Saturday, May 28, 2011

South of Ten

I always said that I loved not having email on Pelagic, swore that I wouldn't be caught dead posting to our blog from the open ocean. But communication with the editor working on my book was the impetus that saw us getting email set up a couple days before we left San Diego. And now that we have it, witness me doing what I said I would never do, willfully interrupting the ineffable peace of the sea to post to our blog.

Purity is so hard to maintain after you're 40 - I can hardly wait until Elias has a teenager's unshakeable standards so that he can be disgusted with my easy temporizing.

Anyway... Alisa has a great habit of fixing special meals to celebrate little milestones, and since we woke this morning at 09°59'N, we had pancakes for breakfast to celebrate being south of 10°N. Ten degrees is roughly the southern limit of hurricanes in the northeast Pacific, and as far west as we are, being south of the ten degree line means that we are completely safe from that threat.

We had a bit of a cheap lesson during the days that we were sailing through the hurricane zone. On shore it was easy to decide that the risk of a hurricane this early in the season is actually quite low (and it is). But once we were out here, with the NE Pacific weather guru we spoke to on the radio implying that we were idiots for making this passage after May 15th, and the same guru warning of a series of possible storms that turned out to be nothing but kept us on our toes for days at a time, and the two little boys all the while looking up at us trustingly, well, it all felt a little different.

Alisa and I are by habit very conservative sailors, and this little walk on the wild side has reminded us why that is so.

Meanwhile, the trades have been ticking along at a perfect fifteen knots, and Galactic has been putting the hurt on - we're booming along, hour after hour at seven to eight knots. (Except for yesterday, when I very stupidly ripped our brand new main so that we spent the whole day under jib alone while I patched.)

The rigors of the doldrums are just ahead - we expect to run out of the trades some time tonight. And, once again, we're reminded how vast the Pacific is - we're still 500 miles north of the equator.


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