From: kc7mar
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 9:58 PM
Subject: 1431.87 km to go

Hi Everyone,
Well here it is April 18 Thursday. Right now, we are sailing with the main up going 5.8 knots. We are located at 08-53-31N and 124-10-18w. We have 1431.87 km to go. We are getting champagne chilled for the trip across the equator.

This week has been a mixed bag as usual. Believe this is the year of the sails. Smokey repaired a second tear in the jib and then we discovered a third which he also repaired. We sailed with the main only one night without a reef in it, and the foot tore under strong winds. We set up the tiller pilot and motored while Smokey fixed that. Thought we would try the drifer, and worked well for awhile, until top panel tore. We took it down and put it in the cockpit where it promptly got tangled in wind vane mechanism. The wind vane is very important-without it we would have to hand steer 24 hrs a day. So unfortunately we had to cut our drifter to get it out of the pulley. I have a feeling when our picture is taken when we finally get into port, everyone will think our sails are red because of all the government red tape holding them together-with hand sewn zizzag stitching also.

The weather has definitely changed. The height of the wave averages 5 ft now, but wave action is smooth most of the time. We still do lots of rock and roll down below. No need to join a gym or walking group now, we exercise 24 hrs a day. Rain squalls are very common. The boat topside has never been cleaner. If I want to wash anything, I just hang it outside. Necessary to keep things hung up down below where air can get to them. Otherwise mildew and sour smells show their ugly faces. Three nights ago, we had gale force winds from 1pm continuing into the next day. Smokey and I both had to stay up and hand steer for several hours, because the wind vane can't handle that kind of weather. Needless to say, the next day was just spent catching up on rest. We will be getting into the ITCZ soon. That is where all bad weather meets and there is no wind. (an amateurs description (Sonia). We will let u know how that turns out. Most people motor through that just to get it behind them. 

We still continue to enjoy night watches most of the time. I still grove to music and nature. We are always getting flying fish aboard. Smokey fried one this morning for breakfast. It was delicious. We just need a lot more. We are not really fishing on this trip because we are afraid we will catch one bigger than the boat. We have plenty of food aboard. 

This morning a blue footed boobie (a bird) decided to ride along with us. He is just sitting up forward cleaning himself. 

We are doing just fine and the days are going fast. Forget what the brochures say about romantic moonlite nights on the ocean, we are too tired and don't have enough time. Ha Ha

Take Care and let us hear from u.

Ps Lyn on Wandering Roo or Pat on Victory, could u send me Robin's email address on Cat's Meow-thought I had it, but can't find it.

Henry on EOS, u would be glad to know, we found the perfect bolt to repair something on our wind vane brackets in extras u gave us. Hope u get this email.