Galapagos Crossing – Day 5

Last night we had about two hours of heavy, cleansing rain.  It cleared up the air nicely and the lucky few (OK, me) who weren’t up on watch in the middle of the night woke to a clean, fresh deck and crisp horizons.  I did wake up to close hatches, then re-open them for air flow, then re-close them, then try to remember which I had opened and which I had closed.  Cobin and Ruth slept very late in their airless, humid, smelly, dark compartment.  Cobin usually wakes with the sun so it might be a new strategy to deprive him of fresh air to help him sleep longer. 

Yet another day has blurred by in a mix of school, showtunes, and, of course, sailing.  A good deal of eating goes into each day and we have been fortunate to have a strong cooking crew.  Swagata made bread rolls from scratch and Tully helped her make lentil soup.  The apples that no one has been eating turned into a delicious apple crisp.  We discovered a lost tub of Haagen Daz Cookies and Cream so it has been a good day in the food department.

Marin discovered the joys of math on the trampoline – jumping and flash cards are a winning combination.  Cobin participated in a kid’s net on the SSB and has been busy creating expectations for the next one.  We learned about crustaceans in science – apparently some types of roly polies (isopods) have gills?!  I think I need to learn more about this, especially if Swagata starts questioning me – if there are any experts (or good Googlers) out there, please let us know.

Charm continues to perform well.  Lately we have been doing a lot more testing of her engines since the wind, although in the 10+ knot range, is, sadly, on the nose.

We are close enough to the Galapagos (arrival predicted for tomorrow afternoon) that we no longer need to conserve fuel and would like to reach land during the day so we have turned on both engines and are motor-sailing at a brisk 9.4 knots.

For anyone following the placement of Charm in the rankings, it’s quite distorted at the moment.  Based on our chats with the fleet on the radio net, it sounds like any efforts at racing have been thrown out the window due to light winds and we’re all just intent on getting to the Galapagos.  We certainly have not been doing much in the way of racing for the past few days.  Well, aside from Ruth, who is always racing J

Marin and Swagata put on climbing harnesses and we attached them to halyards and hung them off the bow where they dangled in and above the water.  Despite their best efforts, no dolphins or other creatures (other than a small jellyfish) came to visit during their time in the water.

Ruth regaled us with all sorts of sailing songs from her days in youth sailing camps and tall ships.  Maybe she will write the words to one of them in a future blog – it uses the melody from “Doe a Deer” but with sailing terms.  Meanwhile, Marin continues to teach Ruth the Brownie Smile song that she learned from my mother from her Brownie days in Cuba.  That will be a fun cultural transfer – Ruth’s British Brownie troop singing the Brownie smile song that my mother learned decades ago with the Anglo-American Brownie troop in Havana!


We have what we are calling a “red-footed booby” on our bow as a passenger.  I think Ruth identified the bird and there are all kinds of fun things to say about boobies on the boat so we are continuing to call it that, regardless of its actual identity.

Dolphins returned to Charm.  I always have that moment of indecision – run and get the camera or just enjoy them?  This time I opted for the camera and, of course, one decided to fly into the air while I was gone.  Ruth caught it on film but I would have rather seen it myself. 

We did have a hilarious fish encounter the other day.  Marin and I were sitting on the bow, enjoying the day, when I saw something about 10 feet off the port side.  It was a fish about 18” long, hopping out of the water.  It behaved like a flying fish but was not a flying fish – it was long and thin and had no wing-like structures on it.  It must have hopped 7 or 8 times over the course of 30 seconds.  The whole time, it had this expression on its face (it was looking right at us) of, “Wheee!!  Look at me, I’m jumping!!!”  I’m guessing the reality was more like, “Look at me – I’m trying not to get eaten!” but we decided it was performing for us and we enjoyed it.

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