July 31, 2007
Wind SW 25- 30 knots, Course: Heaved-to, drifting west, Position: 15° 06 S, 31° 12W
Even though we are heaved-to with a gale blowing against us, all is well. We feel good and are carrying on with our quest. With the storm blowing up against us and the schooner rocking about, we decided to take some time off this morning and spend it with each other. For a late breakfast, Soanya dressed up in flying colors and has already made the day special. Very few women in history have been at sea for 100 days consecutively. I'm sure she will have the record and it will mean a lot. She will be leading the way showing what women can do in this new age of discovery and enlightenment.
The schooner and I are still in the nuts and bolts technical phase. After our collision, we are still under repair and are figuring out how to the best we can with what we have. Will the repairs hold? What is the best way to maneuver the boat and keep the expedition going? In some ways, I feel that my past knowledge is erased and I have to figure things out for the first time. I feel humbled by our near death experience, but stronger with the desire to go forward. My thoughts are centered here on the schooner with Soanya. Every moment we are in the unknown is because we have committed to the 1000 Day voyage. We are on a journey no man and woman have been on before and at the same time we are trying to share our experience as live as we can. Thanks a lot everybody for keeping up with us and sorry we can't answer people because our hands are full. We appreciate the love and prayers and are putting everyone's well wishes to good use.
I suppose many are wondering after 100 days at sea, do we think we have changed and is there anything we miss. Reid says he's his same old self and he doesn't miss anything. I would say that is for the most part true in his case. I know that I have changed, but I don't know whether to attribute that change to the environment or the company. It's probably a combination of both. I am becoming more myself. There is no one around to tell me how to act or think or what opinions to have. Reid is okay with just about anything I do so long as it doesn't endanger the mission. So very slowly I'm discovering the nuances of the sea and of myself. Having not seen a scrap of land, not even a rock or mist in the distance, I don't feel any loss. I left it behind. Not having seen another person in as many days has not left me feeling isolated at all, partly because I communicate via email almost daily and also because I know I'm not alone.
We living the dream of masses of people. For those of you who are regularly following us, and living vicariously, your prayers, wishes, advice, suggestions, comments, and good vibes are not unnoticed and are always influencing us in subtle ways. Thank you and join us for what will hopefully be another amazing 100 days.
July 30, 2007
Wind S 25 + knots, Course SW, Speed 3.5 knots, Position: 15° 01 S, 30° 42W
The calm weather of last night and this morning didn't last long and luckily neither did its SW direction. As the wind picked up and some rain clouds bore down on us, I decided to prepare the schooner for galey weather. We were hove-to with the staysail pulled into the wind and stalled under full main and foresail. I could see we wouldn't be needing the full main or jib anytime soon, so I unshackled the jib and stuffed it down the focsle and decided to double reef the main whether we stayed hove-to or tried to sail. Reefing the mainsail is always quite an operation because everything is so big and the sail is so heavy and strong. I've almost got it down to no snags, but it does involve a lot of crawling around and full strength pulling even with the help of the electrical winch. The wind increased and shifted a little while we were working and it looked like we would be able to sail. Our course was a little more westerly than we would like. We set our course to the south of west and Soanya played with the wheel until we had a balance.
In the photo, you can see three sails set. Half of the mainsail is furled and tied to the boom and the main gaff is half-way up the mast. One of our figureheads, "The Wave God" watches over things. I look up from my writing and see the sky has turned gray and stormy. It's a good thing we shortened sail. I've got some work to do on deck preparing lines before it gets too dark just in case we have to shorten sail even more tonight.
The morning arrived with us heaved-to because the wind was unfavorable, pushing us too much to the northwest. We would rather stop than go in a wrong direction. Then the wind picked up little by little until it was really blowing and before we knew it, we were pounding into the waves, beating, and spray was flying all over. The waves were bigger than we had seen in a long time coming in craggy hills one after another without reprieve. All the while the sky was partly sunny then cloudy then somewhat clear. It was awesome to watch.