Welcome All,
Follow us as we sail Bullwinkle, our Westsail 32, south to California, Mexico, out to Hawaii and back home to Seattle.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Aprroaching Bahia Santa Maria---Boat LIfe

Boat Life...
I'm often asked what we do all day on the boat, particularly during the longer hauls between ports. Here's the short story:
What we do depends on the weather, in particular wind. When there is wind the constant is the sails; raising, changing, adjusting, lowering and stowing. Also holding on because that usually means bigger seas. It is the same when there is little wind, but it's not as constant and the seas are usually calmer.
We lay the course...well Ed lays the course and I just follow it. When there is little or no wind, it becomes a challenge, at least for me, to fight off the boredom that comes with motoring and motoring with an auto-pilot. An auto-pilot steers the boat and does a much better job than I could ever do. Following land tends to provide a visual barrier to having to have something to do. I'm a visual person, so it suits me well. The shapes and colors, making mental marks or games out of how long it takes to get to different geological oddities that mark the landscape. When there is no land to be seen, it kicks the challenge up a few notches. We scan the waters in search of anything out of the ordinary (ordinary being miles and miles of black ocean;) whales, dolphin, seals/sea lions, birds, pangas, panga poo and land of course. Bird activity is especially important. These birds are scavengers and if anything is feeding, they're on it. If it hadn't been for the birds, I wouldn't have glimpsed by first blue whale, and what a site to behold. Pangas are two to three man fishing boats and what I dub panga poo is the gear they dump in the ocean to catch fish, lobster, etc. Netting and pots not always marked clearly. Snagging any of these could put us in a world of hurt. In all this vast ocean, if there is panga poo we're all over it.
My mind tends to wander - a lot. If there are clouds in the sky I look up and imagine the rocking of the boat is the hammock in my garden and I'm peering up through our glorious fur trees with Mao content underneath.
We read, write, listen to music, stitch holes in our clothes, have a beer. Nap. Study Spanish, although for me, just as in school, I find this tedious. We do daily chores; make water, sweep up, empty our waste (including Mao's.) We make breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, sometimes catch it (or at least fish for it.) Nap some more. And when it's warm, have a cockpit shower.
Mostly we track the wind, our course location and sit in anticipation of our next port.
Cabo is one port away and a 48 hour sail.
I can't wait until we round lands end and scoot up to LaPaz.

P.S. pictures later.

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