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South Pacific – Day#5

3.30.18 @ 1000 Local, 1700 Zulú Day #5 Latitude: 16°17 N Longitude: 114°35 W Covered Distance Last 24 Hours: 98 NM Distance to the Marquesas: 2122 NM Distance from Punta de Mita, Mexico: 653 NM Weather: 50% clouds Winds: NNE 7.5 knots Sea State: 2’ – 3’ swells Barometer: 1016 Crew’s Mood: Excited because we’re almost there. In our dreams!
So today has been the worst day for wind yet. At one point we had less than one knot! If we were anywhere else we’d just fire up the ol’ iron Ginny and motor on but on a close to 3000 mile passage you have only so much fuel aboard and you have to manage your usage carefully. We really want to make certain we have plenty of fuel left when we reach the ITCZ as that’s where the doldrums are and that is also where it can get a bit squally. You want to be able to motor out of the way of those squalls so we will make do here and save fuel for later.
We’ve tried a couple of different sail configurations today but the one that seems to be working best is going wing on wing using the spinnaker off the starboard side with the Jib poled out on the port. We’ve actually been able to get a little over 5 knots this way and that’s pretty nice given the light winds.
Putting the spinnaker up today went much more more smoothly than it did the other day. Of course we’re only in 5-8 knots of wind, not 12-13 so it should be easier. Now the thing about flying the spinnaker is this is not a “set it and forget it” sail. Nope, someone needs to be watching it at all times. It takes fine finessing to get the most of this giant. And when I say giant I mean it. Dan told me today this thing is 1400 square feet. “What? My last apartment was only 900! Holy crap! No wonder I almost became one of the Flying Walendas when I was trying to hold her down the other day. Hmmmm….I wonder if Dan had a more sinister motive. I better keep my wits about me. LOL”
For the most part Dan runs the spinnaker as I’m still learning the ins and out of all this sailing stuff. Sure, I played the part of Spinnaker Wench on Team Silver Streak back home but this is an entirely different beast. “No, Todo, we are not in Kansas anymore.”
Today, however, Dan needed to do some fuel maintenance, shifting fuel from cans to tanks and then we had a little issue with the head that he had to address so guess who got spinnaker duty? Nope, it wasn’t Grape Ape…he can’t finess a coyote let alone a sail. So, in the absence of another qualified candidate, I was hired for the job. No pay, just the glory of saying I did it. Wait! I need to review the cruise brochure again. First there’s no continental breakfast, now work without pay. Remind me to do a Trip Advisor review when I get WiFi.
At first it took a bit to get used to but eventually I got the hang of it. It’s like Dan tells me about everything else. Make small adjustments and wait. Too much too fast is rarely a good thing. I will say this though, after almost two hours of this fun my hands are beginning to curl into claws and my forearms have grown a good inch. I feel like some mutated version of Popeye the Sailor and the Lobster Boy from the Ringling Brother’s circus. If I do this any longer I’m going to be able to bend bars of steel with one hand.
Fortunately Dan finishes his work and gives me a break for a while before he heads down for his nap. By the time it’s my turn again the wind is cooperating a bit more and I’m able to put the line on the winch and just keep an eye on it. It’s just too hard to want to take it down when we’re getting upwards of 5 knots out of it in a dead downwind run.
Hopefully the winds will pick up later this afternoon as they typically do but for the next few days we’re not holding out much hope. That’s okay though…we’re not at work. We’re on Dazzler and this is just part of the adventure.
Until next time…
P.S. I almost forgot to share the big news. We’re engaged! This trip has brought us very close. Dan’s backpack and I that is. Since I’ve no one to snuggle with at night it’s become my best friend and yesterday it proposed. In the absence of a better offer I accepted. Oh wait, you thought I meant Dan and I? Yeah, keep dreaming!
P.S.S. Thanks for the bubble guns John & Deb (SV Lovely Reta). They were a fun addition to our day of light winds.

