The Crossing – Week Two

Posted at Sea

We had a good couple of days of wind, and then got almost too much. It wasn’t so much the wind, as the swells. The word swells doesn’t always describe undulating water so well; sometimes swells are like pyramids. Going across them tips the boat in all directions, slamming things, and people, first in one direction and then another, like gravity gone berserk. We don’t as much go across them as they move under us. We lost a package of eggs purchased at the La Cruz farmer’s market-completely crushed. We lost a bag of rice-ripped open and spilled down the cracks. We lost the plastic jug of distilled water for topping off the boat’s batteries-punctured and drained.

The combination of wind and relentless slamming also caused damage on deck. The mainsail topping lift, needed for reducing sail and keeping the boom from landing on our new solar panels, failed due to an unsecured shackle pin (how’d that happen?). The mizzen sail topping lift, needed to keep the mizzen boom off of our self-steering gear, failed due to extreme chafe somewhere inside the boom. Our mainsail lazy-jacks, for keeping the sail from flying away when it is lowered, failed due to being old and neglected. And in all this, my knee failed, somehow. It swelled up and could not hold weight for a day or two. It still hurts to bend it too much.

Then things changed. The wind went away. The swells got less confused. The Spanish chatter on the radio faded away to wondering if the radio was still turned on. We found flying fish on our deck every morning (What kind of games do they play in the dark?), and nervously watched lightning at night. With slow progress it will take longer than planned to get to Nuku Hiva, but that really doesn’t matter.

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