To St. Helena 2

It’s my brother’s birthday and we celebrated with Oreos and Haribo gummy bears as we approached the halfway mark to St. Helena.  We’ve had pleasant seas and winds all day – it’s exactly the way you picture sailing when you picture a pleasant day of sailing (not scary storms or rough seas).  We’ve had our mini-spinni up for the past day or so and have been clicking along between 7 and 10 knots.   Too bad my brother is stuck in meetings all day and can’t be with us.  At least he can secretly duck into a little corner of his mind and sail away, like we used to do on our Sunfish in Corpus Christi Bay many, many years ago.

The sea life spottings have increased, as they stealthily insert themselves into our daily lives.  Gemma retrieved a squid this morning from the foredeck.  She mentioned that, on her boat, Aurora B, they had dissected a squid’s eyeball.  Charm’s kids were unmotivated to see inside a squid but I was game.  I made a few minor incisions and somehow severed the cone part on top of its head, revealing a reddish-brownish gooey substance that made me regret my cuts.  Turning towards a safer area, I tried to gouge out an eyeball from the squidgy gelatinous material around its face.  I must have punctured the eyeball because a stream of clear fluid shot out across the table.  I squealed and Cobin, in true teenage boy form, said, “What did you expect?”  I decided to end the science show there since I had no real audience except myself and Gemma, who seemed equally willing to end the show.

Later, I was doing school outside in the cockpit with Marin and she complained that the cushions smelled like flying fish.  I agreed, having noticed an odor of fish and a few scales the afternoon before when Gemma and I did yoga in the cockpit and I borrowed a cushion off the seats to make my cobra poses more comfortable.  Marin continued to complain and I shushed her and scolded her for being distracted while I made myself more comfortable by shifting some boxes under the table.  Marin, being the child that she is, decided to roll around on the cushions rather than doing her writing assignment and then started laughing.

She said, “I know why it smells like flying fish!”  And then so did I.  I peeked under the table where she was looking and could see the dead fish lying on the floor where it had been previously obscured by the boxes that were crowding my feet.

This afternoon, Cobin got to test his machete on a giant watermelon that Tully insisted we eat today.  She kept carrying it around the boat and it probably weighed half of what she did so I gave in because I knew it would end up in pieces one way or another. There’s finally some room in the refrigerator since we’ve been eating for a few days so we chopped it up.  Each girl got a giant piece to devour (it’s not on Cobin’s list of edible foods) and then we squeezed the rest into nooks and crannies in the fridge.  It is particularly delightful to cut up a watermelon at sea where I can compost all the rind and seeds right off the back porch.

I unintentionally played a mean trick on Gemma this evening.  While our watch schedule is quite fixed, the meal making has flopped around a bit.  When we first left Cape Town, I said that it would help if Joe and Gemma could alternate making lunch so I could continue school during that time.  If they could do lunch, I would make all the dinners.  Then we had Josie on board and everyone kind of pitched in for most meals and I forgot the original arrangement.  Then we left Walvis Bay and I was sick and Gemma made dinner and then I made lunch for Joe because we discovered that it was a critical rest period during lunch-making time and I sort of forgot the original plan.  When Joe got up, I decided to write people’s names by their meal obligations and asked what dinners people wanted to make.  Tonight’s dinner was roast and it seemed fairly easy so I told Gemma she could take tonight and I would make lasagna tomorrow.  She said, “OK – so I’m cooking dinner tonight?” and I told her yes, happy that we would have clarity with the meal schedule.  Gemma, being from England, is always polite so she didn’t mention that she was scheduled to be on watch during dinner-making and dinner.

When I figured that out, I also remembered that I had originally promised to cook all the dinners.  Fortunately, I realized all of this too late and the delicious meal was already finished, with Gemma poking her head out every few minutes to make sure the boat was OK.  It’s so nice to have another multi-tasker on the boat!

So tomorrow we will resume the scheduled unscheduled meal cooking and continue to be surprised at who Is cooking!

I hope all of you out there who can’t take a trip like this can at least duck away into a little corner of your minds and escape in a similar way.  While it isn’t always sunny skies, 15 knots from the stern quarter, and flattish seas accompanied by the odor of dead flying fish, it is today, and we are enjoying it!

Happy Birthday Kyle!

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