PACIFIC CROSSING UPDATE: DAY 14

CHASE’S UPDATE

Day 14, baby, that’s a whole fortnight of sailing. We made our big left turn today, tacking nearly due south after heading almost dead west for the past week or so. Time to watch those latitude markers plummet as we make moves towards the equator!

I promised we’d keep you up-to-date on everything happening out here, which is why I’m feeling a little guilty after realizing I forgot to share the highlight of my entire day yesterday: I saw a flip-flop! That’s right, folks, 1,250 miles offshore and a lone rubber thong floated right past Sea Casa, headed for destinations unknown. I thought about hauling it up on deck, which would have restored some balance to the Pacific after I lost one of my Vans overboard coming down the coast of Baja, but that would have been silly, this was a pretty gross sandal. Anyway, exciting stuff all around.

In other news, I’ve learned that the FCC has finally assigned my call sign! I’ve been waiting patiently since passing the exam for my general class amateur radio license shortly before leaving. So say hello to KM6RUU; “kilo mike six, romeo uniform uniform” if you want to impress some hammies (good luck finding some hammies). In a move that’s sure to win me some popularity points, I’ve started insisting that Connor & Stuart refer to me exclusively by this sign. Sorry Connor, if you didn’t want me to be insufferable about it, you shouldn’t have encouraged me so hard to take the test.

Our tack south has had interesting consequences in the galley. Whereas before, the boat would heel violently to port and fling scalding pots and pans towards me, the boat now heels violently to starboard and flings me towards scalding pots and pans. Such is life on the open ocean.

Everyone seems to be maintaining a cheerful mood, and despite today’s inevitable introduction of my main man Waylon (it was only a matter of time, dammit), all continues to be well on board. Some exciting milestones coming up in the next few days, and until then, adios.

CONNOR'S UPDATE

Woo!  14 days!  2 weeks!  1/2 a month!  100% ocean!!!!  I'm fired up because I slept in until about 11:45 today, because, for the life of me, I could not fall asleep last night.  It's funny, because when I'm in my berth trying to sleep, all I can think about is what's going on in the cockpit and on deck, and then, when I'm on watch, I have to do everything in my power not to fall asleep on watch, because I'm so tired from staying awake during my off time.  (I thought that by downloading Roland Emmerich's 10000 BC and playing it on full blast, it would keep me up.  Turns out "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" was only the second worst film I've seen on this trip.)  Down below deck, every little creak and bump is magnified times 1000.  It doesn't help that my berth is directly below the cockpit, so every slight adjustment to a winch or a slatting sail sounds like a drum beating above me.  You think I'd be used to this, living on the boat for the last 4 years, but no.  I am not.  But sleeping in until late afternoon really caught me up, so today, I'm feeling great.  I probably should just set up my own berth in the cockpit, if only the cockpit wasn't so small.  Oh well.  As soon as I woke up, we jibed south.  We're now on a heading of about 185.  Behind us is bluebird skies, big puffy clouds, and plenty of solar charging potential.  In front of us looms a giant wall of clouds stretching straight into the horizon.  I think we must be looking at the ITCZ.  Our latest forecast shows there might be a break, and there's a small possibility we can sail all the way through.  If not, we'll have to get some engine hours in, which wouldn't be the worst.  We'll probably see some rain and squall activity over the next few days, which will be a nice opportunity to rinse the remainder of the blood off the deck from that yellowfin tuna we caught, uh, 2 weeks ago.  It's all sunshine and dandelions here!  Not too much else to report.  I continue to look forward to destroying Chase and Stuart at Rummy 500, and I appreciate all the emails everyone has sent.  Cheers!

STUART'S UPDATE

We've made our turn south! The maneuver has been the source of daily discussions for the past two weeks. Some huge changes: The sun now rises on our port side and sets on our starboard side (instead of rising behind us and setting in front)!! That's about it! We are very excited about it though! The past two weeks have seen us make only marginal progress south - but now with the new heading we are expecting it to get HOT and fast. The nights when we wore sweatshirts or jackets on watch are behind us and I'd wager that even shirts are going to be dropped pretty soon.
While we were sailing west we were running down wind with no appreciable, consistent tilt which meant we rolled with every wave, but our new southerly course has us heeled to starboard which is a relief for everyone but Chase - who is now always in danger of falling into the stove while cooking.
As the moon has waned over the past couple weeks we've begun to be treated to some incredible star gazing. The view is 360 degrees, horizon to horizon, and is only obscured by scattered clouds that move like black holes in the bright sky. I've been struggling to learn some of the constellations from a pocket guide we have on board, but still haven't gotten much farther than the Big Dipper and what I'm 75% confident is Leo.

Chase Jackson