From: kc7mar
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 2:18 AM

Subject: Update From Charisma (848.87 NM to go)

Hi Dear Family and Friends,
Well, this is our 21st day out. We are 848.87 NM from the Marquesas. Traveling about 3 knots on a southeasterly wind with the reefed main and staysail up. Nice comfortable ride in the ride direction even if it is slow. We are at 01-28-47N and 130-29-27W. Our friend, Bob Farmer has created a web page for our son Kevin with info about our trip. Here is the address if u are interested.
http://oc.itgo.com/fords/index.htm  
Not sure what's on it since we don't have access to internet, but u might enjoy it.

We think we will cross the equator tomorrow evening sometimes. Our 2 bottles of champagne (complements of Lynn and Norm (Wandering Roo) thank u guys - are chilling and so are our bleu cheese stuffed olives. We don't celebrate like they do in the Navy (i.e.-walk through garbage etc) we are already living with that everyday Ha Ha.

If last week was week of repairing sails, this week was wind vane week. First we discovered bracket on starboard settee area had sheared off. Smokey had to wait until next day to repair. At that time, he also repaired bracket on port aft settee pulley. We had to hand steer that night-discovered too late to repair during day. We had a major storm that night. We are in ITCZ so was sort of expected. Storm had high winds and sheeting rain. No need for sponge bath that night. Next night we discovered paddle twisted. Smokey needed to practically hang over the side to repair. Who says we don't enjoy adventure on this trip. Let me tell u this, I do a lot of praying and cussing (so does Smokey). Wind vane is working nicely now, knock on wood, but requires maintenance every day. One night when hand steering, Smokey discovered he could lock the wheel into our course and it would require little if any adjustment. That at least allows us to have a more relaxed and longer watch.

As a result of rain storms and hand steering, I shorted out screen to our expensive DVD player. Thought whole thing was gone, but we can still play music Cd s and we think movies through our TV. Boy was I glad. 

The night before last, I saw the first ship at night for a long time. It was a long ship for fishing. Saw a lot of lights, but hard to determine where they were really headed. Stayed pretty much behind and off the our port side most of night. Figure they were about 7 miles away, but hard to tell. Necessary to be alert at all times. 

One of our rain suits (I think) has some kind of crystalline material in it. It is shedding all over boat. Looks like red sugar crystals that melt in water. Hope when we are inspected in foreign port, they don't think it is some kind of drug Ha Ha. I keep sweeping and throwing away, but it still keeps appearing. Maybe it is our guardian angel's dust. Seriously, I am all right!

Well, think that is it for now. Oh one thing-today is April 25. On April 27 our beautiful and intelligent daughter, Cathy will be 32 years old. She has been married to our special son-in-law Dave for 2 months and 5 days now. We hope they enjoy her special day together. Sorry we can't be there kids.

Take Care and let us hear from u.

Love, Sonia and Smokey (S/V Charisma)