Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 7 and 1 to go (hopefully)

25 38.7S 126 19.0 W on a very rolly ocean

Not much from me lately because if you don't have something good to say you are not supposed to say anything...and it has not been good. We all agree that this has been the passage from hell. Very uncomfortable seas, too much wind, and a few more breakdowns have left us a bit weak. The conditions seem to have stressed the boat enough that we now have 1 sail in need of repair which we hope to do a temporary fix on in Pitcairn. It's our big reacher which will be useful if/when the winds do die out, especially because we can't use the mainsail until we can fix our bigger problem which is the "gooseneck" that holds the boom to the mast . That had a weak spot we had been babying but yesterday morning it gave way and now we need a machine shop and some parts to be able to fix it. Hope we can find the machine shop in the Gambiers and think we can have the screws and stuff needed for the fix flown in from Tahiti. Otherwise we will have to go straight there and miss the Tuomotos as do not feel we can be in the Tuomotos without a mainsail. The Tuomotos are the archipelago of islands with all the lagoons inside so present some navigational expertise.Perhaps we would be able to go back to at least the Northernmost islands after the "fix" but hoping we can take care of this in the Gambiers. We really do not want to miss them as they have some of the best diving and snorkeling and are supposed to be quite remarkable. It never seems to end these repairs but I have learned that it is ALL boats and not just us. There is alot of wear and tear in these difficult conditions and we are putting summers and summers worth of use on the boat when you think of it.

We have used our friend and local meteorologist Ken McKinley (some of you may remember him from his forecasting days at WQSS radio) for a weather router and he has helped us immensely witth all the fronts that have been out here. We are not making very good time because of the sea state and having to dodge so many lows and fronts but do hope to get to Pitcairn tomorrow morn. We will hope to stay a night or two...just to take a break and fix the reacher but their anchorage is not always tenable so we will have to see when we get there...may just anchor, spend the two hours to do a quick sail repair and leave for the Gambiers which are another 300 miles I think. We should see dying winds and more hopefully some smaller seas. They have been pretty dreadful and we are all quite tired. It is hard to move about the boat and the constant banging and rattling of everything in the boat is exhausting. I am thinking of asking my tour guide for a refund as the Pacific Ocean has been anything but. On a brighter note, once we get to the Gambiers all our long passages should be over and we will be able to have some time to relax, snorkel and dive these places we have heard so much about...ah Polynesia and the South Seas!!!

For those of you who get our emails and are not reading the blog (vofj.blogspot.com) I would suggest that you check out Gram's post from a day ago...he has managed to write a way less techier piece than his usual and I found it quite amusing. We each come at this with such different perspectives and voices that the three posts describing the same day are each indicative of the writer. We've gotten some amusing comments from people we do not even know and I wonder how they even happen upon us...the internet is such an amazing thing...to think we did not even know of it a decade or two ago.

I was missing my family especially last night as we all usually have Passover together...like there have only been a handful of years that the Strassbergs have not been together for this eating holiday(.Dawn, did your matzoh ball soup hold a candle to Trudy's?) Sierra's birthday is Thurs and Zak follows on the 7th. Would love to be with them for those days (beam me up Scotty might work)but will hope for belated celebration late May/early June when they come meet up with us. To be continued....

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