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South Pacific – Day #5

Day 5 March 30, 2018, 1000 local, 1700 Zulu
Here we are awaiting the anticipated Pacific North East trade winds and they are a no show. The milk run has evaporated from the weather system and doesn’t anticipate another show until next week sometime. We have set a course to run a little more southwesterly as light air to our immediate north and south would not do us much good for our journey. We are running a little West by Southwest as that is our best point of sail with the light winds. We were flying a full main set to a starboard tack (the left side) and the Jib is poled out on a port tack (the right side). Some would call it wing on wing so to speak. We just call it, “Works for now to move Dazzler westward.”
Statistical Data
Location 17°15N/113°35W Course 229°T Speed 5.9 knots (motoring making water) Wind 6 knots Sea state 2-3’ swells Clouds 40% BAR 1016.5 Distance traveled 90 NM Distance from Punta Mita 555 Distance to Hiva Oa 2205 Crews mode Not awake yet! But, fantastic otherwise.
Last night we made our shortest distance covered in a 24 hour period. The winds were so light, “How light were they?” They were so light that a heard of turtles passed us. Ha ha ha. Really they did! They were so light the main was flogging back and forth with the small swell and the jolt of the main would send a shutter throughout Dazzler preventing restful sleep. So, we decided to drop the main and just run with the poled out Jib. Sometimes making one knot sometimes making 3.5 knots. Oh, you might be asking what a knot is. Well it’s something you used to tie your shoe laces with. Anymore it seams like Velcro is used to forego teaching kids how to tie their shoe laces. I guess it’s easier to shuffle the kids off to school where they can learn more important things like rap, the metric system so you can weigh out your stash, dodge bullets and things like that. I’m glad we are out here, because I don’t know what the hell is going on back in the states.
Seriously a knot is a measurement of speed and is used by mariners. One knot is equal to 1.1508 statute miles per hour. There that is your science, math and physics lesson for the day. You are now overachievers. Take an extra long coffee break.
Surprisingly enough we made decent mileage yesterday and into last night given the very light winds. This morning will be interesting as we have decided to break out the washing machine, Ha ha, wringer, and clothes line to wash our first load of laundry underway. You are probably wondering where we store a washing machine onboard Dazzler. Well, the tub is a heavy duty Home Depot bucket, the agitator is a special tool that looks like an oversized plunger. It’s head is made from high impact plastic and it has baffles inside to help push water through the fabric. The motor drive is good old fashioned elbow grease. For you youngsters that don’t know what elbow grease is I’d tell you to look it up in your Funken Wagenal (spelling), but you probably don’t know what that is either. It’s okay, you can use Google or I’ll tell you it is physical labor. You got no special sensors to tell you when the load is off balance or you didn’t add any fabric softener. No on or off switch. Just good old fashioned work. By the way there is plenty of that onboard as well. Jilly was just saying yesterday that she should have read the cruise ship brochure more carefully as she thought there was a continental buffet every morning on the poop deck. Sorry, wrong ship dear.
With the light winds gently pulling us to the west we are settling into the fact that our journey may take a few more days than originally thought. It will mostly depend on when the trade winds show up again. Until then it’s one nautical mile at a time. Yes it is slow, but where do we have to be. No freeway traffic to sit in, no crap to listen to from the news networks and no lines. Freedom and lots of water and sky!
That’s it for today’s dose of what’s happening on Dazzler. Until next time, keep the sun on the decks and the water on the outside.
Captain Dan, Star Date something something signing off.
PS All content of this post is meant to be factual with humorous under and overtones and not to be taken seriously at all. So laugh out loud and smile. It is not the intent of the crew or management of Dazzler to be responsible for any time outs or those not being able to find their safe space when returning to reality. When I was growing up we had a place and it was usually the bedroom that you were sent to to wait for your dad to get home from work or think about what you had done. Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay. Now go get that cocktail. Cheers!ers –