It is Thursday, May 31, 5:30am. We are at 9°45'N 086°50'W, going through the water at 7.7 knots heading 317°. Over ground, we are
going 6.2 knots at 328°. We have a current from the north, and we're skidding sideways a little.
The wind is 12 knots from the west, waves are about 4 or 6 feet high, water temperature is 79° (down from 83° at 6°N). Outside air
temperature is 78° with light snow.
After Panama, we decided we'd visit Isla del Cocos. It's an island 200-300 miles off the coast of Cost Rica. As the largest
uninhabited island in the world (24 square miles or kilometers, I forgot which), I thought we finally found a place where we
wouldn't offend people.
So we took off into the wind toward the island. For a few days. We were about a day and a half away when I decided to see if our
book on Costa Rica had any info on Isla del Cocos.
It did. It's a national marine park of Costa Rica. You cannot go within 12 miles of the island without written permission from Costa
Rica. That takes a minimum of 5 days, and we would have to go to Costa Rica first to clear into the country. Those snobs!
So we turned right toward Mexico. Now we plan to skip over Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador, and possibly Siberia.
That'll teach 'em!
Yesterday, just after we turned right toward Mexico, we rolled out the gennaker. I believe the proper nautical term might be
unfurled, but since our gennaker is on a roller I prefer to use rolled out or unrolled.
A jib is the sail on the front of the boat. We have two of them, a small one called a solent and a big one called a gennaker. The
gennaker is used in light wind, up to 16 or 17 knots apparent. The solent is used in higher wind, and can be used to go more
directly into the wind than the gennaker.
When we brought out the gennaker, the wind was in the low 20's, a little high for that sail. It was enough to stress the winch a
little when we trimmed it. But we were going fast -- 10 and 11 knots.
Then I noticed something on the sail. We broke out the spotlight, and saw a couple of rips, 2-3 feet long. So we rolled up the
gennaker (furled it, too) and broke out the solent. Back down to 8-9 knots.
Today we got some fairly light wind, so we brought down the gennaker onto the trampoline and patched it. We taped it, and Mike sewed
some of the bad spots. He is a heckuva seamster. Then we raised it, unrolled it, and sailed! A few minutes later, the wind was
getting up to 19 and 20 knots, so we went back to the solent.
Last night, Mike was sitting outside peacefully when a large bird relieved itself all over him and the nav station. Today he
retaliated against the avians and caught a bird while fishing. With Mike's and the birds' mindless escalation and policy of mutually
assured destruction, I'm a little nervous when I go outside tonight.
Tonight the sky is mostly clear, and I think it's one day before the full moon. The moon is really bright at any rate. It's a big
change from not even being able to see the horizon.
OK, OK, maybe there's not really any snow.