23 April 2010 | Pacific Ocean
We had our first actual rain storm of the trip today. Although it only lasted for around 15 minutes, it was enough to give the boat and all of us a good rinse. We all jumped out of the cabin and eventually took turns positioning ourselves under the end of the boom where the water being caught by the mainsail was pouring off just like a shower head. After nearly 2 weeks of saltwater showering, the fresh water was great. I started scrubbing on my arm and realized the top layer skin was just peeling off sounds a bit disgusting, but I think I had been sunburned a bit and the salt water rinses I had been doing weren’t quite getting the dead skin cells off. For the first 2000 miles of the Galapagos to Marquesas crossing, the wind is supposed to be out of the SSE. This is ideal and allows boats to sail on a broad reach. The last 1000 miles, the wind is supposed to turn and be out of the east which forces sailors to sail dead downwind. Running, as it is called, isn’t a terrible way to sail and is usually pretty comfortable because the boat rolls with the waves. As predicted, the wind has turned and is now out of the east. We took down our large lightweight jib that we had been using since the Galapagos. The main reason for taking it down is that we can’t use it with the whisker pole. The whisker pole is a rod that connects to the mast and to the edge of the jib to keep the sail out to the side of the boat (it also has the coolest name of anything on the boat). We could probably make it work with the larger jib, but we are much more comfortable with the smaller jib sailing downwind, so we have put that sail up. After having the sails set for so long, it was nice to actually get our hands on the sails and do the work of real sailors. There is a 10in by 24in window in the kitchen and somehow 3 fish jumped through it today. It’s almost like they are aiming for it. I found a pretty big one in the morning just after cooking breakfast. Another dove through the window while we were cooking dinner and landed right on the stove next to the open flame. We literally had to scrape it away from the flame and throw it back into the ocean. I can’t imagine what he told his buddies when he got back in the water probably something along the lines of “Guys, I was literally just in hell.” Later that night, another good sized fish bounced into the kitchen. He didn’t stun or kill himself and it took me awhile to pin him down and get him back in the water. You might wonder why we aren’t keeping these as bait and the answer is that we find 3 or 4 every morning, so we’ve got a stack at the back of the boat. 151 miles today. Still slowing down, but at this rate we should make it in 6 days and we are fine with that. We’re rolling pretty hard in the new setup, but hopefully the wind shifts a little further, along with the swell, and we get a smoother ride.