Thursday, 28 May 2015

25 May - On passage Day 9 - slowly getting closer to Fiji

Hello,

After nine days of standing watches, I am wondering what more there can be to tell you! We had big seas this morning, blown up by the 20-22 kt winds we had over night. Thankfully these were arriving on our "quarter" (ie back corner of the boat) rather than our "beam" (the side of the boat) so they were not super uncomfortable; however, every now and again, we had one come at us from a different direction that rolled the boat a little more side-to-side, or dumped water in the cockpit (the one wave that got us wet splashed through about 5 min after Victoria went downstairs, otherwise she would have been soaked in the cockpit 'well' (the part where the feet go, and where the kids like to sit and read/play)).

Our cockpit is now very comfortable and kid-friendly. All but one of the nice folding cushions that we own has been moved to the floor and sides of the cockpit well. This gives a cozy spot for a big kid to curl up and read or for a small kid to play with toys.

Victoria treated us to gingersnaps today - we had some candied ginger onboard (supposedly good for seasickness, but we have had neutral results) so she cut that into tiny pieces and baked them into cookies. When I took the second tray out of the oven, all her carefully arranged balls of cookie dough had jammed themselves together on the low side of the oven.

Johnathan spent a lot of time snuggled with Benjamin watching the same five cartoon episodes over and over. We have created a little bit of a monster in Benjamin in that if he so much as sees the iPod, he gravitates to it and wants to watch videos; however, as the saying goes, "desperate times call for desperate measures", and when one or the other parent is sleeping and needing quiet nearly all day, he is getting more 'square-eyes' time than he likely will again. So it goes. Soon he'll be playing on beaches and swimming in lagoons; in the meantime, we are doing what we need to for everyone's sanity. Both big kids have been really patient with him throughout the passage (although we have heard, "oh, you BABY!" in an exasperated tone of voice at various times throughout the trip, when he has done something especially unhelpful to the big kids' stuff.) On the bright side, all this video watching brings back memories of a year ago when Benjamin was willing to snuggle on their chests for hours at a time. It is really cute to watch three little heads cozied up together on the bench.

Once off the bench, it is funny to watch Benjamin toddling around the boat. He has quickly learned to lean 'uphill' into the rolls, and he has kept his footing through some pretty lumpy conditions. As with last season, he simply gets on with playing, oblivious to the conditions or sea state. He doesn't even look puzzled when his world rolls from side to side.

Tonight, we are on a broad reach (as deep down wind as we can go without poling out the genoa, which we think we will do tomorrow) headed for the Koro Sea and Fijian waters. Once we get there, it is about 140 nm across the sea, then another 10 nm across the bay to the marina at Savusavu. The seas are reasonably calm, with the usual sea state when it is blowing 15-20 kts. It is so much easier going downwind in these seas than beating our way through them up wind! The boat is reasonably flat, but every few minutes a wave comes a little more broadside to us, which gives us some good rolls. At least we are now used to the motion. Everything that needs to be secured is either tied down or already on the floor (or both!), and all the cupboards have tea towels and pot holders stuffed into them to keep the glasses, bottles, and pots & pans from sliding around and making noise. If you know my normal housekeeping, you may choke to read this, but all the dishes are put away as soon as a meal is finished. The drainer is lashed to the kitchen tap, and the pressure cooker and kettle are lashed to the stove. These are slightly different preparations from the bedtime tidying habits one needs in a house!

Love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 5/25/2015 4:23 AM (utc) SV Fluenta was 22°26.46'S 179°33.52'E

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