Day 203, Year 1: Procyon’s Medical Emergency–Day 17
Date: Monday, May 8, 2006
Weather: Blue Skies Dotted with Puffy White Clouds
Air Temperature: 80 degrees F, minus a degree or two at night
Water Surface Temperature: 81 degrees F and rising
Latitude: 08 degrees 12 minutes S
Longitude: 127 degrees 29 minutes W
Location: Passage from Galapagos to the Marquesas, Day 17
Miles to Go: 683 (~130 miles last 24 hours)
Miles to Date: 2294

Today’s big decision was whether or not to make brownies for watch snacks. I had to laugh as I tried to think back to a year ago this time when Mark and I were making daily decisions that certainly didn’t have anything to do with whether or not to cook something. But out here, today, that was the big decision. I did make the brownies and they will help the night watches to go much more smoothly. Chocolate in the middle of the night does wonders.

Every morning when we check into our radio net, the first thing the net controller says is, “If there is any emergency or medical traffic, come now.” There has not been a response to that on this passage or on any net we have been on since leaving home. But this morning there was a response from Sherri on Procyon. I think I stopped breathing momentarily, afraid to hear what she would say. If you have read prior logs, you might remember that Randy, Sherri’s husband, had to be air-lifted out of the Galapagos to mainland Ecuador for an emergency operation. That was about six weeks ago. He returned to Puerto Ayora after having stomach ulcers removed and spent the next four weeks recuperating. Randy and Sherri left the Galapagos five or six days after we did, and everything seemed to be going fine, but evidently last night Randy fell and hurt his back. Then later in the night he started having pain in his upper abdomen and was quite nauseas. Tom of Quantum Leap is a physician and Sherri talked to him this morning. We are all hopeful that he just has a case of mild food poisoning and that the fall had nothing to do with the nausea, but we just have to wait and see. When on a passage like this, so far away from land and any help, there are about three things that you don’t want to happen. You don’t want to hit something that might put a hole in your boat, you don’t want to fall overboard, and you don’t want to have a major health problem. Hope with us that Sherri can hold things together until Randy is better and that this is not a major health problem and that he will get better quickly.

We are still sailing wing and wing and heading a little more north than we would like, but we do have wind and that is good. It is amazing how quickly the days and nights pass. And it is truly a gift to be out here and to be able to enjoy nature at it’s finest. Last night when I came on watch at 9 PM, the half moon was shining brightly and the sky was filled with stars. When I come on watch, I sit in the dark for about 20 minutes just looking around and watching every carefully. Last night, I noticed a strange ruffling of the water near the front of the boat. I kept watching this to starboard but couldn’t figure it out. Then I went to port and look and saw the same thing, but on that side I could see what was causing the disturbed water. It was dolphins playing with us in the night. They were following along side Windbird and diving under the bow of the boat and coming out the other side. About that time, I saw a falling star. I then sat back and put on my headlamp so that I could read, but as I did so, I felt a great satisfaction of being in harmony with nature.

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Day 204, Year 1: Spinnaker Weather--Day 18
Day 202, Year 1: End of Windbird’s Wind Bubble--Day 16