Pacific and let you try to sit up straight and type while the boat pitches and rolls. The next 7 callers will also get as an added bonus the “confused seas” package, normally a $129.99 value, absolutely free. As you may gather, it’s been a rough ride for a couple of days. The wind’s been around 17 knots but there are swells coming from at least three or four different directions that account for this discomfort.
Birds: One of the things on our to-do list was to remove our bird and fish identification books and try to get them on the kindle to save weight and space. Well, we did the first part, the removal part, but didn’t quite get to the second part. Because of that, I’m only 60% sure the fish we caught was a skipjack and I have no idea what these incredible birds around us are. I used to know but I used that bit of brain storage to hold the Bank of America customer service phone number. They are wonderful. They’ve been flying around the boat for about three or four days now. They are about the size of a small, slender seagull but very pointy and streamlined. And what incredible pilots! We thought the swallows we had in Fallbrook were good but these guys take it to a whole new level. The are both maneuverable and fast. Though with all the flying around we’ve seen them do, presumably in search of food, we’ve never seen them eat anything.
Fish that Fly: We are at times pelted with flying fish. Legacy will sail through a school of them and they’ll all take to the air at once. The school becomes a flock for about 100 feet or so and then back to a school. Some unlucky ones end up on our deck. We try to catch them in time and return them to the water, but we don’t always make it. Sometimes we find a little petrified one in some hidden corner of the deck. We are also getting some small squid on deck. We’ve gone from the rust stains of Wilmington to the ink stains of the Pacific.
Statistics: We’ve been out here 11 days so far, I think (kind of losing track). We’re now 1430 miles from Catalina. We have 780 miles to go to get to the equator and then 625 miles after that to get to Hiva Oa. We’re making about 120 miles a day on average and that’s about what we expected. We’re now about at the half way point as it’s 2865 miles from Avalon to Hiva Oa. -Rich