Day 204, Year 1: Spinnaker Weather–Day 18
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Weather: Blue Skies Dotted with Puffy White Clouds
Air Temperature: 84 degrees F
Water Surface Temperature: 81 degrees F and rising
Latitude: 08 degrees 03 minutes S
Longitude: 129 degrees 29 minutes W
Location: Passage from Galapagos to the Marquesas, Day 19
Miles to Go: 569 (~129 miles last 24 hours)
Miles to Date: 2423

The thermometer has only gone up a couple of degrees, but inside the main cabin it is much warmer than it has been. It is 88 downstairs right now and 84 up here in the cockpit. The water temperature is still around 81 degrees. The only thing not in the eighties is the humidity. It is 69 per cent today, and varies from there to 79 per cent on some days. It was another beautiful day today with calm seas, but the boats in front of us are reporting squalls and rain. When they had rain earlier in the passage, we did not, so we shall see what happens this time.

Today was a spinnaker day. We had been sailing wing and wing for two days and heading further north than we would have liked, so we put up the asymmetrical spinnaker and we are able to be much closer to our desired course. And we are speeding along at six to seven knots with about 10 to 15 knots of wind. Our seas were calm all night and day, but just in the last hour we started getting a large swell from the south. It is gentle right now, but I can tell that we will have a bit of a romp tonight..

Two of the boats in our radio net, Vol and Invictus Reward, arrived in Fatu Hiva yesterday and Shine and Shoestring arrived today. But then two boats left who had been with the earlier radio net of about 45 boats have now switched to our net. I think they are the only two of the 45 that are still out and one of those is headed to Hawaii, not to Fatu Hiva. Our friends, Doug and Sylvia from Windcastle arrived in Fatu Hiva yesterday-a 30 day passage. They were certainly glad to reach land. We are still gaining on boats that left before us and other boats that left after us have gained on us. It is like a chess game out here.

Randy on Procyon is stabilizing somewhat, but he is still not back to normal and is not eating yet. He is starting to be able to hold down some fluids. Dr. Tom on Quantum Leap talks with Sheri, Randy’s wife, three times a day on the radio. They can often not hear each other because they are so far apart, so Patrick on Aqua Magic relays and we listen in just in case we can be helpful. Things are still in a holding pattern, so I’m hoping that by tomorrow he will be much better. Tom says he will turn around and come back to help if need be, but right now the two boats are about 800 miles apart. Let’s hope that is not necessary, but it is nice to know that people that you have only met a couple of times are willing to do whatever is necessary to help in an emergency. We are so glad that we have the services of the World Clinic. They are literally just a phone call away and we have never had to wait. And we don’t have to worry about poor radio connections. We call on the satellite phone and within a couple of minutes we have a doctor on the line who can help us. We’re also glad that we have a very well stocked medical kit. We bought the kit already stocked by the Wilderness Medical Associates sponsored by Ocean Navigator, and then the World Clinic supplied the prescription medications. We’ve only had to use a couple of different medications, but it is a nice feeling to know that whatever we might need is waiting in the blue bag. It may seem like Randy’s illness is getting a lot of attention from us, but the fact is that even non-serious problems can be a crisis when you are more than 1000 miles from a clinic or hospital.

I continue to fill my days with reading and research about the South Pacific and trying to outline our itinerary for the Marquesas, the Tuamotus, and the Society Islands. It completely consumes my days right now and I have had little time to even return e-mails. But I am just about to get the itinerary set. Mark then puts in all of the waypoints in the GPS. By the time we arrive in Fatu Hiva, we will have the next six weeks planned. Of course, plans change on a daily basis, but a national consultant in the field of education made this quote famous, “If you don’t have a plan, you’re planning to fail.” So we will have a plan!