Now, almost seven weeks since Carmen and I left Anchorage, Alaska to climb aboard S/V Sweet Dreams and crew for them across the Pacific, we are still at the dock and I finally understand. With my tail between my legs, I admit that I was clueless. All six of us have been pulling our hair out working to get the boat ready and waiting for the weather. Everything takes longer than anticipated. The weather is unpredictable. Thus, we have missed many deadlines while we do this Departure Dance that I imagine all seamen become accustomed to. A few rules of thumb: respect the ocean, wait for a good weather window, don't rush. Have another margherita and wait.
**swing your partner**
|While we wait for the perfect weather window, the girls and I took a few hours off to play near the surf.|
During this first three-week delay, we missed our weather window to go to the South Pacific. Either too much wind in the form of cyclones or monsoons, or not enough wind in the doldrums make it not a good choice this time of year. And so we changed our destination to Hawaii.
|Safety meeting at the dock - Jim is going over how to deploy the life raft (which we are sure we will NOT need!)|
After successfully crossing the Sea on June 1-2nd, we spent the next week hopping south in beautiful aqua water and monitoring Hurricane Cristina, slowing down since we knew we had to wait for this storm to peter out before we rounded the tip of the Baja Peninsula and headed West. Eating the food we carefully provisioned to last four weeks for six people at sea. Accepting the weather delay with a sigh and a feeling of gratitude for modern meteorology and technology, making us delayed but helping us avoid catastrophe.
So, we monitor the weather and meanwhile tidy up and dance a little. We get to those last-minute items on the to do list that we thought we might just never complete. We hold safety meetings and prepare to stow everything once again. We learn patience.
|Reviewing where medical supplies are and how to use them.....yes, we are VERY prepared aboard S/V Sweet Dreams!|
For days the hurricane (upgraded from tropical storm two days ago) has been growing in strength and tracking NW, right toward our route to Hawaii. But today, things are looking better, the storm is expected to dissipate over the next few days. This morning we got that green light from Brynn for a tentative departure of Monday or Tuesday. Not only is it looking likely that we can avoid getting caught up in it, but we will actually benefit by receiving some decent wind for the first part of our journey, left over from the hurricane's power.
Even so, the latest departure date of "Monday or Tuesday" remains tentative. Mother Nature is fickle and unpredictible.
And so we dance.
|Taking a break from boat stuff - a blustery walk along the beach. Terra firma for a few more days, then only ocean under our feet.|