Sanity checks, squalls and neighbours


It's pretty amazing out here.

Day 4 (I'm pretty sure) and we are roughly 650km from NZ's shoreline. It's a tricky thing to contemplate what that actually means and my brain still can't despite having felt every single wave and puff of wind between us and it. 

When I say we've felt every wave, I mean every wave. I didn't know this about sailing. I'd probably assumed it but didn't really grasp what it means to be sitting for days on end on moving seas in a steel tube. We have to react to every single wave in varying degrees of reaction. We find ourselves subconsciously coordinating our movements with the tilts and sways of literally each passing wave. A sort of pre-emptive clumsy dance. Is this what happens to people on off shore voyages perhaps?  Maybe we are going to become completely in tune with every micro-nuanced alteration in Fortaleza, the ocean, the elements and each other??? At one with the Universe. Apologies in advance if I descend into cliche.

Night shift for me is an eerie thing. Sleep deprivation combined with ink black pre moon-rise sensory deprivation mean that I am hallucinating all sorts of weirdness. A meerkat with a bobble hat and a striped sweater and a very charming grin kept booping its head out of a water bottle holder we have in the cockpit last night every time I moved. It turned out, disappointingly, to be my own reflection in some sunglasses. A large doughy cloud, huge even against the vast black sky, took the form of a massive cartoon gloved hand pointing to the west and made me question our course. I mean perhaps God was trying to tell us something, should I wake Elliot? Rising stars are dangerously close mast lights. And all night I hear people laughing and  the faint sound of a rather dull BBC news reporter bleating on about something I can't distinguish. It doesn't surprise me even remotely that mermaids and sirens are said to be out here with us.

At dawn we spotted some bright white sails on the horizon to our south west. SV Gone Bambu, who coincidentally were our immediate neighbours in Whangarei Marina. It's been rather nice - we have been tracking alongside eachother all day roughly 3km apart.  Not quite close enough to pass a G&T between us, but heartwarming nonetheless. 

We spent the early part of the day dodging very punchy squalls that would take the windspeed from 15 to 30 in a matter of seconds. They are extraordinary things, easier tackled in the day than at night.

I think its safe to say we are finding our groove. Elliot has been very generous with the hours of sleep he has allowed me. I am feeding him like a king with meals I made and froze before we left. We've had hot water showers, espresso coffees and Stinky Starlinky is helping us stay in touch with the world back on land. My mind wanders often to the people who made these journeys before us, without the tech, the forecasts or the comforts we find ourselves with. Brave souls.

In numbers:

Our highest wind so far is 31.7 knurtens

Average speed is 5.7 knurtens

And our maximum speed was a whopping 11.7! (I think it was about then that we put a couple of reefs in the main!).


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