Saturday, 23 May 2015

22 May 15 - Passage to Tonga (not likely via Minerva) - Day 6 - Still motoring

[Note that this post should be read after the Day 5 post that follows]

Hello!

We are still motoring on a glassy blue carpet. It was a good day to do some tidying below decks in preparation for turning this floating campervan back into a sailboat in the next few hours. I collected all the foulies & fleeces - we don't need them at the moment, but we are not necessarily done with them yet - and even swept the saloon floor! When the wind fills in, it is likely to be on the nose, so it could be harder work for the last few days of the passage.

I am not sure I can describe the water as we glide through it. The colour is a deep, deep blue, and it is so smooth at times that it is like we are moving through molten glass. Even the kids were exclaiming to each other about it today.

With the engine running, we had loads of (hot) water, so it was shower day today. (Yes, we can shower on passage, and No, we don't do it very often). We have had continuous problems (ie since Mexico) with the shower drain (one time it was Lego in the hose, but Max blew that through ...) and today was no different. Usually, Max opens up the floor of the saloon to access the grey water system, but since we are on passage (and we have bags and bags of food & supplies stowed there) we used a simpler solution to clear away the water from the shower floor - we used our portable bilge pump into a bucket. Plumbing can wait til Tonga! It may be that there is a length of hose that will need to be replaced, but we will make do with what we have as long as possible, as the "proper fix" would involve removing and re-fiberglassing the entire shower floor. Not fun!

It is kind of like we have sailed into spring from late winter. When we left NZ, I needed two tops, two fleeces, foulie bottoms, a foulie jacket and a woolen cap for night watches, in addition to my life vest and tether (try nursing a cranky baby, who is also bundled for the cold, with all those layers, and you will see why we have headed for the tropics!). It was not much warmer in the daytime. Now we have daytime temps into the mid-20's (shorts & tshirts are more the order of the day) and it is just a little cooler at night (I still need a fleece). I am wondering how much longer we will be sleeping under our duvets and blankets...

No extraordinary kitchen accomplishments to report today (although we are continuing to enjoy Victoria's bread from yesterday). We vacuum-packed some regular deli meat in NZ, so we are still enjoying fresh wraps at noon time (Jesus is a whiz at laying out a tempting buffet of veggies, cheeses, and meats). Dinner was an all-you-can-eat smorgasboard (ie leftovers - pork & rice, fish & rice, and fresh veggies). I have our first batch of yogurt curing on the stove (for the curious, I use 400 mL of whole milk powder, 900 mL of 120 deg water, and sit it in mason jars in a hot-water bath (slightly more than 120 deg) in our pressure cooker for 5 or so hours). With the engine running, our tap water (which routes through the engine compartment) is about 160 deg, so I didn't even need to boil the kettle!

The wind is starting to build, so I think we will be sailing again before long. We are leaning away from stopping at Minerva now, and aiming for Tonga. ETA there is early Wednesday. We shall see.

I feel a tiny bit closer to friends and family tonight - we crossed back into the "Western Hemisphere" today, and are now counting down our longitude from 179 deg W.

Love to all,
Elizabeth
Manual position - 25 deg 43.2 S 179 deg 42.5 W at 1140 UTC 22 May 15
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At 5/22/2015 7:51 PM (utc) SV Fluenta was 25°06.00'S 179°57.21'E

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