A world of frothy white waves, gray skies and green water greets us when we go above deck these days, but down below, all is snug and dry. Every time we descend down into the trough of one of these huge waves out here I wonder why that mountain of water doesn't just crush us. Looking up and seeing green water towering over us is certainly far from my happy place. We rise above these monsters, slide down the back side and never get more than a little splash in the cockpit. The physics baffles me and I marvel at how well designed a sail boat is. Pelagic is amazing, and although I've complained about here size, I am totally humbled by her performance in big seas. Our seas have steadily increased over the last few days. Our wind strength stays around 25 knots, which seems like it should be manageable, but the wave periods are short and we continue to get tossed around. We've been watching lots of movies lately just because the task of trying to stay upright, even sitting, is a stress on the body. Everything is a chore. Getting through meal prep is like running a 10K race. Unless you are on the low side, sleep is impossible. Cleaning, ha ha, I haven't even thought of doing that. Homework consists of watching a period movie and discussing what life would have been like at that time. Seriously, mental calculating is at an all time low. We are in survival mode. Fortunately there is always the escape plan of stalling the boat, lashing the wheel down and heaving to. It is surprisingly comfortable even in big seas and we haven't done that yet, so no need to worry about us, we are apparently more anxious to make land fall than we are exhausted.
I'm complaining, but not really. We are safe and we can find comfort here and there. We are eating well and the boat does not seem stressed in the least. We aren't beating into the wind like we did on our passage to the Marquesas, so it isn't as bad as that, we are simply hitting exhaustion levels. On the positive side, we have averaged over 7 knots for the last 5 days and the last 24 hours have been close to an 8 knot average. It definitely has been fast and furious the last few days and yet I look around and my kids are coping so well. Ana has no desire to get to land, she is perfectly content. Porter and Zander are dreaming about land, but they are learning that some things are even sweeter when you have to be patient and wait for them. Little things they've always taken for granted are now thought of as luxuries; smelling the soil, running, throwing a ball or talking to someone other than an immediate family member.
Mike and I, we are surviving, not thriving, but surviving is enough at this point. We will make it, we are almost there.
What we are tired of most:
Ana - "Nothing, I love it out here"
Porter - Big seas, no contact with friends, minutes that pass like hours.
Zander - Getting tossed around the cabin, sandwiches without bread, my Mom doesn't bake bread much. Amy here - to my defense, my pizza dough, naan and cinnamon rolls get eaten up the moment they come out of the oven without a crumb left, but I have not mastered making flour, yeast, sugar and water come together in a very exciting combo. Friends bring over beautiful loaves of bread, and I ask them their secrets, but my bread still sucks. Fortunately we have a surplus of butter, and anything slathered with butter taste good.
Amy - Every meal juggling boiling water, sharp knives and other dangerous instruments on what feels like a mechanical bull ride.
Mike - Playing Barbies (passage rule, everyone has to play with Ana for 30 minutes a day doing whatever she wants), wedging my head between pillows to keep it from rolling around, and watching crappy movies.
What are we looking forward to most:
Ana - 7-11 slurpies and American candy.
Porter - Seeing my friends and getting off the boat.
Zander - Hearing English and buying snack foods.
Amy - Seeing the American flag, eating a salad, getting a little alone time.
Mike - All of the above.
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron