Tuamotos 2

April 10, 2019

It’s another gorgeous, star-filled night on the Pacific Ocean. We have had light winds since leaving Nuku Hiva so have been doing more motoring than sailing.

Today we did some school and some boat exploration. Cobin and Willie went up the mast to the first and second spreaders and Tully, Sam, Susannah, and Willie “dangled” on halyards off the bow.

During our afternoon class on ecosystems, we learned that what seemed like a simple question, “What would happen to ecosystems if the sun went away?” was actually more complex. Willie immediately brought up deep sea environments where no creatures rely on the sun to create energy and then Susannah wandered through and asked if she could give a five-minute lesson on the two things needed by all life forms.

Yes, it was only five minutes but, wow, having a professor on board who specializes in the origins of early life sure changes the complexity of a lesson on ecosystems in a hurry! We went from thinking about all the animals in a field being dependent on grass growing to learning about photo-heterotrophs.

For those of you interested, all life requires energy and carbon. I’ll send you Susannah’s grid you can figure out the rest 🙂

Later Susannah taught us to cut six-sided snowflakes and we played Banangrams, Carcasonne, and Pit. All my games are finally coming out and being enjoyed!

Last night we had poetry night with all-original works. Notable performances by all participants, with Jamie and Susannah both touching on the stowaway cockroach we discovered last night. I liberated it from the bonds and benefits of being on board our boat before (we hope) it had any chance to contribute any additional members of its family.

In other stowaway news, Susannah and I discovered some lively creatures in the rice. We had already started cooking it in a little oil when we noticed that some of the grains were wriggling around. We got most of them out but they really did blend in well so I’m not sure we got them all. I noticed Susannah opted out of the rice at dinner. . . Later we found similar creatures in our stash of tomatoes that I had left to ripen in a box under the steps. I had forgotten about them which was fine – most had ripened and the ones that hadn’t provided some interest to the kids who mostly thought the small worms were cute. Tully wanted to keep them but I told her we could probably find more soon enough.

Poor Jamie is still fighting off a bad head cold but he continues to share the bulk of the watch burden with Joe who, as usual, seems to function at a high level on minimal sleep. Maybe it’s the rice that gives him so much energy?

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