Marquesas 13

March 18, 2019

Another beautiful day on the Pacific. Still sailing with the spinnaker up so the luck of the Irish (or maybe Scottish?) is holding.

We made a strategic choice to try to hold to the rhumb line rather than going north to get a better wind angle as other boats have done. If we had any hope of catching Nica, that was our only option as we couldn’t beat them by following them.

The race isn’t over yet but they are flying their horse spinnaker and have the ideal wind angle for their boat so it will be tough. Yesterday we thought we had gained significant ground on them but then we realized that the position reports we were getting were not updating Nica’s position. Suddenly, they moved 60 miles in three hours and we saw the problem. For some reason, their position wasn’t updating so it looked like we were gaining on them.

It’s fun to be in a race but mainly, we’re just sailing along and enjoying the gorgeous scenery. We had school today and are wrapping up our animal unit. We did a blubber experiment today that involves putting one finger in ice water and the other finger inside a chunk of butter and then immersing it in ice water. One of your fingers (the one not encased in blubber) is supposed to get uncomfortably cold so you can tell that blubber works as an insulator. The kids seemed to get it but some of the adults seemed determined to show no weakness. When I imposed a time limit on the no-blubber finger, Joe insisted that I put “forever” instead of the two minutes his finger was actually in the water. 

Sunil spent much of the day as the “rubber band” – basically a human spring to help take up slack when the spinnaker starts to wobble a bit. John’s music kept everyone going although Tully and Marin had to enforce the “No dancing” rule a few times when the grown ups started to move to the music. Heaven forbid anyone start to enjoy themselves!

We learned more about Scottish lochs and had fun trying to make John say “good” because we like the way he says it (ask him the opposite of bad – his grammar is too good and he doesn’t answer “good” when you ask him how he’s doing).

Oh – a loss I forgot to mention but was kind of funny in a way. Early in the trip, we all heard a very loud snapping sound but couldn’t discover the source. The girls said some laundry had flown off the lifeline. I told them nothing had been hanging on the lifelines because we had taken all the laundry down. They insisted that they had seen something gray fly off the boat. Later that evening, Joe peered over the edge for some reason and discovered that we had lost one of our hatches. A line must have caught around it and when the wind picked up, it ripped the hatch right off :(. We taped a bag over it but will have to replace it the next time we are somewhere that we can order one.

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