The last 24 hours have provided us some mighty beautiful sailing. Late yesterday, the winds began to ease up, which caused the churning seas to settle down some. The night was beautiful, a crisp 3/4 moon, lots of stars, easy winds and gentle sailing in the direction I’ve plotted to get us to Cape Town.
On a night when things go right like that, your anxious and vigilant mind settles down and you find yourself actually relaxing. I read some and wrote some, and then settled into a nice dinner of chicken fajitas. This time however, feeling unrushed, I took the time to pick out the beans! Yup, truth be told, I’ve never been too partial to beans. I’ve eaten so many of them over the years, as they are right up there as the main staple in adventurers’ lives, but I just don’t like them. So, yesterday afternoon, as I sat there, I picked beans out of the freeze-dried mix and tossed them to the fish (never realized how many beans were in that mix!) But minus the legumes, those were the best chicken fajitas I’ve had on this trip! I followed that main course with a Frango mint chocolate for dessert, after which I settled down for some extended napping. The Thursday sunrise brought with it a beautiful morning and we’ve continued sailing this great weather all day long.
So, with more than six weeks passed since leaving Rhode Island, four weeks since leaving Bermuda and a bit more than two weeks until Cape Town, we’ve so far had a good and unforgettable trip.
To get mundane for a moment, I understocked on cookies, which I’ve been ok with ( … mostly) though I really miss them come midnight. On the other hand, I overstocked with chocolate, and still have 20 pounds onboard – including 10 pounds of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses donated to the Expedition by Hershey’s themselves! In other pantry-related news, I’m down to six apples, my oranges are all gone but I’ve still got a dozen apple juice boxes. And, I still have a generous supply of freeze-dried entrees, so I won’t be going hungry. As you quickly learn out here, there is a part of your mind that builds up a wish list of cravings. In my case those would be … ice cream, Pepsi-Cola, orange juice, fresh vegetables, pancakes and maple syrup, bacon and eggs, maybe a burger and a cold beer! Oh, but I’d probably trade all of that for a long hot fresh-water shower!
So, I played with the navigation today, and by just about any course I mark to Cape Town from here, it’s just less than 3000 miles. That’s a fun milestone. I’ve sailed 5000 miles so far from Newport/Jamestown, Rhode Island. Crossing the North Atlantic last year in the Quebec – St. Malo race was 3600 miles, and crossing back from Portugal to the Caribbean was nearly 3200 miles. So, considering all that, it feels like Cape Town is just around the corner, which as you can see from the track that our SPOT Adventure is putting out, it is. We’ve begun to make our slow turn east, but we still need to keep heading south to stay under the South Atlantic high – so look for us to be turning more easterly by the end of the weekend.
I’m surprised I haven’t seen more wild life so far. I’ve only had a couple visits from dolphins. A giant sea turtle passed by (more on that later). Birds are more frequent visitors. (One actually landed on my head last week for a brief second. Don’t know WHAT he mistook me for!) Though I haven’t mentioned it before now, we’ve also harvested tons of flying fish on this trip. Each time I hear them land and flop about frantically on the deck, I try to get them back into the water as quickly as I can, but often in the morning there are a few on deck that didn’t make it. I’d say we’ve had a few dozen at least come onboard over the past few weeks.
I mentioned this yesterday in a short Facebook post, but as we head south, we are moving towards the Tropic of Capricorn and the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere on December 21st, which of course coincides with the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun’s been beating down from such a straight overhead angle that I have to take cover below decks some afternoons. My realization on this though was that I’m sailing the endless summer! How lucky am I?
I thought I’d finish here with a longer-than-usual video post that I shot last weekend. It’s a kind of summary of things up to this point. It may not be for everyone, but if you hang in there till the end, there are a few thoughts worth sharing … namely my appreciation for those who have made it possible for me to do this and to have the experiences I’m having, for the changes in me that result from these experiences … and of course, for having you all out there to share it with. Thank you.
- Dave, Bodacious Dream (and the always sporty Franklin)