Day 46, Year 1: Settling In
Date: Friday, December 2, 2005
Weather: Rain, Winds 20-30 knots
Air Temperature: 68 degrees F
Water Temperature: 72 degrees F
Latitude: N 33 degrees 15.00 minutes
Longitude: W 68 degrees 09.79 minutes
Location: Passage from Norfolk to St. Martin, Day 6

One indication that we are finally settling into this crossing to St. Martin is that we have absolutely no idea what day of the week it is until we check a calendar or look back at previous logs. Is it really Friday, and have we really been out here six days? Is it really December? It doesn’t feel like it out here, but the calendar tells me it is so. Since we have only ten hours of daylight, the days go by very quickly. Last night and all of day today, we have been working our way through a weather front with rain and periods of high winds mixed with periods of more moderate winds. We have also had periods of sunshine accompanied by rainbows. Today’s primary front has given us winds in the twenty to thirty knot range and another front tomorrow will continue to send us the heavy winds. As long as they are behind us, and they are supposed to be, we are fine. It would be more comfortable is the seas weren’t so high, probably ten to twelve feet, but Windbird has been handling the wind and the seas nicely. Our main sail and our head sail are both double reefed and we continue to move at about six to seven knots in the heavy winds. There are periods when the winds slow down and then we make about five knots.

Unless something changes our minds and we stop in Bermuda, we still have about eight days to go to reach St. Martin. I hope the next eight or so days go as quickly as the six days so far. And what is it we do to pass the time so quickly? Mark and I are both reading a lot. I gave Mark a copy of Jimmy Buffett’s Tales of Margaritaville to read as we left the Chesapeake. I decided that he needed some light reading after the month of engine work and he really enjoyed it. I think his favorite part was a list of six lessons from Freddy and the Fishsticks. Lesson #6: “If you decide to run with the ball, just count on fumbling and getting the #&@! knocked out of you.a lot, but never forgot how much fun it is just to be able to run with the ball.” A little piece of American philosophy brought to us by Jimmy Buffett. My niece, Lynn, back in Boston gave me the book a couple of years ago. Thanks, Lynn. I read The Secret Lives of Bees while Mark was reading Margaritaville. It is a great book and Mark is now reading that. That book was first given to my by Linda Stuart back in the Concord School district. She had encouraged me to read it for the past couple of years, but there just wasn’t time. Now there is time. Thanks, Linda. And I am just about the finish Kite Runner-another great book. This book was given to me by Leslie Kole. I taught with Leslie in Concord and she has always been able to recommend books that I love reading. I’m not sure what I will start reading tonight during the night watches, but reading definitely helps the nights pass more quickly.

We continue to check in with the weather net each afternoon. It is wonderful to hear where other sailors are located and to get Herb’s personal suggestions for the course we should take next.