Day 7 – The Weather Conundrum
35 d 48.2 N 150 d 38’.4 W
Yesterday we found another Italian restaurant on our journey. It featured delicious Mahi Mahi with a lemon, orange and soy sauce reduction. Fresh with a few leaves of salad served on a tortilla wrap. It is amazing what you find on your way when you go off the beaten track. Chef Andrea was very happy when he found a spice called “Italiano” in the cupboard. We are a little light on olive oil though. Note to self: Add one liter of extra virgin olive per week of travel to the provisions when sailing with an Italian!
After pouring most of the morning over the weather forecast, comparing GRIB files (raw weather data generated by a computer for our routing software) with different weather faxes (weather maps generated by a meteorologist, i.e. a human being versus a computer) I realized that there is a different approach to looking at this: Instead of trying for the fastest way to Vancouver we can sail a more comfortable route, adding maybe 100 to 150 NM to our journey. Instead of motoring for two days through the doldrums going for where the wind is, we can practice being patient (not my strong side) and let the weather come to us (Thank you Gunnar for the tip on “being patient”). That might possibly add another day or so to our trip. So instead of 16 days we might be 18 days on the Ocean.
What is so bad about that? A couple more days in paradise doing what we love to do and delay the return to the rat race? I also think I remember that bar in the North Pacific that serves Bikini Blonde and Cuba Libres. They might even prepare fresh Mahi Mahi tacos. What is not to like? On we sail, foot off the pedal, wind on the beam and everybody is happy. Cruising style!
Lying in my bunk during the afternoon rest, I can see the waves reflecting on the open porthole window and I can’t help but feeling happy and blessed to be out here away from the stress of the daily life. No pressure, just sailing, catching fish, eat, rest, marvel at sunset after sunset one more spectacular than the other, sailing to the stars at night, following a distant cloud by day all interrupted only by Captain’s hour each day at 6 pm. An ocean passage seems to be a good remedy for anybody who has let the daily life get to them a bit too much. It took me a while even on this voyage to realize this again. Late yesterday I ended up pushing the team to sail harder to have a fighting chance at making the 16 day passage to Vancouver. Today, cracked off, knowing that the wind will always come back again having enough food, water (& beer) on board life just slowed down and all I can see are happy faces as Salient slices through the water.