April 14, 2011

Sail to the South Pacific-Day 5: Internet Withdrawal

I'd like to google 'trade winds' right now. Just a general search to read about them. And I'd like to check everyone's facebook statuses, and see what's trending on twitter, and check the headlines at the NY Times, CBC and the Guardian, and do a search for a few new articles that should be out, and look for a few podcasts, and read all the blog posts of fellow cruising boats (even though I'm emailing several and talk with others on the SSB), and I'd like to read about Hiva Oa and see what other people did while there, and I'm clearly an addict in the throws of Internet withdrawal.
I believe I may be twitching.

Go ahead. Mock me. Point out that I'm sailing across a gorgeous ocean and had a pod of dolphins frolicking in our bow wave just a few short hours ago (okay--you don't actually know that part because I haven't written about how we first heard the squeals echoing in the hulls and then watched them leap through the waves to reach us. And OMG was the teeny, tiny baby cute...). And feel free to point out I was excessively stressed out before leaving and that a reading-break from civilization's imminent collapse is probably exactly what I need (have I mentioned the colour of the water out here? It's like looking into a velvet-blue night sky...).

When I calculate our daily miles I try not to think about the fact that yesterday we only sailed 148 miles closer to connectivity. Because that's not a healthy way to view life. Instead I should be pulling out the guide books we have aboard and dreaming about our destination. But clearly it's not the information I'm craving. It's the instant gratification of the click.

There is no instant gratification out here. Everything we have was planned carefully. Anything I want I need to make or prepare. Nothing is simple--but everything is oh, so simple.

We've stripped away details that once seemed so vital and are only working with the elements. The sun makes our power--which makes our water, which we heat for showers and cooking. The wind propels us, mostly in the direction we want to go, but we have no control over the speed with which we get there (although gliding along at 10 knots in these smooths seas is as close to heaven as I've ever been...). The only food we have is what we thought of and found before leaving or what we may catch (but do any lures work when we're going this quick?). The only contact we have with the outside world comes slowly through our radio and it's limited to prearranged nets--and 13 minutes a day is all I have for email.

But it is sublime, really. The sailing is dreamy. The seas are smooth, the wind is mostly steady. And maybe if we have a few more hours of this current version of our trip I will forget the Internet entirely and spend the rest of my life trying to recapture *this*.

The watch right before sunrise is my favourite. It's just me and the foredeck boobies. They brought a few new friends last night but Ev has decided to limit stowaways to three. They poop a lot. But I like the way their awkward red duck-feet clutch at the lifelines--I love it when they tip over. They seem to take it in stride though and right themselves then hunker back down to sleep. And poop.

We had hoped for a new speed record today and the first three hours saw us cover nearly 26 miles. But then we slowed back down to 6-ish knots during the night. We thought we'd have found the trades and turned south by now, but I guess they are further west again. I may regret our hurry to find them when the time comes though--this beam/broad reach in gentle swell seems to be what our boat was built for. We slip through the waves and make effortless progress--pulling ahead of all the much bigger boats. Not that it's a race;)

**Be sure to join our betting pool and try and predict when we will arrive in Hiva Oa. And keep in mind we can't read our comments until we get in (although we love getting them!!)
Position 1535UTC 15d05N 116d41W

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1 comment:

NatGeoWannaBe said...

23Days 11hrs

btw - LOVE the blog. Keeps me sane at work. Hopefully, someday, my wife and I will be following your route!