Day 192, Year 5: Buckets of Rain
Date: Thursday, May 6, 2010
Weather: Rain, Rain, and More Rain
Location: Ile Fouquet, Salomon Atoll, Chagos

Today was all about water. The rain that started in earnest at around 8 pm last night is still coming down 24 hours later. By 9 am, Constance had filled her water tank and all available buckets and offered to let us borrow their rain catcher. One of our water tanks had run dry last night, so the timing was perfect. The rain catcher is a piece of vinyl that stretches from mast to inner-forestay and from one side of the boat to the other. You tie the sides high and let the middle drop down. The water collects in the center and there is a hose there that leads directly into a water tank. So we used that system as well as our old bucket system. At the end of the day, we have poured 70 gallons of water into the one empty tank but we are still working to fill the second tank. We have filled four 5-gallon water jugs and a 5-gallon bucket. Some of that water came from the dinghy which fills up quickly in these down pours. We can use that water for showers and clothes washing and the rain water collected in buckets on deck for drinking. When the rain really pours, our two bright yellow buckets fill up quickly and once full, Mark would carry them down into the cabin and pour them directly into the water tank. This required lifting the floor board and taking the metal top off the tank, but filling the completely empty tank without running the watermaker was a real gift. It would take three 8-hour days of running the watermaker to fill that tank, so it was a labor intensive day of carrying bucket after bucket of water, but it kept us from having to run the engine all day for three days to keep the water maker going.. I once again had bad timing on doing a laundry. I put it in to soak overnight supposing that the rain would stop by morning. We have damp laundry hanging everywhere. So we are surely hoping for a sunny day tomorrow.

We’ve heard from our sailing friends Zbyszek and Tina on Shirena. They have safely made it to Port Suez and they are happy to have the Red Sea behind them. Jim and Carole of Nepenthe who left here headed for Madagascar are nearing the east coast of Madagascar and will follow the current north and around the tip of the island. They have had some strong winds, but basically have had a good passage so far. Mirage left here today for Malaysia. What an ugly day for the start of a passage, but as Kathy said, “So it can’t get any worse.” At least that is the hope. We have also heard from our children. Our son-in-law has been sending up piracy updates. Those pirates have been busy this year and have attacked a number of ships north of Madagascar and over to the Tanzania coast, but it looks like the activity is settling down now and the route over the top of Madagascar looks safe. Justin wrote that Ziggy is starting to walk. He had been standing and taking a step, but just a few days ago he took three steps. So it won’t be long before he is walking. Heather writes that Jonah is trying desperately to get his two front teeth. The gums are swollen, but no teeth as yet. Sam wrote us a note the other day. He had picked out symbols on Heather’s computer which got translated a bit when coming through the HAM email system. Kisses came through as: :-* and Cool (a happy face with sunglasses) came through as 8-). I especially liked that one as the number 8 does look a bit like sunglasses. So I’ll end with that. 8-). That makes me :.