some old entries i couldn't send

and unfortunately it seems impossible to post photos, i burned a cd and got it ashore and found a computer to post from, but the connections are so slow that it is really out of my budget to post pictures...

Pos:03051N 12446W
i slept through our first dolphins yesterday, i did see a small pod of pilot whales later, and a juvenile black footed albatross -- huge wing span. i didn't even know that there were albatrii in the northern hemisphere...
pos: 02902N 12308W
totally becalmed between squalls, about 150 mi W of Guadaloupe Island. it made for a beautiful sunrise, lots of interesting cloud layers. the weatherfax isn't working. we might try to motor towards some wind.
pos: 02653N 12107W
wind and rain. for most of the day we're making headway w/ jib top, jib, stays'l, fore and main try. wind swell and cloudcover are building up equally. still no weatherfax capability, jib top down at 2300 -- rain rain rain.

this day got lost in hiding from human interaction. we were sailing somewhat in the right direction all day. sailchange equals tensions -- no fun it's been getting worse rather than better.
the weather sucks. we have another week probably until Vallarta, so we'll see. if this trent of interpersonal tension remains, i will leave the boat in PV. i'm feeling very disappointed and sorry for myself. am trying to stay positive, at the same time making alternate plans.
this morning i saw a rainbow made by the light of the full moon which was right behind us. when the sun rose right in front of us a little later i turned around and the same squall that we had just passed through had a rainbow again, this time from the sun. it was as if we had sailed right through it.
sailing east also illustrated that we finally have wind out of the right direction.
today we're two weeks out. we got our wind, and it is warm enough to make the still occasional rain feel good. we still have a bit too much south in our east. it will be hard to make vallarta. I got into trouble for posting my blog and it showed the boat's e-mail address. i didn't know it would. anyways, i got two mails in response and the owners were concerned. it's o.k. now. To explain to everyone: sailmail goes over single sideband radio, one subscribes to it and is allowed 10 minutes a day. information travels really slow, so mails must be limited to one paragraph and no pictures. also, when one logs on the connection automatically retrieves every incoming mail and then sends outgoing. if there were too many incomings, or god forbid, any spam, it could be potentially impossible to ever send anything out. there is no way to employ a spam guard or block. and there is no way to in the future change the sailmail address because it is linked to the ship's radio call sign. anyways, just so you know, why the address disappeared from the web site and why i didn't answer to any af your personal mails. it was difficult, because i was so happy to hear from you and on the other hand thinking shit, i'm in trouble...
the wind changed again, exactly out of the east...where we want to go... earlier it was blowing hard and we had to reef, now it is light again and rain around everywhere. we're thinking of maybe going to acapulco instead. we've been heaving to either at night or today all day, not to go too far south and miss mexico entirely.
this is the day we decided to turn west and go to the marquesas instead. it might seem a bit funny to the regular traveller, but here are the facts to be considered: the ultimate goal is to go through the straight of magellan. for that we need to use a certain weather window down there. PV was a plan to pick up crew and buy provisions. the way the weather has developed, it is impossible to get to PV or even to Acapulco in a somewhat straight line. there is these two highs that have developed north and east of us and they are merging and stabilizing and there is no chance of the wind direction changing anytime soon. we can't really wait. Holger also had a radio conversation with a weather router who second our opinion. to get to mexico we'd have to basically sail 1700 miles, first way way south and then back up the coast to of latin america. this is stupid because we are losing time and not gain any way on our ultimate course. we consulted via e-mail with the other crew and they are both o.k. with flying to french polynesia instead of mexico (i don't know if i could afford that...)
now that we know that we'll be sailing for some more weeks, we started to employ a proper watch system: 4hrs during the day, 3hrs at night: 0000-0300,0300-0600,0600-1000,1000-1400,1400-1800,1800-2100, 2100-0000. so every couple of days one has actually 8 consecutive hrs off which is perfect for doing laundry, bathing, cleaning up below, making bread, cooking something elaborate and still getting enough sleep.
the first day of summer in the southern hemisphere. we're racing with 6-7 kts towards the ITCZ (the intertropical conversion zone). apparently we need to cross it before longitude12600W. east of that it is not as wide and we're hoping to be able to motor through it in 10-15 hrs while filling the tanks with fresh rain water..... we'll see....
the trade winds! it feels tropical, warm wind, surfing, a bit of a rolly ride. it is mostly overcast so i haven't really had a chance yet to study the stars, also now i need to actually steer the boat because on this downwind course she still steers herself but zigzags a bit more and that makes for a not so comfortable ride for the people trying to sleep. We're wondering what the marquesas will have to offer in terms of provisioning for the trip to Punta Arenas. And i have no idea when i'll be able to use a land connection to go online and send all this.
i did my first trial in baking bread yesterday and it turned out o.k. unfortunately i accidently put 2 tablespoons of salt in it instead of 2 teaspoons full. so, it's a bit too salty, alright... Thinking about food a lot. what do we need, what do we want. al 3 of us are hungry a lot and reluctantly starting to go into the stored we had made for the southern ocean leg of the trip. we hadn't anticipated that we might not make it to mexico and only provisioned for 3 week for that leg and thought of buying as lot of stuff in mexico. We have different fantasies and no real knowledge about the marquesas. they filmed survivor there, it's french, don't they have croissants and good cheese? Do they have electricity? Propane? We're not sure how primitive or developed it is, even though Nuku Hiva has been on the trade routes from California for a long time.
There is the option to also go to Tahiti. Papeete must be a big enough place to be able to get diesel, propane, and a good variety of food stores. But that is further west and apparently not as good a starting point to go south. Definitely now with all the westing we're making, it is clear that we're not going to stop at easter islands, that is too far out of the way. And if we go to Tahiti, we won't make Pitcairn either.
x-mas eve, i got to call my mom on tracy's sat phone. what a joy!
i dished out german x-mas cookies, gingerbread and stollen. i'm sorry i didn't have a tea party this year. beautiful, hot, sunny, tradewind weather.
and back to rain. classic boat design with relatively low feeboard brings you so close to the ocean when sitting in the cockpit. at night it's everything moving by this cockpit, tunnel vision, as if we were stationary. but during the day it's us moving through, with and in it. the great pacific ocean.
light wind out of S. that ain't right! we're sailing back east along the 9th parallel. too much W is no good. We had a stormpetrel as overnight guest.
i was thinking about adventures and why we want to have them and what it means etc.
pos: 0754N 12535W
the doldrums. motored for 10 hrs, now bobbing around waiting for wind. fresh tuna for dinner tonight. reading Melville's "Taipee" in prep for nukuheva.
thunderstorms and lightning with occasional squalls, then no wind. but the equator is coming closer. saw a big green, very bright meteorite.
some sailing, some bobbing, delicious tuna medallions tornado style for lunch. i'm growing sprouts for fresh vegetables and they are happening.
the last day of the year. good riddance! the wind died in the morning, we were going to motor another 70 miles south today, but there is all of a sudden a fuel filter problem, one of the fittings cracked. yummy lunch sandwiches with jade's cheese and my sprouts.

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