January 14, 2010
It looks as if we may have finally escaped from the clutches of the dreaded ITCZ. On coming out this morning, I was pleased to find us reaching on a brisk breeze under a cumulus-engorged sky. No more fears of flukey winds or granddaddy squalls. This run through the ITCZ varied greatly from my previous one on Leeway last May. Instead of the convergence area being a gray, rain-drenched plot of sea, this passage recalled all the stories mariners love to tell so much. We had it all: the indifferent winds-we motored through a night and a bit of a day; the chaotic and confused seas that send a rogue to test our hatches every once in a while; massive squalls-we had innumerable amounts, two with gale-force winds swept over us in one day, the second lasting in excess of three hours. It was all the sailors of years past could have dreamed up for us besides a lightning strike.
This is now all a repressed memory though. Behind, if I strain my eyes, I can see the fading brushes of the unsettled weather's high altitude clouds glowing in the morning sun and ahead I see unbroken checkers of fair weather cumulus. The motion is fine, the speed is grand, and Hawaii is less than 800 miles away.
January 15, 2010
You can tell you're back to sailing in the trade winds when you laconically crank on a winch handle for no use other than to temporarily remove you of your boredom. Yesterday the sails were set on a broad reach towards Hilo and they haven't been touched since (besides our idle fiddling). We are less than 700 miles away from the 50th state of the great US of A and our talk frequently falls on the subject.
This is the sailor's preparation for such an abrupt change in lifestyle. He or she dwells on the closing land and usually chooses a vice to focus in on. It's commonly food, gluttony, and sometimes it's drink. Whatever it be, the sailor builds it up so much through talk and thought, and yet, when it finally arrives, it isn't diminished in the least bit. When that cheeseburger or that beer touches the lips of the sailor, it finalizes the passage and justifies any hardships that happened along the way. Michael has declared that what he wants, more than anything, is a Kona burger and a Kona beer. Larissa proclaimed her desire for a mahi burger and a Hawaiian mai tai. What do I crave, you ask? Since I've recently realized that I am not of legal age to drink in American lands, I've revised my landfall vice to a big dollop of raspberry ice cream and a fine, cold mug of juice.