Two weeks ago today was the last time I saw another person besides Max. It was the cheerful kid at the gas dock who warned us of the coming bad weather and told us to “be safe out there.”
Happily, we have made it this far with no injuries or serious failures. We haven’t seen land, a ship, or even an airplane since we cleared San Diego. Max and I are fully accustomed to the rhythms of life aboard. We don’t complain about it, but we look forward to regular sleep, less noise, and seeing something new. Max said that he really wants sure footing and the ability to take a crap without holding on. Max is bored and I seem too tired to get much done. .
Max and I are getting along well. We do a lot together, but also have our own space. We had one little row because I tend to be “Captain Anal” and want things done a certain way and he wants to be heard, not just nodded to. After a nice therapy session, we’re on the mend. I now have puppet role playing exercises to do. I’m workin’ on it.
The first leg of trip extended to 9° N where we rode a big storm pattern that gave us plenty of wind. We’re now in the dreaded ITCZ (InterTropical Convergence Zone). This is a Twilight Zone of weather. It ‘s hot and humid with light or no prevailing wind. Sometimes it’s called “the doldrums” and old-time sailing ships could be stuck here for weeks waiting for wind. We still have a light east breeze that’s is allowing headway as we go South. But this place is weird. There are low clouds everywhere that form cells of little storms, typically about a mile across. (We can see how big they are with the RADAR!) With no prevailing wind or coriolis effect to drive them, the storm cells pop up, rain and blow like the dickens, then dissipate in an hour or so. We have learned to enjoy these during the day and to steer around them at night. Larger ones have more rain, more wind, and seem to last longer. We got hammered by a big one last night. We expect to motor across a dead calm Monday and Tuesday before getting into Southern trade winds at about 2°N. We still have 1078 miles to go (but who’s counting) and we’re looking forward to standing on solid ground and meeting a new kid at the dock in Hiva Oa.