Constant Vigilance!

With Kauai only 200 more miles to go and steady, constant winds for the last day it would be easy to start getting excited about making our first landfall. We have not set foot on land since May 2, about the same amount of time some of you have been stuck in your homes. We left the Revillagedados Islands on May 12. It is a little hard to believe we have been sailing nonstop since May 12. Our friends Kevin and Curt have been texting with us daily to get reports of how things are going on this passage. The roles these texts play in our inner emotional lives out here are not insignificant.

Kevin, previously of SV Blue, is the holder of our excitement that we are so close to the finish line. He asks what new sights or smells we experience as we draw closer to land, makes sure I remember to get video of what it’s like out here, and keeps me reminded that, indeed, this crossing is a bit of a big deal. He is the holder of our future celebration in his heart and we love him for that. I would love to feel the excitement he feels but I am just not there yet and I count on Kevin to remind me that it’s coming. His texts give me glimmers. But we literally are not THERE yet. There’s this old wife’s tale about counting chickens before they are hatched and I am an old wife at this point. So I remind myself that we still have 200 miles to go and don’t get too full of myself or of our completely awesome and practical and safe boat that has performed so admirably. In the quiet moments I read Kevin’s texts and smile for the near future that is surely unfolding.

Then I text Curt, of SV Slow Motion and Coast Guard retired. Curt is the superego to Kevin’s joyful id. Curt is a dear friend who embodies the part of me that knows that shit happens when you stop paying attention to small things because you’ve become too comfortable with the environment you’re in and what you’re doing. It’s Curt’s voice that reminds me to put on my life jacket and clip on my harness line when we are dousing the spinnaker at 3 AM. For Curt it’s all about staying focused on what’s right in front of you in the moment. When sea conditions are not comfortable it’s Curt who reminds me that if this were easy it would be crowded out here.

Of course I am over simplifying the roles these friends play in our lives. Both are knowledgeable sailors. Kevin asks about chafe on the gear, Curt asks if the sea has become that beautiful ethereal blue color (it has). They have been such amazing support on this passage and we are grateful for their friendship.

We dodged a bullet on our spinnaker sheet because we are paying attention. We have used our spinnaker a great deal on this passage and both of us were concerned that the sheets we had were too lightweight for the use we were putting them to. (Sheets refers to the lines that control the sail.) So last night the winds piped up as predicted and Mike felt like they were too much for that light air sail. We had discussed our strategy before I went to bed and everything went like the finely tuned machine that we are when we need to be. Lifejackets and harnesses on, Mike went forward to pull down the sock, the cover that contains the sail. I gradually let out the sheet as he pulls the sock down over the sail, keeping the sail under control. Then I move to the fore deck and release the halyard, dropping the sail cleanly onto the deck as Mike packs it in the sail bag. Back in the cockpit I gather the line to be stored. Then it’s all about letting out a bit of genoa to keep us sailin g
downwind and then back to our rest.

This morning Mike was examining the line as he prepared to stow it. One section was just too close to parting, breaking in two. Yikes stripes! That would have been a mess to deal with. The sail would be out of control flying freely. We would have pulled the sock down over it and gotten it sorted but it’s just better to not have that happen in the first place.

So yeah. 200 more miles. We aren’t there yet. But close! Hopefully we are looking at Saturday morning to arrive in Niwiliwili on the east side of Kauai. When the anchor is safely down, I have a bottle of tequila and some frozen key lime juice from Mexico that has our names on it.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

10 thoughts on “Constant Vigilance!

  1. I am glad you are close. I’m glad you are being careful. I’m glad that rope did not break in half.

    I had to give some thought to your comment about if it were easy, it would be crowded out there. I think of you out there on the boat all alone in the middle of the ocean with nothing else in sight. That would not be an experience that would be comfortable for me. I can be a loner, but it has to be on land.

    • I get that, Gwen. I do. And I have to say that when we were out there in the middle of the ocean, I just kind of didn’t think about that. I just focused on keeping the boat moving, supporting Mike’s role as captain, and feeding us when the boat motion allowed me to cook. I’ll be talking more about that in a coming post. Thanks for traveling along and we hope to land in Langely this season to say hello!

  2. Can I be both Kevin and Curt.
    I am so excited and proud of you two. Soon you will smell greenery and plumeria. I will be toasting you as you drop your hook. But it is still 200 miles so be on you toes. You are entering the land of rocks, reefs, boats and land breezes. Be safe but remember…only 200 miles. Way to go!!!

    • Hi Kandy! Thanks for the support. I do hope next season is kinder to you and Lemanee. I see more sailing adventures in your future! Perhaps you’d like to be on the land support team for our next leg?

  3. Love your daily updates.. we are currently stuck at the dock and so reading your blogs sure lifts my spirits!

    • Being stuck on the dock is just no fun at all. You can only do so many boat projects before it feels like the boat just NEEDS to leave the slip. Hope you get off the dock soon. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It’s fun to get back to cell range and find all these comments on the blog.

  4. I am SO excited for you two!! Constant vigilance is the story of your lives in many ways, and now you will be able to drink your tequila, rest your paws on a glorious beach, and write a personal anthem about it!!

    • Hello Anonymous and thanks for commenting! Yes, we certainly have to be vigilant here on board, except when we are sleeping, which we are currently catching up on here in Niwliwili. We look forward to being able to actually walk on land in the very near future! A beach would be fine, but at this point I’ll take a sidewalk.

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as you made passage to Hawaii.

    Isn’t it amazing how land smells as you approach after a time at sea? A familiar comfort you didn’t realize was absent…

    Congratulations to you both! Time to break out the surfboards…

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