4.16.2018@ 0730 hours local, 1700 Zulu Day #24
Latitude: 07°36’S Longitude: 137°26’W Covered Distance Last 24 Hours: 118 NM Distance to the Marquesas: 165 NM Distance from Punta de Mita, Mexico: 2870 NM Weather: scattered clouds 20% Winds: ES-EN 16 knots SOG: 6.8-7.2 knots (First Reef in main, second reef in Jib and staysail deployed) COG: 203°T Sea Temperature: @ 300.9° Kelvin Sea State: ESE 1.5 meters Barometer: 1013 Crew’s Mood: Outstanding, anticipating arrival in Hiva Oa tomorrow mid day. Yahoo!
What about Grape Ape?
For many of our friends who know a little about Grape Ape you will understand. For those of you still in the dark, enjoy the continued story from where we are now. Imagine in your mind a purple haired orangutang looking creature. Do you have it yet. Good now you are caught up.
While working on the many different preparation projects on Dazzler in La Cruz, Grape Ape had a lot of fun with the freedom off the boat and he could come and go as he pleased. We had many rules for his antics off Dazzler as well as curfews. So he had some regulations similar to that of a teenager. Which came with much of the same teenager attitude and drama. Grape Ape loved to play on the jack shaped rocks along the break water of the marina and he loved to hang out in the trees near the roadway entrance to the marina from La Cruz. There was a small row of wild bananas there and some really tall trees that were home to many local iguanas. Grape Ape befriended one such iguana who’s name was Gordo, because he was one of the biggest iguanas around. Grape Ape and Gordo would hang around the trees for hours entertaining themselves with making comments of all the funny looking people walking by and their clothing options they wore. Now let’s be honest, just because Grape Ape has his own dungarees and an I Love San Diego tee shirt, he is not the master of fashion. But his clothes do match if you hear what I’m screaming. Still they had great times hanging out in the trees together. At first Gordo couldn’t believe that Grape Ape lived on a sailboat. But, he soon came around to the idea.
As the time of our departure drew near, Grape Ape spent more time off the boat. You could kind of sense he wanted to get as much land time as possible. One of the things we’ve made very clear to Grape Ape is that when our voyage takes us close to the Micronesian islands we will start a diligent effort to help him find his real parents. But, for now he seems content here on Dazzler.
Where does he stay aboard Dazzler, well a few years back now, he was given the choice of where he wanted to call his space onboard. Anywhere except the forward cabin. He chose the Lazarette, but only if Wilson could be there too. You see, he kind of takes care of Wilson like his buddy. I see you are asking who is Wilson. Let’s just say that the last movie he was in really messed his mind up. Not like it wasn’t already a bit sideways. Come on you know that movie with Hom Tanks. What was it called, oh yes, Castaway. Yeah, Mr. Tanks really let him go floating off into the Pacific and they never saw Wilson again. Pretty crappy lack of respect to a surviving Vietnam Vet. Grape Ape and I found Wilson getting a sun tan on a shore at Smith Island near Bahia de Los Angeles in the Sea of Cortez. He’s been part of the gang since.
Off we go, the lot of us,Captain Dan, Jilly, Grape Ape and Wilson. A few days out at sea we sighted a tanker ship bound for Japan. When Grape Ape saw the ship he immediately ran for the lazarette and hid. You see he thought it was the research ship that had taken him away from his parents when he was a few months old. We finally coaxed him out with peanut butter. This was his first time he had tried peanut butter and we still laugh about the shapes his mouth made and the expressions on his face while eating it. LOL To this day we have to watch him in the galley area as he will sneak into the cabinet, open the peanut butter jar and stick his fingers in the peanut butter. We wouldn’t mind so much but opening the peanut butter jar and finding a purple hair on the lid. Well you get the picture. We have used a sharpie to write on top of the jar, “Keep out, this means you Grape Ape!” Needless to say Jilly and I also like peanut butter. Unless you are some one with peanut allergies, Who doesn’t. I mean didn’t most of us grow up on PB&J. Not just because it was a cheap meal from our parents point of view. We actually liked it! You know when you get that, I’ve got to have something to tide me over to dinner urge. Yep, a peanut butter bender does it every time.
Among Grape Ape’s many things we let him do under way, he loves climbing the mast. He knows now how to NOT mess with the mast head electronics because of their importance to OUR floating home on this voyage. But he is an excellent deterrent to the many flying critters that want to take up residency on the top of Dazzler’s mast or radar arch at the stern. So he kind of has a little job. He has even given me some pointers on the skill of climbing. So, once in a while I let him think he is sneaking into the galley to get some peanut butter as a reward. Since we taught him how to use a spoon, he has been much better. We don’t find anymore purple hair on the rim of the jar. But, Jilly gets a little upset, because the galley sink is always getting pilled up with spoons lightly coated with peanut butter. You would think as much as he likes peanut butter he would lick every bit off the spoon. I think he gets distracted when his mouth and face are getting all distorted. I guess it’s a small price to pay when you are out of Mexican papaya. That is his favorite food especially when it is sprinkled with chili seasoning.
A few days ago, Wilson told Grape Ape that there was a prize for the first person who saw the mountains or land ho of the Marquesas Islands. He also told him a story about how pirates would put a man in the Crows Nest high on the tallest mast to sight for other ships and land. The next thing we know, Grape Ape has an Eye patch on and he is at the top of the mast looking for the Marquesas. When I came on watch that evening Jilly left it up to me to coax him down off the mast. Well, I can only tell you that if we didn’t have extra peanut butter onboard, he might still be up there. We also had a long talk about the earth not being flat and that there is a thing called the horizon and how you can’t see more than about 15 miles because of the curvature of the earth’s round shape. He just kind of stared at me like I had three heads. He now thinks he can see forever. Go Grape Ape, Go!
Like I mentioned the other day, Grape Ape was jumping up and down because he didn’t cause the Jib sail to fall off the track and into the ocean. He is a little weird at times and some of the things he does makes you go ewwwww, but he can melt your heart with his big brown eyes and his smile. I am happy for now he is part of our little high seas family. It will be a sad day when we find his real family. But, until then we both put on our eye patch, say argh together while clicking our peanut butter spoons in the air and wait to see land ho!
Until next time. Don’t forget to have lots of fun along the voyage of life.
PS Grape Ape wanted to write a few words. I’m havng lots ‘o fun on Dazzler. I reely wan 2 thnk U 4 flowing wit mi people’s blog. They tak goood kare O Me. I mis my frends in La Cruz. Gordo and Chris nd Le’a.
PSS What are you going to do. He does his best and it’s from his heart. Besides he has really big finger tips and the keys are kind of small for him.
PSSS The photograph is of Grape Ape’s toy he gave to his Aunt Tina so she could remember him.
4.16.2018@ 0730 hours local, 1700 Zulu Day #24