PACIFIC CROSSING UPDATE: DAY 28
I am the last one to write anything for the blog today, and looking at what Chase and Stuart already wrote, I struggle to find anything new that's not already been mentioned. We're dern excited to see land tomorrow, and we're going to pray for a hassle free arrival into Hiva Oa. Right now, it looks like we'll have to heave-to offshore to avoid making landfall at night, but we'll know more as we get closer. If anything, it will give me more time to finish the Harry Potter series (I'm on #6 after 3 or 4 days of pretty intense Potter-ing. We've lost all sense of days, so we're not actually sure when I started this odyssey). Thanks for all the well-wishes you guys sent over the last month. This was a much more hassle-free journey (so far) than anticipated, and you all helped me stay sane (or, maintain the little sanity I have)! I'm most excited to get into port and crank out a little list of projects on the boat of all the things that need fixing after this long passage. I don't know if that's a healthy attitude, but I really can't wait to get the projects done. Cheers guys.
It’s day 28 and there’s not too much left to report. The Marquesas are ~130 miles away and we could not be more excited to get there. The big news today concerns our stove and the 70% isopropyl alcohol we’ve been burning for the past four months. Inside the little stovetop fuel canisters, a thick layer of soot had been building up that was made from whatever the remaining 30% of that 70% isopropyl is, which explains why it had been taking 40 minutes to fry 6 strips of bacon. As always, Connor was able to find a solution and worked his way under the grates to clean out the buildup. We’ll continue to just use one of the three canisters until we’re able to find the correct denatured alcohol (oh boy, it might be a while), but it sure beats the alternative of not using the stove anymore at all; without the ability to cook, the list of talents that I bring to this crew remains very short indeed.
As long as we can keep this pace, we’re planning for an arrival on Hiva Oa Thursday morning, which means that we will hopefully be stretching our legs and eating some (non-isopropyl cooked) cheeseburgers shortly after that. It also means that tomorrow will probably be the last of our daily blog updates, and everyone can get back to their normal lives. Thanks so much to everyone who has been following along; selfishly, it’s been a lot of fun having a little audience reading about our adventure, and it’s also been amazing connecting with folks who I haven’t spoken to in years and reached out. Extra special thanks to my girlfriend Louise, who posts our updates to the website every day and who even found time to post this weekend while her sister was having a baby (love those priorities). Hopefully we can find access to internet soon, upload some pictures, and keep this posting party alive. Until tomorrow.
P.S. Astronauts do not currently need passports or visas to travel to space! Thank you Neal, for sending me the answer, the first thing you’ve sent that is not the text copy of a surreal tweet.
We're getting close now! We may even be able to see the islands tomorrow if we have good visibility. These past couple days have been a bit of a slog through choppy seas, reinforcing everyones' desire to just get there already. Every hour or so we get a nice slap from a wave right on the beam that sends a spray of water into the cockpit, but other than that it's just a bumpy ride. In the wise and repeated (maybe 8 times a day) words of Connor: "It's a fine day for yachting!"
There truly is nothing much to report, and that's a good thing at this stage. We've been spending most of our time the same way we've spent it throughout the trip - reading, napping, and eating. We've all begun taking turns flipping through the cruising guides to the Marquesas and are getting more and more excited!
Connor is working his way through the Harry Potter series. He's read 6 in the past 4ish days, and he's beginning to get a far-off look in his eyes. We fear that he's starting to believe that he is the Chosen One.
The big drama of the day occured when Chase, who's been cooking all of our meals, finally had it with the gradually increasing cooking time (today's bacon took 40 minutes, and some meals take upwards of an hour or more!) and discovered that we've built us a nice layer of creosote gumming up the alcohol resevoir vent in the stove. Connor, equipped with a pair of needlenose pliers and a wire brush, spent the afternoon taking apart and cleaning the resevoir that was clearly designed not to ever be taken apart.
I've finally broken my rummy losing streak! Connor and Chase attribute it to the upsidedownness of the Southern Hemisphere, but I've really just been sandbagging this entire time.
Kah-o-ha! (Marquesan version of Aloha!)