Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pacific Fantasy and Reality

As many of you know, this has been a long-term dream of ours to get to the South Pacific. It started when we lived and sailed in Oregon. And like most dreams – it has a mythical quality. We are certainly seeing reality now!

The dream (and we understand actual experience of many) is of a peaceful (thus the name Pacific) ocean. Long gentle swells and a steady trade wind to give you those perfect sailing conditions. Yes, it's a long ocean-crossing passage – but it is supposed to be the sailing that we dream about. We imagined just such a passage. We fantasized about all the projects we'd get done in 30 days of wonderful sailing. Books read. Articles and screenplays written, The new dinghy cover finished and other sewing projects. Cruising guides studied for our new islands. Computers cleaned out. Even stainless steel all polished up bright. New recipes tested. Oh, the plans we had.

It is now 16 days into the voyage and we have yet to experience that idyllic sailing day. The projects mount and these aren't the fun projects. The boat is tossed around so it is near impossible to accomplish much. Writing on this log page is the only writing getting done and even that, with some difficulty. The stainless continues to rust not shine. The dinghy is still cover-less. A few books are getting read – but you hold on with one hand and hold the book with the other. We're eating well – but it isn't easy getting a meal together because when you open a cupboard – everything comes flying out!

Perhaps we read too many of those magazines and books about the perfect passage. But many of our cruising friends have had good passages as well. Is it a test of our skills, our fortitude, our patience??? Is it El Nino, La Nina, the ITCZ or Global Warming? Is it simply pure chance that the time we chose to make the journey, it wasn't the best weather window.

An ocean passage was on the bucket list. Now, we wonder why.

Day 16 – 1760 miles to go. We've at least started to make 100 miles in a day – but just barely and we still have some miles to make up from those first five days of drifting backwards in the current. We need some good wind, some sunshine and some miles under the keel.

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