Day 194, Year 1: The Grill is Gone–Day 8
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2006
Weather: Cloudy Day, Mid-day Squall with Wind and Rain
Water Surface Temperature: Didn’t Check Today
Air Temperature: Daytime 79 degrees F
Latitude: 05 degrees 48 minutes S
Longitude: 107 degrees 16 minutes W
Miles to Go: 1896 (~167 miles last 24 hours)
Location: Passage from Galapagos to the Marquesas, Day 8
Miles to Date: 1046

“The Grill Is Gone.” Not a title for a new song, but a fact. We lost our grill off the back of the boat today and I am greatly saddened. It is just a grill, but a lot of meals revolve around the use that handy little gadget. Hopefully we can find a replacement in Tahiti. Until then all meat will have to be prepared on the stove top as we have no broiler in our oven. I’ll get over it, but I hate losing any piece of equipment.

Now to the reason we lost the grill. The Coconut Milk Run has turned into a butter churn. We kept the 20 to 25 knot winds all through the night and this morning, but near noon the seas began to build and we hit a squall with 30 plus knot winds. We double reefed the mainsail and the headsail and we are doing fine, still traveling between 6 and 7 knots, but the ride is a lot lumpier. The seas are choppy and the swells are between 6 and 8 seconds. That means that every 6 seconds the boat rises and falls. The swells are hitting us on the port (left) rear quarter which is good, but once in a while one hits us broad-sided which causes a jerk. The 30 plus knot winds were short-lived and we are back to 18 to 22 knots right now. The sky is totally overcast, but once in a while a see a little patch of blue here and there. So back to the grill . . . It probably went over around noon when we were reefing the sails. It was a little rough for a few minutes and we have always known the grill attachment was its weak point. We looked for a better attachment in Panama and didn’t find one, so we probably should have rigged something up to save it if it broke, but we didn’t. Live and learn, and we seem to be learning a lot these days. But rest assured, it is not just us. When we check into the net it seems that someone is always working on something that has broken. About midnight on Thursday night, Quantum Leap lost their spinnaker halyard and had to spend an hour pulling their spinnaker out of the water. Yesterday Jade had to turn back to Puerto Ayoro in the Galapagos because their boom vang broke and their water maker stopped working. We talked to Doug and Sylvia on Windcastle this afternoon and in addition to the ripped headsail, their freezer has stopped working. And Vol (pronounced “yawl”) has lost its alternator. The list goes on. If you took your home and put it on the constantly moving ocean, you would have similar problems. It’s all part of the territory. So in perspective, a lost grill is not such a big deal.

Weather reports indicate that we should continue to have good wind through Tuesday. Wednesday looks a little lighter. Until then we are trying to head due west with the wind behind us. When the wind lightens, we can turn south on a broad reach. That’s the plan, at least.