Popcorn Day and Ocean Tasting

cap’n alex

06 March 2012 | off coast of Brazil

When at sea on a multiday passage Monday and Tuesday quickly fade to shower day (the one day on passage each crew gets a fresh water shower), half way day (the day we reach the the half way point to our intended destination, usually celebrated by baking a cake which also makes that day cake day), nesquick day, movie ect. On this particular passage of we inaugurated popcorn day. It started as a normal popcorn party but like always at sea, things got interesting and there was soon soup ladle fulls of butter and half a kilo of sugar carmelizing on the hob. Add some cocao powder to the mix, pour over freshly popped popcorn, shake for a couple minutes, let cool, and you have chocolate carmel corn that could compete with anything a landlubber could concoct. Plus everything tastes better at sea, hence so many of the days involving food.

With wind of 15 to 20 knots on the beam ,the 700 mile passage to the mouth of the Amazon went by quick. Execpt for all the flyfish that jumped aboard everynight ,we still could not catch a fish no matter how many lures we tried or fishing dances Celesta made. We did however almost get caught in several of the many fishtraps (coming within feet on two different occasions) that line the Brazilian coast. At night Rebecca (20) likened dodging all the fishing boats to a scary video game and often needed one of us to coach her through it.

Daytime was spent with Diego and I taking advantage of the sunshine to seal the boat for the coming rains while the girls would be hard at work on their tans. To be fair to them they did cook 4 awesome pizzas one day and we don’t even have an oven. With myself being the only native English speaker on board arguments ensued over who spoke the best English. I have to admit I came out second with Rebecca (sweedish) with the best English followed by Diego (galapaganian) then Celesta (dutch).

The sunsets were above average with the clouds offering pinks and oranges on a nightly basis that usually only showcase rarely. For the first time we saw two manta rays in open ocean, with one so close it smacked the side of the boat. One night I started my watch to a dinging noise to discover our stern pulpit had cracked and was getting worse with each wave that hit us. I woke Diego and with the wind generator causing the the most harm (it was the highest and thus putting the most force on the damaged pulpit) we had to cut it off. Being up high and bulky this was no easy task with 10 foots seas, but we managed to give her a proper sea burial with minimal damage to ourselves (only fiberglass itching) and of course saving the yamaha 15 that would have went if the whole pulpit would have broken off. The wind gen was too loud anyway (always sounded like a helicopter was taking off anytime it blew over 20 knots).

We are currently on our way to the the Amazon river, which holds one fifth of the worlds fresh water and upon hearing tales of how far into the ocean it flows, we decided to see for ourselves. On day four (250 miles from the mouth) we began taking samples to measure the salinity of the water. The only measuring device we had, however, was our taste buds and the readout varied based on each device. For example, on day one, Deigo said the water was ´´100 percent salty´´, Rebecca stated ´very very salty´, and Celesta noted ´not sweet.´ This was followed the next day by ´75 percent salty´, ´not really salty´, and ´more sweet´. To sum up the results the water did in fact lose salinity as we approached the 200 mile mark to the mouth. If anyone would like our data for scientific purposes I kept a detailed log of our observations.

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