We are well into the trade winds now. We scoot along at about 6-7.5 knots most days, sometimes with full sails, sometimes with reefs (glad the furlboom / vang setup is working better than last year!). We have played with various sail configurations including running wing-on-wing and broad reaching with the foresail "poled out" with our spinnaker pole - this seems to give the steadiest ride. With a preventer on the main and the pole on the genoa, the rig is solid despite the swell, so at least we are not getting a lot of "slatting" and noise from the sails.
It took me a few days to get my sea legs (ok, understatement - for days 2-4 of the trip, I was pretty much flat with seasickness. The antidote seemed to be time (lots of time), sleep, Gravol, a mix of homeopathic remedies, and TLC from Nancy, Max, and the kids. I didn't find that the one-earplug solution worked this time), but we are all well now, and getting more and more into a routine. This means that I am getting caught up on washing - diapers, laundry, and dishes need to consume some time each day. It also means that I can share more of the watches - Nancy and Max did the lion`s share in the beginning. Now we each take a piece of the night, get a good solid duration of sleep the rest of the night, and try to take one nap in the day time. Long night watches and long off-watches seem to be working the best for us at the moment. On that note, the nights are warming up. We needed extra layers for the first few nights, but not so much anymore :)
Our pantry is still dishing out fresh produce - apples and potatoes have done particularly well, especially considering that many of them were procured 3 weeks ago. Carrots were hit and miss (not enough airflow, and not enough checking, I think ... I am hoping to make carrot bread, muffins, etc to finish the useable ones tomorrow... this task didn't quite happen today.)
Our fishing lures are starting to come out even - we donated two to the sea early in the trip, but have since caught a nice little dorado and a lovely 14 lb yellow fin tuna. Tasty!
The kids are thriving. They saved the Harry Potter books to read on passage, and with stomachs of steel, they have been reading morning til night.
We had dolphins come to visit a couple of mornings ago (quite amazing, as they stayed with us for over half an hour). Victoria told us in a very matter of fact tone of voice that they were pan-tropical spotted dolphins. How did she know this, I wondered? She had read it in the field guide, of course. This is my kind of school! This afternoon, in an attempt to distract Benjamin, I heard both kids, on separate occasions, reading him the pictorial fishing guide.
Fluenta has been good to us this week. Max has had a couple of maintenance jobs, but I'll leave them for him to describe. Our new solar panels and our wind generator are pumping in energy, so the first time we had to charge our batteries with the engine or generator (we went with the engine given the rolly seas) was today - day 8!
On that note, we will continue this story on another day. One-finger typing with a babe in arms while propped up in order to not fall off the nav seat has its limits!
Love to all - and thanks for your good wishes!
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