What a difference a day makes: In the last 24 hours, Tiki Blue has seen
light to moderate winds, calmer seas, and a couple ships. Compare that
to two days ago, when we were bashing through rough and confused seas
with the winds in the high 20s! These more comfortable conditions have
allowed life to return to whatever is considered normal on the high
seas. Last night, we resumed cocktail hour, followed by a great dinner
of roast beef with mashed potatoes in a ginger reduction sauce, one of
Seymour's specialties. This morning Bligh made us a delightful fritatta
that consisted of meat and potatoes of course! Other than eating,
everyone seemed to get caught up on sleeping and reading.
After dinner last night we were able to shake out the reefs and sail on
the full main and jib for the first time in several days, sailing in a
very pleasant 10-12 knot breeze. By 9 pm however, the wind had picked
up to 16 to 18 knots out of the North, so we put one reef back in the
main and a couple more turns on the jib. The increase was somewhat
welcome as the boat speed picked up from 5s to high 7s and an occasional
8. Because this stronger wind had backed a bit, we decided to sail a
little higher to gain back some of the Northing we lost when the wind
was blowing harder. This morning the wind has really lighted up and
gone DDW, so we are currently motoring straight toward the Gate. We
expect better wind strength and direction in the next 24 hours so we can
Now on to the highlight of the day: we all took showers for the first
time in five days or so. This was a welcome event for all on board as
the entire boat smells much better as a result. Now laundry is getting
sorted and the fresh clothes have come out. It is impossible to
quantify the increase in moral.
One last event worth mention occurred last night. We were visited by
two container ships. One, the Cosco New York, passed just 1 1/2 miles
astern. But not to worry, Bligh had already contacted the bridge to
verify that they saw us and exchanged the usual captain-to-bridge secret
handshake. The other ship was further away and was summarily ignored.
Speaking of ships passing in the night, we learned on the radio net that
a returning Pac Cup boat that is about four hours behind us almost ran
into a overturned fishing boat. I was delivered that news shortly
before my 1:30 AM watch, and subsequently spent the next ninety minutes
standing at the dodger looking around hopelessly in the darkness for
objects in the water. Truth is, you can't really see anything in the
water in the dark, and Bligh later told me not to bother because that
stuff goes away at night. Anyway, we continue to see lots of stuff in
the water, yesterday's most interesting sighting being part of an oil
containment boom. We have been fortunate to only get lines caught on
the prop twice, and haven't hit anything solid yet.
Tiki Blue is currently 565 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, making
6 knots over the ground. At our current speed and distance, I have 16
more watches to stand before we arrive, but who's counting. That's all
The Honorable (and vastly skilled) Stubblebeard.
N 37º 03.438; W 134º 18.425.