Day 234, Year 1: The Game of Sailing
Date: Thursday (Thor’s-day), June 8, 2006
Weather: Sunny Morning, Squally Afternoon, Strong Tradewinds
Latitude: 12 degrees 26 minutes
Longitude: 144 degrees 02 minutes
Location: Marquesas to Tuamotus Transit, Day 3
Miles to Go: 182

Sailing is an interesting mode of travel. You are totally dependent on the wind to get you where you need to go, but when it is very windy, you spend all of your time trying to find ways to slow down. When there is no wind, you spend all of your time trying to find ways to go faster. Earlier today the winds settled in at a steady 28 to 30 knots. By late afternoon we have variable winds 18 to 25 knots. The seas are much calmer than yesterday, but the threat of squalls with higher gusts keeps us on the conservative side in terms of amount of sail out. We are actually moving slower than we would if we had less wind. If we move faster, we will arrive in the Tuamotus during the night, and that is not a good idea. So we will continue to find ways to slow down. That’s the game of sailing.

Mark is reading a really fascinating little book, “The Year 1000: What Life Was Like At The Turn of the First Millenium”, by Robert Lacey and Danny Danzinger. It gives the background for many of our English words. As we are struggling with Spanish, French, and the various Polynesian languages, we realize that we know so little about our own language. Here’s a little trivia for you concerning the names of the days of the week.
Sun-day for the Sun
Moon-day for the Moon
Tiw’s-day (Tiw, Norse god of war)
Woden’s-day (Woden, Alfred’s father of the gods and of the royal House of Wessex)
Thor’s-day (Thunor, Norse god of thunder)
Frig’s-day (Frig, Norse god of growing things and fertility)
Saturn’s-day (from the Roman god Saturn)

Today was a baking day aboard Windbird-bread, brownies, and Shepard’s Pie for dinner. It was also a shower day which in turn means a clothes washing day. So Thor’s-day was a very busy one. The afternoon squalls also kept us busy adjusting course and changing sails. Before and after the squalls there is very little wind for a period, and then we have 25 to 30 knot winds for a period. Finally we even back out at an average of 22 to 24, but the variability keeps you on your toes.

We have now traveled about 318 miles from the Marquesas. I had really hoped to write my Marquesas summary and include it in today’s log, but once again, that is just not going to happen. Unless the weather goes absolutely crazy, I’ll definitely have this done by tomorrow. We will arrive in the Tuamotus on Saturday morning, and by that time the Marquesas will be a distant memory. Best capture the essence before it is too late.