Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 7, Decision Time

Cumulus clouds march by in orderly rows. Their heads are fluffy and light, their bellies flat and gray, the color of sharkskin. Scallops of cirrus clouds line the sky to the west. We have finally stopped rolling over running hills of tall water, 15 foot swell pushed down here by a big low pressure system in the North Atlantic. The wind has all but deserted us, sucked up by the system in the north.

The ocean has changes colors again from a deep murky green to steel gray and at last to the color I love, that screams deep ocean. Deep sea blue that only shows itself when fathoms of water lie under our hull and the sun penetrates just right. It is the color of late twilight, just before darkness swallows the last tinges of blue from the sky.

Gar is tired today, yet unable to sleep. The sails banged throughout the night as DK rolled from side to side. At latitude twenty-three degrees it is hot. The cabin temperature is 80 degrees and we both have a thin layer of sweat permanently clinging to our skin. We are happy to be returning to the beloved tropics but it will take some adjusting to.

A mahi struck one of our new lures yesterday and sadly took it with him, flashing blue and yellow until he disappeared. While it rarely happens, it sickens me every time; hopefully he will be able to loose the hook.

Our mung bean sprouts our ready again, perfect for a lunch of hippy salad: quinoa tabouli with fresh mint and parsley, cucumber, and garbanzo beans with bean sprouts and feta and a slice of yummy german bread with creamy avocado on the side. We've eaten 20 mandarins and 10 apples. Our cilantro is gone and mint following close behind. We still have two avocados, green and red peppers, carrots, a few stalks of celery, and two heads of cabbage.

We've used about 40 gallons of diesel already and have decided after a bit of waffling that we will tuck into Mindelo, in the Cape Verde Islands to refuel, get some freshies, and see a bit of the place (depending on when we leave; the trades are supposed to kick in again in a few days). Our lives are dictated by weather and the functioning of the boat and her crew. While it is tempting to continue onward to the Caribbean without making landfall, it seems prudent to stop and top up our fuel supplies. This year is a strange year with weather patterns in the Atlantic and we aren't willing to bob around at sea for an extra week or two making two knots and hour if the wind deserts us for days. Some may say we're not pure sailors; it's the choice we make and we're ok with it.

So I'll be casting aside my romantic vision for a 25 day passage and replace it with a welcome night or three of uninterrupted sleep, full diesel tanks, an abundant fresh food again. Mindelo tomorrow morning if all goes as planned.

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