Sunday, February 18, 2018

Easter Island Is Very Cool

Gary:
So we've now been at anchor off Hanga Roa for the past 4 days. So far we've managed to see an amazing parade and explore much of the island. We even had a great fireworks show last night (Celebration of light quality).
Internet is frustratingly slow so no pictures yet but we've got lots.
After today (another day bombing around the island) we should have some downtime to track down good internet and figure out our next plan.
Stay tuned for a full report.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - Last Day

Gary:
Well, we now have 91 NM to go.
Our predicted arrival is sometime in the early morning tomorrow, at which point we will be able to sleep longer than 3 hours if we desire. We will also hopefully able to walk from one part of the boat to the other without using both hands. We might even be able to have a daily shower. Walking on land is a distinct possibility although none of us are sure we can still do that without leaning to port and falling over. Luxuries like being able to sleep in a dry bed or change into pjamas haven't even been contemplated yet.
There are those who love passage making and to a certain extent I can see part of the appeal. Defining your day by 4 events (eating, sleeping, crapping and standing watch) makes things pretty simple. You have time to let your mind wander to places it wouldn't necessarily take the time to go when in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Imagine going a full 14 days without hearing about something stupid that Trump said... There are definitely bonuses to being offshore. Add in days of endless sailing (even if it is up wind), the amazing stars at night, sunrises and sunsets uninhibited by land and good watch mates who you can trust and rely on to keep you safe... Now you'd think I was writing a brochure for an idyllic vacation. Start talking about the fact that all of us have to wear belts to keep our pants up and now Im positive I could sell this as a "holistic getaway" to many of our neighbors in Kits.
For a limited time Sea Rover II is offering a once in a life time, amazing opportunity for you to find (and even talk) to your spirit animal. For just $2000 US we are offering the perfect chance to commune with Nature and remove yourself from all your stresses of life. This 3 week "vacation" will guarantee daily cleansing's, weight loss and a new understanding of what you are capable of. The best part about this offered vacation is that no instructors will be there to bother you in your voyage of understanding...
We of course will be flying to Chile :)
88.8 NM to go.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - No Idea What Day It Is

Karina:
As Gary said yesterday, the days have blended together. The last 72 hours have been under very squally conditions in VERY big seas. On the first day of squalls I wrote to the blog that the seas were horrendous. It turns out I had a few things to learn. Yesterday had the biggest waves I've seen so far. On the beam. Very exciting. The "two hand rule" suddenly had a whole new meaning. We knew the winds and seas were coming and had prepared for it by putting up our storm staysail. We've been sailing with both our staysail and genoa and have been able to manage all the squalls by pulling in the genoa as required. As the winds fluctuated between 8 and 30 knots on a regular basis, there was a lot of letting sail out, then madly pulling it back in when the winds picked up. We had to keep the boat speed up to at least 5 knots or we just stalled out in the huge seas. Then it was like being a ping pong ball down below. But, we figured out what to do and managed the days pretty well, I think. Nadine even made bacon and eggs yesterday morning, in the huge, huge seas!

Today was much better. We had a lovely afternoon of 15-20 knot winds on the beam, and the seas were definitely down (ie, back to my first definition of 'horrendous' - it is all relative). I actually read my book on my noon to 3pm watch instead of intently watching the wind gauge to figure out when I needed to reduce sail. We all even showered! A momentous day. But, alas, it was too good to be true. We had all met in the cockpit after shower time to discuss our newly clean status, when in the blink of an eye the winds went from the nice gentle 15 knots to 28 knots! After a flurry of activity we had things under control again, but I don't think we are clean anymore. Oh well. All in a day of sailing offshore!

Overall, everything is good. We are all looking forward to arriving at Easter Island on Thursday. 319nm to go.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Leg 2 - Bash to Easter Island - Day something

Well we've officially lost track of all meaning of time. It gets dark, it gets light. We pull sails out, we pull sails in. Sometimes we pull sails out only to pull them right back in. Sea water rinse and repeat. All the while the boat heaves in crazy directions. According to our instruments we are making reasonable distance. This is little consolation given the conditions. All of us on board would be happy to not be moving at all. The gourmet fair has trickled to a stop. The food is still nourishing but we aren't getting fresh Naan Bread any more. I think even Nadine has reached her G force threshold.
Somehow are spirits are still remaining reasonably good. Yes, there are grumbly moments but all grumbling seems directed at the forces we can't control. Tomorrow the seas will calm down... And yes, I said that yesterday and the day before.
469.7 NM to go

