PACIFIC CROSSING UPDATE: DAY 26

CHASE’S UPDATE

How the hell are we 26 days into this thing already? Despite the rain, wind, and swells of the last few days, I’m still consistently amazed at how quickly the time is passing. A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that we’re only active from ~10a to ~9p, but it’s been nice to discover that this trip isn’t the interminable slog that I thought it might be. Though I guess we still need to see what the next few days have in store for us…

This morning we were hit with a quick squall that began approximately five minutes after the start of my shift, and it continued dumping intermittent rain for the next few hours. Luckily Connor & Stuart let me get some extra sleep after the end of my shift, and the rest of the day has been a mix of choppy seas, variable winds, and occasional rainfall. As I watched a storm roll in from the horizon this afternoon, I decided I’d take advantage of the incoming fresh water and pulled out the soap and shampoo. What started with a slow drizzle quickly turned into a heavy downpour, and I had just enough time to lather up before the rain stopped completely and the sun poked its head back out, leaving me dry and covered in soap. Whoops. A quick bucket of seawater completed my shower, and I have no doubt that the rain will be back as soon as it’s most inconvenient.

The distance to Hiva Oa continues to get smaller (the sign of a good navigator), and we’re currently 335 miles from the anchorage. I think everyone’s starting to feel these last few miles, but we all seem to be in a good mood and are wearing our happy faces (maybe the only clean thing we have left to wear). This weather shows no signs of slowing down, so we’re going to get back to it and hopefully tough it out for a few more days. Until tomorrow!

P.S. Here’s a question I’m hoping I can get some help with: do astronauts have to carry their passports when they go into space? I’m asking because we carry ours in our ditch bag (the waterproof bag that stays with us if Sea Casa goes down); the thinking is that if we need to be rescued by a foreign tanker and end up in a different country, we’ll still need our passports to arrive legally. Do astronauts get some sort of special exemption? I’ve seen some silly customs forms they need to fill out upon re-entry, but still curious about the passports.

CONNOR’S UPDATE

Not much to add!  We continue to inch closer to Hiva Oa, but King Neptune isn't letting us having the last few miles as easily as we'd like.  We continue to face winds that blow toward the north west, which means we continue this unpleasant bash *just* upwind, which was not expected.  Could we have tried to cross the equator further east of 131?  Yeah, but at the time, conditions looked prime to head off the wind from 0N 131W toward Hiva Oa.  Even north of the equator, we were doing our best to avoid as much westerly movement as we could.  More like, Hiva Oah Well.  Honestly, we've had super pleasant conditions this entire passage.  It seems silly to complain about the current conditions, especially when we're so close.  I think the last 2700 nm made us go soft (but literally as I type this, our bow crests over a swell and lands in the next trough with a loud *thud*.  The entire hull shakes and vibrates from the impact... tiny boat, big ocean!)  It's now 2 AM TimeSteve (0800z) because I forgot to send this email off during the day, and we're less than 300 nm away.  So freaking stoked to get there! Cheers!

Chase Jackson