Pacific Ocean Passage Days 9, 10, 11&12

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Pacific Ocean Passage Day 1
Pacific Ocean Passage Day 2, 3 & 4
Pacific Ocean Passage Day 5,6,7 & 8

Day 9

May 6, 2016 –S06 26’28’’ W 105 43’06’’ Dist to Dest 1974 NM, GPS heading 260, wind ESE 12-14kts, few clouds, air temp 27 C

One third of the way!

We are now time-traveling, going back in the past.

2012 nautical miles to destination- the year we left Canada and started this journey around the world.
2003 NM to destination- the year Maya was born. It was a rainy afternoon and she came out all purple and hairy- the most beautiful thing!
2001 NM to destination – terrorist attacks in USA.
2000 NM to destination – the year we left Bulgaria.
1997 NM to destination – the year Vik was born. Our son. We miss him so much…
1994 NM to destination – the year Ivo and I met.
1989 NM to destination – the year Bulgaria stopped being communist.
1976 NM to destination – the year Ivo and I were born.
1944 NM to destination – Second World War

We will keep counting nautical miles through, the Russian Revolution, the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, the middle ages, the foundation of Bulgaria, all the way back to the beginning of time- our destination.

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Ivo is trying to hoist the spinnaker. We got it second hand from a loft of a marine shop in Martinique two years ago for 150 Euro. We tried to bargain down the price- it’s a second hand undersized spinnaker. A new spinnaker can cost a few thousand dollars and the guy at the loft knows that. He is laughing at our bargaining attempts. We won’t ever find a better price for a spinnaker. So we bought it.

It’s the second time Ivo is trying to hoist the spinnaker, which is very particular and can only be used in specific weather conditions: when the wind is behind you and is not too strong. In such conditions, it’s hard, sometimes even impossible to use the jib and mainsail. So that’s when you need the spinnaker. The spinnaker is made of very fine light material, it’s big and colorful (ours is yellow and blue and has one 15×20 cm patch), and looks like a parachute – catching a lot of wind. If the wind shifts from the side, the spinnaker will collapse, as it can only be filled from behind. If the wind is too strong- the spinnaker will explode, or burst and tear, as it is made of very thin fabric and cannot take a hard blow. But in light winds from behind, which are the prevailing trades in the Pacific when sailing west, the spinnaker is the ideal sail, especially for a catamaran.

Ivo has to figure out how to hoist it. The thing is in a sleeve and has to be pulled all the way up to the top of the mast, and two ropes are spreading it on the sides. It’s a three-people job. One pulling up, the other two cranking the side winches. But the whole operation is a big epic fail. The ropes are all messed up, the thing is twisting at the top inside the sleeve and will not open, Ivo is bitching, trying to blame Maya and me for everything. No one ever showed him how to hoist a spinnaker, so he has to figure it out by himself and this will take some time. So no spinnaker. Gloom.

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Day 10

May 7, 2016 –S 06 49’12’’ W108 00’ 40’’ Dist to Dest 1835 NM, GPS heading 260, wind ESE 16-20kts, clear, air temp 27 C

The wind is picking up a bit. We tried the spinnaker again. It took us half an hour to finally hoist it with lots of drama again. We are screaming at each other, accusing each other, offending each other not even caring if the neighbors will hear us. I truly hate this fucking sail. I am planning to secretly cut it in shreds with the scissors.

We lost another lure. No sushi on the menu for the first time since days. We celebrate this event with baked potatoes and sausages with Galapagos beers. Chocolate muffins and orange sunset for dessert.

Ivo and I are sitting on the trampoline staring at the western horizon and laughing at how much we hated each other a few minutes ago. Maya thinks we are crazy.

