The Crossing – Week Four

Posted at Sea

If this is a marathon (and it is) then in week four we hit the wall.

The sun comes up; the sun goes down. Every day could be any other day. Sometimes the wind is up, and sometimes the swells are up. Sometimes both the wind and the swells are up. Huge forces are constantly acting on the boat. We hear them and feel them, and we see the results in the things that break; the screws that haven’t moved in years that now unscrew themselves; the head door that unlatches itself and swings open at the most inopportune of times. But we know that if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other (so to speak) the miles remaining will eventually reach zero.

We are hand steering the boat. The Saye’s Rig doesn’t work well (or at all) when sailing downwind in swells. The autopilot is also acting up. Either it can’t handle the heat (constant 90 degrees inside the boat), or the swells, or both. We do not have a good downwind sail. We’ve sort of poofed out the jib in front and are using that to pull us along. We’re not the fastest boat in fleet, but we are doing all right.

The mood became a bit more animated a few nights ago when a flying fish flew into the cockpit and right into Robyn, who was steering at the time. She calmly picked up the flopping fish and tossed it back into the ocean. Things were more lively and upbeat for a while after that.