Day 89, Year 1: Somebody Left The Porch Light On
Date and Time: Saturday, January 13, 2006, 1900 AST
Weather: Blue Skies and Sunshine, Winds E 10-20 knots
Latitude: N 12 degrees 27 minutes
Longitude: W 62 degrees 40 minutes
Current Location: Interior Caribbean Basin, Passage to Bonaire

We awoke to blue skies and sunshine and left Union Island for Bonaire at 0630. We knew the winds would be behind us today and that they have been. We have sailed downwind all day with winds between 10 and 20 knots. We are sailing wing and wing with the headsail poled out starboard and the mainsail held out to port with our boom vang which serves double duty as a preventer. We are traveling along at about 6 knots with a current that is giving us a little boost. The waves are about 4-5 feet coming at about second intervals. Not totally smooth, but good sailing.

When the sun dipped below the horizon around 1800, there were banks of puffy clouds on either side of us. The tops of the clouds looked just like cotton candy tonight, but underneath the clouds were gray. We could see rain falling to our south, but Windbird was headed directly west into a break in the clouds. I am on first watch tonight and am sitting in the cockpit writing this log. I keep looking behind me to see who left the porch light on, but it is that full moon following right along behind us.

So the high point of today has been the cooperative weather and the beautiful full moon, but there was a low point. Anytime you are sailing downwind, you bounce around a bit. This means you have to be on guard constantly. If you sit something down that is not properly secured, it will surely fall. Late in the afternoon I got into the freezer to get a drink and thought I should put a couple of Cokes in for tomorrow. The top part of the freezer serves as our drink cooler on one side but is cold enough to keep our ice trays frozen on the other. Below that, we keep all of our frozen foods. Now when I say I am putting Cokes in the freezer, you have to understand that in Union Island they do not sell Cokes in cans, only in ½ liter glass bottles. I put one Coke in and left the other sitting on the counter. A wave hit us about that time and the second Coke went flying into the freezer and burst into a million little pieces. And that wonderful sticky brown liquid was everywhere. So much for a perfectly quiet, uneventful day. I was not a happy camper as I knew this meant taking everything out the freezer and washing it off as well as defrosting and cleaning the entire freezer. Oh, well, so goes life. Mark came to my rescue and the freezer is now clean and defrosted, and I am learning the hard way to secure everything, no matter how calm it seems one minute. The next may not be the same.

So as I sit here listening to the waves roll by, I’ll bet a lot of you are sitting in front of your television sets watching the Patriots play the Broncos. At least, I think I understood from an e-mail from my sister that the game is tonight. And I’ll bet the gang at Shipyard Quarters is gathered together at the Bistro to watch the game. Right? We’ll be thinking of you and I’ll be routing for the Patriots, but I’ll spend my night reading more about the Galapagos and start Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific during my middle of the night watch. It’s a whole different world out here!