Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Day 4 & 5
December 5, 2008 5:09AM
coordinates 20 54.325N,024 22.205W

48 more hours of 20-30 knot winds out of the ESE have given us a couple of 155 nm per day. That's pretty good considering we are still running with the same tiny sail configurations of the staysail and a double reefed main. The sea state continues to be big or bigger, fluctuating with no apparent rhyme or reason. The sun has made a brief appearance for a few minutes each day but the majority of the time it has been an eerie solid gray sky from horizon to horizon.

Day 3 we crossed the 23rd latitude, the Tropic of Cancer. Amazing to think that many of the worlds deserts sit upon that line. We have been able to shed a layer. We are now down to a fleece vest and warm socks while on night watches instead of the complete fleece jacket and additional blanket, but the butter isn't melting yet. We've taken a few good waves into the cockpit, which managed to sneak their way into the boys cabin window and douse a comforter or two but not too badly. In the galley,
we managed to launched a pot of boiling potatoes but thankfully no casualties human or otherwise. The most difficult aspect of the situation so far is the incessant rocking and rolling, jerking and lurching of the boat. With the confused sea state, and the swells that continue to break upon the boat, the noise and inability to predict just which way to lean next is exhausting. Off watch naps are heavenly to get away from all the over stimulation.

Just how does one sleep on Mr. Toads Wild Ride anyway? There are a few methods. First there is the starfish technique. Lay face up or down, your preference, with your arms and legs spread wide to give you leverage. No matter which way the boat heels you are covered. But never fail, the boat will lean more frequently to the open side of the bed in which you will eventually slide off. You can put up a lee cloth to stop you but again, eventually you end up balled in the cloth and lose your starfish
advantage. Next technique, and most helpful on Ohana Kai, the mummy. With lee cloth in place, wedge large cushions and pillows all around you. Wrap yourself tight in your blanket and try to rest as now only your innards sway too and fro with the swell. Though it limits you wiggle room while you sleep, you are finally able to relax enough for a few hours and will gladly take any stiffness that may accompany this position. The third and less utilized tactic is the fetal position, perpendicular
to the bed. This position is helpful on single overnight when sleep is less critical and the swell far less active. The other essential item with any of these routines are ear plugs. Amazing little devices that, as they slowly expand to fill your ears, fade away the sounds of the world. No more rush of the water along the hull, the whirring of the wind generator, the water bombs that crash into the hull, the creaking of the mast, boom, sails and any other accessory rigging, the knocking and sliding
around of any item left not bolted to the ground. Remarkable, your ears are still tuned to hear the call of your crew members when things go wrong and they need your help.

Though it's difficult to get much accomplished with all the motion, we managed to put up our little Christmas tree and the boys have begun to decorate their room with snowflakes. Tomorrow's goal is to chop up our melon before it goes bad and maybe brave making some candied nuts. And we certainly haven't seemed to have lost our appetites either. We've managed to feast on hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti, and pork chops thus far. Though you get a great core workout trying to maintain any upright
position, we will atrophy everywhere else and watch our back sides spread out from all this fine feasting and sitting.

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