Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Gluttony, Sloth, and Serenity

The last time we spotted another vessel on this passage was about two weeks ago. That was a tuna seiner, 40 days at sea, who kindly came up on the VHF to ask if we needed anything.

We didn't note the event in the log, so I'm not sure exactly how long ago that was. But in the two weeks or so since, Alisa and I have faithfully kept watch around the clock, with regular short-term assistance from the boys during daylight hours.

That watchkeeping has taken its toll. We have passed much of the trip in an addled, sleep-deprived state. We might have reasonably turned on the radar alarm and the AIS alarm and both o fus gone to sleep at some point, content in the safety of those two electronic eyes and the extremely low chances of crossing paths with anything. But though we've done that in the past, Alisa and I now like to keep watch even in the loneliest stretches of the ocean, for reasons that we can't fully articulate.

Our sleep-deprived state gives a funny cast to the vast amounts of spare time that we have available to us on this month-long sail. We have plenty of time during which we might "do" something, but not the mental powers to concentrate to good effect. The fractured sleep schedules and endlessly distracting motion of the sea see to that. So, will we or no, we tend towards the blissed-out, doped-out, Moitissie-ed-out state of just being.

That blissed out state doesn't make for an any more active existence. Whatever reservoir of self discipline I may have access to does not cover willful physical exercise at sea. I have sat on this trip enough that I want to sit no more in life. That and ritual snacking on my first watch of the night feel to have set my health index back a few notches over the last four weeks/4,000+ miles. Elias has been growing a little paunch before my eyes. I am filled with resolve for the active life when my feet once again encounter the earth.

Our concerns have been filled a bit with the logistical concerns of our impending stay in Hawai'i. Where to come to land, where to leave the barky when we venture back to the mainland for family events, whether we can haul out; the when where who and how of the fixes that we will need to make before setting off for Kodiak.

That buzz of practical concerns is always on a sailor's mind, I suppose, especially when a fairly brief interlude between long passages is planned. But for all that we have bought ourselves a tremendous amount of mental space on this passage, whether we always want it or no. To have "unplugged" ourselves from the noise and dross of the connected, post-Enlightenment, post-fact world, for four whole weeks! The magnitude of this gift will become clear to us once we reach land, and all this time on the endless blue fades suddenly to a dream.

We are less than 90 miles from the Big Island, and have hopes of spying its 4000 m of relief before the day is far gone.
This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!

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