Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 11- Epic Epicurean Adventure

Time: 1700 Zulu (noon PV time)
Position: 18-deg 52-min N 122-deg 33-min W
Wind: NNE 15-knots Seas: N 6-ft
Course: 266 T Speed: 5.6-knots
Rig: 100% jib
24-hr distance traveled: 128-nm

Day 11 was a beautiful sailing afternoon with lots of speed in the right direction. However, winds and seas were still from the N, and with our heading W, the seas on the beam have made for some relatively solid side-to-side roll while underway. Pretty much impossible to do more than one task at a time (remember, slow and steady wins the race).

Determined to make a delicious dinner anyway, Shawn forged ahead. First the tomato salad. How often does one end up with extra fresh ripe tomatoes ready to eat? Slice about 2-lbs and set aside on the engine cover under the companionway ladder to marinate. Next step, shift focus to the pasta. Before even starting, Chris calls a warning, but too late. Enter sneaky wave #1 through the companionway to create a waterfall directly into the tomatoes. Close companionway hatch cover. Empty dish of salty water, re-marinate. Cook the gnocchi, make the pesto sauce, whisk together to a boil. Take the top-of-the-hour position report, whisk sauce more. All the while keep stance solidly wedged for stability and work with the crazily gimballing stove. Open can of chicken, give Chris juice, add chicken to sauce, whisk, add gnocchi, stir. For rockstar quality, top with pine nuts and fresh grated Italian parmesan cheese. Enter wave #2, add hysterical laughter as Shawn is drenched, put in clear weather boards and drain the tomatoes again. Don foul weather gear. While getting dressed, extra big roll knocks tomatoes off engine hatch into quarter berth. Five-second rule, scoop up tomatoes and replace in container. Finally, both of us wearing foul weather gear, clipped into the cockpit sit down together to enjoy a rolly Pesto Chicken Gnocchi with Extra Salty and Tossed tomato salad. All is well with a full belly.

The night watches were relatively uneventful. Good for star gazing with only 25% cloud cover and very little moon. As per normal, the winds abated in the wee hours enough to raise the mainsail to double reef. Then, as the sun rose in beautiful oranges in the relatively cloudless sky, winds built enough again to drop the main completely and even included some of the easterly component we've been searching for. Crew morale has been up and down. We've decided that long passage-making is a game of attrition, slowly continuously wearing down the bodies, fraying the nerves, the gear, the boat. But the low moments beget the high ones when deep thoughts about sailing are realized and challenges surmounted lead to satisfaction. No matter how much we struggle through this we are reminded time and again that together we make an excellent team and we're in the midst of an epic adventure.


  1. Love the laughter -- and I bet the food tasted great, too. Keep up the good stuff and keep attitudes up. Gimballing stoves are indeed crazy to watch -- but without the gimball part, the cooking 'thing' would be even more challenging to accomplish! Looks like you're approaching the halfway point. Am thinking about you all; spoke with Marcia and burg this afternoon. Love you lots, Mum

  2. that brings me to tears, after lots of laughing especially thinking of the gimballing stove and you dancing through these sneaky waves. like some kind of maritime funhouse. and those tomatoes-- who needs seasoning when you've got waves drenching your food? hilarious, absolutely hilarious. then i imagine how long it takes-- the foul weather gear the closing down of windows and things, the rescuing of tomatoes, etc. and your last paragraph is so beautiful, thank you for your beautiful writing voice.