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Happy New Year everyone! We didn’t observe the change of the year much. I was on shift at 1/1/15 00:00 and was making hot cocoa in the dark! As I type this, we have hit 1330 nm on this trip!
The past two days have been quite bouncy. The waves are pretty big, and sometimes the biggest ones come in at unusual angles. We have been facing squalls now too. During the day we keep an eye on the horizon, and if we see anything that looks like rain, we turn on our radar. We watch the rain approach, and before it hits we make sure we are comfortable with our sail set up. Right now, we have our main up with a 2nd reef, and our Genoa up reefed to about 2/3 of its size. If needed, we reef the Genoa in a bit more. Before the rain hits us, the wind does. When the day is 15-20 knots of wind, the squall can gust us up to 30-35 knots of wind. Then the wind dies and the rain hits.
The best part of all this is that Starry Horizons has been getting a much needed bath. As the sea water splashes up and dries, it leaves sea salt all over the boat, which in turn gets all over us. In addition, in the Canary Islands and the area surrounding, the wind picks up sand from the Sahara, and blows it across the Atlantic. It has even been known to dirty up boats in the Caribbean. So, SH has had a small layer of red sand on her too.
With the bouncing around, I have been back to feeling a bit low. Tomorrow we decided I am going to try Scopalomine, to see if it helps at all. I am not sick, just very lazy and a little queasy. I have been pondering seasickness a lot…it seems very weird to me that our bodies choose to respond in this way to discrepancies between the inner ear and other senses. I have also learned something new – a symptom of seasickness is excess saliva! Now would someone please explain to me why our bodies feel the need to make us drool in our sleep when we are seasick?? Plus, excess saliva means that you have a repressed desire to drink more fluids, which is counterproductive to staying hydrated and healthy.
We have changed up our watch schedule as well. I have been working to make sure we have dinner a bit earlier. We ate at 6:15 SH time and David went down below shortly after. He will wake up at 2 am and come up to relieve me, when I will pretty much sleep until I wake up in the morning. This morning I didn’t get up until 10am, and then I napped in the afternoon….see, very lazy!
Our food supplies are doing well. Tonight was raspberry balsamic pork chops for dinner, and last night was a nice ribeye steak! Delicious. We have some fresh vegetables left: brussel sprouts and red and green cabbage. We also still have apples, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes left. For New Year’s Eve dinner, we had salmon with soy-honey glaze, red cabbage, and fresh bread. The bread baking has been a highlight….the bread right out of the oven is just AMAZING! We have been topping it off with some butter Pierre and Sylvie gave us in La Rochelle – it has nice big salt crystals in it.
Prior to leaving Las Palmas, one of the items in our departure checklist is to eliminate trash. I will say we did a pretty good job – we have only partially filled one trash bag, and that is all with plastics, mostly recyclable ones. I put most things in zip lock bags, which we wash and reuse, so that I could throw the original packaging away. Organic and biodegradable materials go over board, as do glass and metals. It is very sad, but we have seen some plastic floating around out at sea. One book I read years ago was Sailing Promise. They circumnavigated in a small catamaran. One of the saddest things for her was that in small island communities, throwing things away really just meant that they ended up on the landfill down the beach, and eventually out to sea. Hopefully as long as we remain in developed countries, we will continue to focus on recycling instead of trashing!
Our progress has been very good. We haven’t had too much light winds, so we have averaged 6.5 knots this whole trip. One issue we seem to constantly be struggling with is chafing. We knew chafing is something we really need to be diligent on, but WOW we have had a lot. Last night we discovered chafing in our main sheet, which is the line that holds the back end of the boom to the boat. Needless to say, if that had snapped we would have had a BIG problem, as the boom would start to wildly swing about. Fortunately we caught it while we were putting the second reef in, so David tied the boom down and untied the sheet, cut off the chafed end, and reattached. Other than that, we had the chafing in our first reef that we got fixed back in A Coruna, and we had 2 dock lines chafe through in Las Palmas. I think we had a Genoa sheet line chafe at some point too, but I can’t remember exactly.
Thanks for reading! We can’t wait to arrive on land and read all the comments and words of support on our blog and facebook page! As trying as this can be sometimes, we are amazed at how far we have come and everything we have been able to do! We feel very lucky!
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