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - Day 9

Nadine: Yesterday was a very special day. We all got to have a shower and change into clean clothes... although there were a few huge splashes into the cockpit after that, so I guess we are not as clean as we had hoped to be. And during my evening shift we hit the half way mark to the Easter Island way point. Hurrah! Gary says only 6-8 days to go. You can probably guess what we are aiming for.
Shower days are ranking very high as my favorite kind of day. And I will never tire of the amazing clear nights where you can see stars all around. Today we are cooking a few things in case the winds pick up over the next couple of days. Good thing for chocolate brownies as a super survival food.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - Day 9

Gary:
Last night as we were hurtling through hyperspace, I spent a bunch of time staring at the stars contemplating how we got to this point. We are now at our half way point distance wise but probably 2/3rds of the way time wise. Galapagos, Easter Island and Chile have always been on my bucket list but if you had asked me if we'd sail to all three places 10 years ago I would have said you were crazy. Many many people are still saying we are crazy even as we are doing it. In fact, I am currently writing this wondering WTF we were thinking...
While offshore, when you aren't complaining about the horrible seas, contrary winds or new bruise on your butt, you have time to think. There is no social media, TV or news to get caught up on. On watch all that exists is you, the boat and your thoughts. Im happy to say that after those 3 hours of words spinning around in my head nothing is any clearer. I didn't come up with the meaning of life, or a solution to world peace. I don't know what we were thinking in undertaking this journey but I am sure it will all become clear once we stop. At that point all the misery will quickly fade away leaving nothing but the amazing moments forever burned in my memory.

This deep thought moment was brought to you by extreme sleep depravation, fermented cabbage that we probably shouldn't have eaten and the letter K.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash To Easter Island - Day 8

Karina:
Ugggg. That pretty much describes it. Day 8 of living on a 15-20 degree heel. Probably 8 more to go. Good times. The seas have been pretty horrendous the last few days making for some pretty wild rides. We've had to change the old saying "one hand for the boat and one for yourself" to "two hands for the boat at all times". As you can imagine, this rule makes some things, like dressing, eating, cooking, using the loo, difficult. But, somehow we are managing. We are all perfecting how to survive what I've termed the "fling - throw". This is where the boat flings you in one direction, and then immediately throws you in the complete opposite direction. This happens quite often, but unfortunately is not predictable! It is keeping us on our toes. Yup, two hands for the boat...or more bruises... On the plus side, the wind has finally (!!!) swung around to the east and so we've been able to crack off to a close reach. It is still uncomfortable as the seas are now directly on the beam, but it is infinitely better than the boat taking air off every second wave and slamming down into the next, which has been our world for the last 3 days.

Gary assures us it will get better in 24 hours...

800 nm down, 1100 nm to go.

PS - the flying fish are very cool

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Monday, February 5, 2018

The roller coaster ride to Easter Island - Day 7

Nadine: This is my first blog post ever... I am currently taking a small break from prepping the peanut chickpea stew and naan bread for dinner. If you had asked me if I was going to be doing this type of thing at a break neck 6-8 knots of boat speed, and 15-20 degree boat heel, I probably would have laughed. Maybe I should have had that afternoon nap... but isn't it popcorn time???
Since we left the Galapagos, it's been an increasing crazy roller coaster ride. It makes almost all the other rides I have ever been on look tame. Way more suspenseful than space mountain where you cannot see what's next... the ocean has been throwing us curve balls left right and center. My bruised leg and butt can attest to the surprise when making contact with a hard surface. It's also quite a production to get around the boat...pretty much have to use both hands or skoot along the wall if it's available or else you are easily thrown around. Makes for interesting sleeping...
There is nothing like the absolutely amazing sun sets and rises, and skies full of stars. Yesterday the moon rise was especially appreciated. Would have been nice to have had that to help me to see the flying fish that almost landed in my lap earlier in the evening. My highlight over the past week was seeing a lone Bryde's whale on my early morning watch on day 2. It came to the then much calmer surface and took several breath by the boat before we sailed away. Maybe when the seas really do settle down as Gary keeps saying will happen in 24-36 hours, we shall see more of these lovely creatures.

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - Day 6

Gary:
Well its now been 6 days at a heal of 15 to 20 degrees. Progress has been pretty darn good. Yes we are having to pump the bilge pretty regularly to stay afloat and yes I've filled up my bucket with stuff other than salt water more than once but we are currently doing 7 knots in more or less the correct direction so life is OK.

