Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 8, 2010, 12:44 HST

N 29°12.530’, W 158°00.480’
Heading Home...Part I

The past five days have been filled with blue skies, a very blue ocean, periodic squalls, high temperatures, and a missed mahimahi. We are back on a three hours on/three hours off watch schedule and for the most part, both Richard and I have settled into this routine. What is surprising, at least to me, is that we are both still taking scopace despite being at sea for over five days. I would have thought that the initial effects of the rolling ocean swells would have been absorbed by now but that hasn’t been the case. Good thing we have a robust supply of scopace for this trip.

Each day is pretty much the same as the last one…blue skies, puffy white clouds, occasional afternoon rain storms (or, as I like to refer to them, bath time!), and a very blue ocean. At night, there tend to be more squalls (which I don’t refer to as bath time) and higher winds. In addition to having started this passage on a waning moon, the moon has been rising late in the evening (it’s actually been rising around 03:00 in the morning) which makes the night watches quite dark; the bonus to this dark night time sky is that the stars, constellations, the edge of the Milky Way, planets, shooting stars and comets are easily visible. During one of my three hour watches, I counted 11 shooting stars and 2 comets. The usual suspects of constellations, like the Big Dipper, Orion, the Pleides, Scorpio, and Sirius, are plainly visible and welcomed company during the night. We do have star gazing equipment on board and maybe one of these nights I’ll take that out to see if I can identify what the other constellations and planets are that fill the night sky.

The temperature has been very tropical, with daytime highs reaching well into the high 80s and mid 90s. Since we are sailing, we can’t have any of the screens in the portholes or the hatches open for ventilation, so the cabin is also quite warm and humid. This makes sleeping, at least for me, rather difficult.

Yesterday I hooked a mahimahi but as we got him to the boat, the line snapped and off he went with my lure stuck in his mouth. We are on a different tack on this return passage and so netting a fish on the side of the boat is a little more tricky than when we were heading to Hawai’i on a downwind tack. For the most part we are on a starboard tack which means that the port side of the boat is slightly lower than the starboard side due to the heel of the boat while sailing. As this is the more convenient side of the boat to fish from, Richard and I will have to devise a plan on how we will bring the fish to the boat so that one of us can net it successfully. I will make sure to let you all know how that works out once we have our next opportunity.

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