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Day 11

May 8, 2016 –S 07 06’ 56’’ W110 24’ 37’’, Dist to Dest 1691 NM, GPS heading 260, wind ESE 16-20kts, clear, air temp 27 C

Smooth sailing and another calm night. I slept all night in our cabin, while Ivo slept all night in the cockpit, checking the electronics and sails every now and then. He has moved out in the cockpit since the start of this passage and has furnished the long bench with pillows and blankets – made a cozy bunk for himself.

To imagine sailing at night- imagine driving a car (a convertible; slowly and on cruise control) in a vast, uneven, bumpy field, in complete silence and in complete darkness, with no headlights or any other lights. And the field is soft, reflecting the stars, smelling of seaweed.

In the afternoon we pull out a beautiful mahi-mahi or dorado or dolphin- all names used for the same golden-green-and-blue slender fish of white juicy flesh- our favorite. Maya, who didn’t like fish at all, is now eating grilled tuna and breaded dorado and loving it!

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Day 12

May 9, 2016 – S 07 27’ 37’’ W 113 00’ 20’’ Dist to Dest 1535 NM, GPS heading 260, wind ESE 16-20kts, clear, air temp 26 C

Approaching the middle.

Maya is preparing a message in a bottle in the four languages she knows: English, French, Spanish and Bulgarian. The message is to be released in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and to be found on the shores of any English, French, Spanish or Bulgarian-speaking country. The release is scheduled for when we reach 1500 NM to destination, which is not at all the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but rather- the middle of the passage between Galapagos and Marquesas. Actually, when we reach the Marquesas we will be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with a few more thousand nautical miles to go before we actually cross it. But for us, 1500 NM to destination represents The Middle right now and the message in a bottle will then be released, as it is the custom. Considering that oceanic currents pick up trash and debris from the east coast of Asia and west coast of the Americas to bring them in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean where they swirl eternally in a big garbage gyre, there is less chance our message in a bottle to ever reach any shore and more chance our message in a bottle to get stuck in a big garbage patch. There, in the huge vortex of trash- as big as a continent- swirling and swirling among fishing nets, Coca-Cola bottles, left flip-flops, milk crates, kids’ toys, and old fridges are probably millions upon millions of messages in bottles- a whole library of friendly notes and desperate calls for help- stuck forever, swirling and swirling, round and round, bumping into each other, never to be found, never to be read. I will name this gyre of millions of messages in bottles: The Pacific Ocean Message-in-a-Bottle Vortex.

We watch Werner Herzog’s Encounter’s at The End of The World. It’s an awesome surreal documentary about Antarctica- very intimate interviews with people who are stationed on the frozen continent for months to do all sorts of works- scientific and maintenance. Herzog is our favorite film director and we’ve seen most of his films- documentaries and fiction. He even has a film named Fata Morgana. We are also reading a great National Geographic-type of book about Antarctica, and now Maya is dreaming of going there some day. Maybe not with Fata Morgana. But Antarctica is definitely on Maya’s Bucket List.

It’s fascinating what kind of dreams people have, especially people who are living their dreams, like people sailing around the world for example. You would think that such people- those who have visited tropical islands, have tasted exotic coconut crabs, have met indigenous people and entered caves with them, who have observed anteaters in the jungles of Costa Rica- are all set and there is nothing more they would want from this life. But this is not the case. Such people- those who have traveled across Africa by train, those who have crossed Mexico by bicycles, those who have awoken in a rice field in India surrounded by hundreds of people squatting silently around their tent- have plans and dreams just like regular folks.

Our friend Rainheart for example, who has toured Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia on a motorbike (kids in Sofia stole his motorbike, so he has rather bad memories from Bulgaria) and is currently sailing around the world on a 40-foot catamaran S/V Runaway (that’s how we met him in Galapagos) is dreaming of –planning to – visit the moon. ASAP. This might sound insane to you but so are most of the things and places Rainharth has already done and visited! Just wait and watch! Watch towards the moon, and one of these days you might see a big smile shining down on you.
Dreams must be flamboyant.

We had to drink wine in order to have a bottle for the message.

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DAY 13
To be continued…

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