Every few hours Karina and I have a private conference to make sure we are understanding each other when it comes to a comfortable boat. I have always felt that faster is better as good things do not come to those who wait. Karina is more inclined to the slower side of life. Somehow we come to a consensus and I go up on deck and put another reef in. The good news now is that there aren't any more reefs to put in so conflict has been minimal over the past few hours. Nadine has done an excellent job of making herself scarce during these lighthearted conversations. If you've ever been on our boat you will understand that this is pretty difficult to do.

Speaking of Nadine, she has also done an amazing job keeping Karina and I fed and the boat clean. Somehow she is unaffected by the heel and bouncy conditions and aside from being thoroughly bruised is somehow full of energy. I on the other hand wish I could be put in a body cast so my muscles would stop firing. A giant tub of jello might work just as well. MMMM jello.... I digress.

Elcie, a 60 foot catamaran that left the Galapagos a day after us is now ahead of us and in contact with us pretty regularly. Last night they reported coming out of the rough seas and being able to crack off and again tonight they reported they are enjoying fast reaching conditions in comfortable seas. This confirms what we can see on the gribs. 100 NM in front of us is a glorious patch of wind and seas that seems to be moving at exactly the same speed (or faster) as us. Having contact with Elcie every night feels like a kid looking through the window of a locked candy store. Maybe tomorrow night we will break through and life will be great.

1365 NM to go till our world might stop moving.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - Day 5

Karina: Day 5 started off much the way day 4 did, and I expect day 6 will as well. We are still beating into the wind and waves at 50 degrees off the wind. But we are making good progress towards Easter Island. According to Jimmy Cornell (the guru on when the best time to sail anywhere in the world is), we were to avoid the area between 3 and 8 degress south (latitude)and 90 and 95 degress west (longitude) as sailors typically report confused seas and squally conditions. Unfortunately there really is NO way to avoid this area when going from the Galapagos to Easter Island. You either have to sail directly east against the 2 knot humbolt current to the mainland coast, or you end up way to far west to easily get to Easter Island. So, we decided to go through it. We are now at 6 degrees 48 minutes south and 93 degress 35 minutes west. So right in the middle of this area. We can now confirm that yes, this are does indeed have big, confused seas and squally conditions.

Yesterday we learned how to make the boat bit more comfortable (ie, reefing etc) and so it is tolerable, even for me. With the reefs in the main and genoa we are galloping across the ocean between 5 and 6 knots. Without the reefs we tend to do 7 or 8 knots and that becomes intolerable... 6 knots is much better. Even the captain agrees, although he just came down to complain about the reef in the main - we are still doing 6 knots...

Today was a special day as we hove-to (ie, for those non-sailors reading, that means you basically stop the boat in a comfortable position) to charge the batteries, make water, and most importantly, to shower!! Yup, it was very very exciting for all of us on Sea Rover. We almost feel human again.

We are all adjusting to living in 3 hour increments. We are rotating through 3 hour watches, so everyone does a 3 hour watch, then has 6 hours off to sleep, stare off into space, stare off into the ocean, etc. Repeat 3 times a day. Gary had a bit of a stomach bug (or sea sickness) and I've been struggling a bit down below so Nadine has been looking after us. We've nicknamed her "Cinderella" as she is doing all the cooking and cleaning while we lie down and give helpful orders and advice. I don't know what we would have done without her on this leg - we certainly would've been a lot hungrier! She is in the kitchen now preparing our dinner... It's wonderful. I'm starting to get my sea legs (yup, day 5) and so hopefully I'll be able to share the cooking a cleaning duties tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Leg 2 - The Bash to Easter Island - Days 1-4

Here we are on day 4 of our many day passage to Easter Island. Despite picking a "good" weather window to leave we have been beating our way through huge seas for the last 4 days. While there are lovely easterly winds about 100nm south of us, we are stuck in sucky southerlies. Not helpful when you are trying to go south. This morning we had to crack off to between close hauled and a close reef to give us a bit of relief. The boat and crew are taking a pounding. It looks like we have a few more days of this so I expect blog posts will be few and far between. At least until the boat and crew get some relief from the pounding and heal. Thankfully Nadine is immune to the bashing and can work down below, so she is keeping us well fed. Hopefully at some point we'll be able to start doing our share...
Overall, all is well. More in a day or two. This is my limit for being upright while down below...

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