April 18, 2011

Sail to the South Pacific-Day 8: Evan's Birthday!

If we had left as planned back in March, Ev's 45th birthday would be celebrated on a South Pacific beach--fruity rum drink in hand--cake shared with a crowd. We have invited the other nearby boats over for cake tonight--but oddly enough I think we're on our own. Something about 8' seas, squally winds, and trying to get someplace were the excuses.

We're sailing toward a bank of dark clouds and during the night we saw our first lightening. We were hoping not to be seeing signs of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) so soon--but this squally patch of weather that distinguishes the change from the northern hemisphere to the southern pretty much does it's own thing. All we can do is watch the weather maps and do our best to pick our way through the squalls and doldrums (and hopefully come out on the other side in the Southern Trades...)

Unless of course the Southern Trades also went 'poof'...

Despite the change in the weather the boat is still moving quickly and comfortably. Yesterday much of the day was sunny and it actually started to feel like we were heading south (it's been almost too chilly to shower in the cockpit). I guess we're still in the honeymoon stage of our journey. None of us are bored. We're all getting lots of sleep. Our veggies are going strong--although we've eaten the last of the green beans and asparagus...

Evan's even started to research our destination. Yesterday he worked on a spreadsheet--trying to decide how many days and weeks we can spend in each location before the season will force us to move on. I'm not at that stage yet though. I'm still here--in the ocean, contemplating which meals to make, planning how to celebrate Ev's birthday, our halfway day, Easter, and the equator. There's still so far to go and so much to experience out here. I'm not ready for land yet.

As far as birthdays go I actually think celebrating a mid-life birthday halfway to the South Pacific might not be half bad. If a birthday is a chance to gage how life is going--ours is going well. The boat is performing better than Evan hoped (and is more comfortable than I had hoped). Maia is a wonderful crew and our family is a comfortable, happy team. There is part of me that would have loved to have thrown Evan a bigger birthday celebration--one that acknowledges all the years that went into getting us out here. Especially the ones when Maia was wee, and I was busy with her and my career and he put in so many long cold hours on the boat alone. But then again--maybe this is the best way to celebrate him, our family, and our goals--at least it should be memorable.

Tonight I'm planning special (aged!!) steaks (if you've ever bought meat in Mexico, you'll understand my glee) baked potatoes and our last big green salad. Depending on conditions we may even indulge in a glass of wine.
So I hope you'll join me in toasting him--out here in the ocean, living a dream.

N 9 39 W 122 03 Yesterday's run was 153 miles and we're averaging 6.6 knots

PS--we're over our transmission limit for email today--so while I'm longing to write personal responses to all the fantastic emails we're getting they will have to wait a day or two. Keep the emails coming though--we love them and they make our day.

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