19 April 2010 | Pacific Ocean
Although we only sailed 154 miles in the past 24 hours, it was still enough to bring us past the halfway point of this passage. We covered over 1450 miles since leaving the Galapagos. We’ve still got a heck of a long way to go, but psychologically it’s a big step. Rather than statements like, “Well, still two weeks left at least”, “Wow another 2000 miles to go”, and “Holy cow. I’ll have two more Saturdays out here”. It’ll be more of “Only another day until a week left”, “This was our last Wednesday at sea before the marquesas”, “Cool. Triple digit miles to go”, and “Alright, we better hurry up and prepare to anchor only two days left out here” (we say nerdy things like this at sea). So yeah, reaching the halfway point is great. We threw a party to celebrate and Alex jumped on the radio to let any boat that could hear us know about the Halfway there Hootenanny and to swing by. No surprise that there were no responses we’re way out here. Pizza was on the menu and we used some of the Wisconsin mozzarella that we picked up in Panama City. While the pizza was cooking, I dug out some of the venison jerky that I had for special occasions. It’s from a deer I shot this year and processed with my little sister the jerky is amazing and has lasted pretty well considering it’s been sitting in the V berth in what must be 85 degrees for the past two months. Diego tried it, but wasn’t completely sold. Alex and I were lovin’ it and had to do everything in our power from not eating it all. Straight from Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin to the Middle of Nowhere, Pacific Ocean. I was in heaven Wisconsin cheese and homemade venison jerky in the same meal. You could put me anywhere in the world and if you told me I got to eat that for dinner, I’d be a happy man. On top of all that, we used the fresh apples to make some apple crisp. Couldn’t ask for more (well maybe a cold Leinie’s, but we did each have a cheap Panamanian beer which did the job). And shockingly, a boat was spotted last night. I was on watch and was reading. Alex woke up to move into the cockpit to sleep in the fresh air (not that there is much of a choice out here, but it’s much cooler outside the cabin). As soon as he got up the stairs, I hear “Hey Gerber there’s a boat over there.” I thought he must have been hallucinating, but to my surprise just on the horizon there was a faint light. As much as I hoped it wasn’t a boat to preserve my lead in the boat counting contest (and the ice cream prize), it moved along just like a mast light and it had to have been another boat. It’s the first boat that we’ve spotted, since I spotted one the first night. Pretty wild to bump into another boat right when we are at the halfway point. It was moving faster than us, and it was probably around 5 miles away. In the morning, we tried to hail them on the radio, but heard no response. There is now a tie at the tops: Ross 1, Alex 1, Diego 0. Just before sunset, Diego noticed we had some more dolphins around the boat, so even in the middle we’re still seeing quite a bit of wild life. I was thinking that this would probably be the farthest I’d ever been from land, but then remembered that Easter Island is located out here somewhere. Usually to see how far you are from different places, you look for a map that would put you in the center and those don’t really exist for where we are at. After some serious research, Alex confirmed that we were actually closer to Easter Island than either the Galapagos or the Marqueses. It’s 1300 miles south, but still closer, so we were actually the furthest away from all land a day or so ago. Safe to say that we’re quite a ways out here.