Thursday, August 6, 2009

Speedy Gonzalez !

During the night, a squall passed by and the wind picked up and went all
the way up to 30 knots. Papy Jovial was surfing on the swell and in one
of those surfs, reached 9.28 knots. The fastest I have reached so far
with her.
Otherwise, a day like many before. The cloud cover continues to travel
with us. The good news is that it is never hot inside the boat or in the
cockpit. The bad news is that the solar panels don't get their daily
quota. On the other hand, since we run the genset every morning for
breakfast so that we can use the toaster without taxing the batteries,
we recharge them in the meantime.

A regular day at the office goes like that:
8:00 a.m. - I get up to take my watch. Jean-Francois steps down and
starts preparing breakfast (coffee, milk butter, preserves and toasts)
after I have started the genset.
9:00 - Jean-Francois goes take a nap, or read, or just relaxes until his
watch is up at 10:00
10:00 - I step down and take a nap until about 11:00 when I start
preparation for lunch and also prepares the mail that will go out in the
first session of the day.
12:00 - I write down all the data for the noon fix, write it down on a
booklet and also records it in the electronic logbook on the computer.
Then, we have the first Iridium session of the day where I sent the mail
prepared in the morning and send a request for a grib file for the next
96 hours. In the same session, we receive emails.
12:30 - Lunch. I try to vary, but today we went through our last
tomatoes and starting tomorrow, I will have to use the can opener a lot
13:00 - Lunch is over. Jean Francois takes a nap. or else. . . . .
14:00 - I step down. Jean-Francois comes up. Time for the afternoon nap.
After that, time to prepare replies to the email received in the first
session of the day.
16:00 - After Jean-Francois and I have done the replies to emails
received, I start the second session of the day to receive the Grib
file, send the mail we have prepared and very often receive additional
18:00 - Drinks. Every day we have something to celebrate. Today, we
passed the midway point between Manta and Fatu Hiva.
19:30 - I prepare dinner. Everyday, we have two cooked and sit down
meals. We often also sit down for breakfast. Since I do all the cooking,
Jean-Francois does all the wahing the dishes, which I think is a little
unfair, as I have the best part. But I don't complain.
20:00 - We start the night watches. I do 20 to 22, JF does 22 to
midnight, then I do midnight to 2, JF 2 to 4, I 4 to 6 and then JF 6 to
8 and we start again.

Today at noon, we had covered 140 miles over the ground but 148 through
the water, which means that there is some current against us. We closed
on Fatu Hiva by 133 miles. Our ETA has fallen back a few hours now and
we expect to arrive still on the 18 but late afternoon.
At 4:00 this afternoon, we had another strike on the line and caught a
Mahi Mahi, again around 5 pounds. Perfect for a couple of meals.

We are now some 12 days from the finish line.

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