Monday, June 23, 2014
Day 8: Yes! In the Trades, For Real This Time
sailing in the "trades." "Trades" means the steady winds that blow
around the ocean – in our case the NE trade winds that blow us westward
across the Pacific Ocean. I have heard stories of sailors being able to
set their course at 270 degrees, set the sails for a broad reach and not
change the heading or sails for the 2,500+ miles it takes to get to
Hawaii. Well, I think that story is a little like a fisherman's big
fish story – with each re-telling of the story, the Big Fish gets a
little bit bigger. Perhaps in the retelling of the sailor's trade winds
story, the dozen or so course and sail changes that were done are
forgotten because the pleasure of sailing in the trades is so awesome it
overpowers the reality of sail changing. Plus it makes for a better and
more dramatic story.
Today we awoke from a night of totally becalmed seas to a NNE breeze
that steadily built to about 12-15 knots. Proof that we got into the
trades? We have been able to rig our Asymmetrical Spinnaker, a
light-air sail made of parachute material that can only be used in these
perfect not-too-strong winds that are on the back quarter of the boat.
The boat is literally lifted up out of the water (at least it feels that
way) as this more billowy sail catches the wind and pulls us forward.
The flip-flopping of boom and sails over the past few days has become a
distant memory. And we have been sailing this way for five hours now,
with only a few minor adjustments. So far (I hate to jinx it by saying
this aloud) the wind is still steady and the seas mild. The colorful
sail and smooth fast sailing result in happy people and a happy boat.
Also today, Carmen started making 2,000 origami cranes. She won't let
anyone help her, saying she wants to make them all herself. She is up
to 28 cranes. I wonder if she'll finish them before we arrive in
Hawaii? She is showing her perfectionist tendencies, as she is not able
to hang them yet because they have to be in rainbow color order and she
mistakenly started making a color that doesn't go on the bottom. At one
point today she came up out of the cabin with a huge grin on her face,
glowing so much that we all asked, "What's up Carmen? Why such a big
grin?" Her answer, with a shoulder shrug, "I'm just happy" then she
plopped down in my lap. My mother heart swelled, my arms wrapping
around her slender frame. I treasure these moments of childishness and
joy in my daughter who is on the brink of becoming a teen.
987 nautical miles down, 1,830 to go! Enjoying the ride.
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