Day 83 - Alternative Realities
Your humble reporter is transmitting from a very isolated place in the southern ocean- East of New Zealand- West of Chile- but approximately in the middle of nowhere.
The wind has been consistently from the N- NE for the past two days so I have stayed with my sail configuration of 2 reefs in the main and the staysail with the wind about 20 knots just forward of the beam (77' true wind angle "TWA") . Boat speed is around 8-10 knots- if the wind were just a bit aft of the beam (say 100' true wind angle) I would be going 12 knots- but with the wind just forward of the beam- so we do not surf or plane.
The Heel angle is about 20'+ despite full water ballast. Rough sea conditions makes it hard to move around the boat. We just bang. When I go on deck, I am greeted by waves of cold water over the head, which discourages me from hanging out in the cockpit, as I get quickly soaked and cold and there is nothing to do.
So... there you have it… I am not going to glamorize it... nor am I complaining... this is "head down- get through it" time in the Southern Ocean- and water/air temps remains warmer than I expected at 57'.
But in the Southern Ocean, any day above water is a good day- so let’s look on the sunny side. I am not Shackleton in an open boat- I have a relatively warm, dry cabin to retreat to and be alone with my thoughts.
But I am bored- "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy-- red rum, red rum" so I tore out the pictures out of the "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit" edition and have duct-taped them on the cabin walls and ceiling. I know - kinda a 15-year-old thing to do- but I really needed some artwork, as the condo was not popping. Now it is.
I am enjoying Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea", having put down Mick Jaggers' biography (vapid) and a chick book called "The Lake House" that I found nauseating and boring.
I am totally addicted to the "Boston Legal" TV series re-runs and laugh and cry out loud un-abashedly. Denny Crane and Alan Shore.
I also watched "Pulp Fiction" last night- a classic- and would encourage any of you into that genre (warning- not for children- deeply twisted) to put it back up- with particular emphasis on the dance scene (they do The Twist) with Uma Thurman and John Travolta, and the bible speeches of Samuel Jackson.
Also watched Clint Eastwood in an early western called "Hang'em High" which was pretty bad- but amusing.
On board- I have narrowed my mind to very basic thoughts- eat, sleep, keep the boat going, make sure the batteries are charged, try to communicate with other humans- or dolphins- when they come around- but they don’t speak English- I so wish they could- or I could speak dolphin.
I smelled myself this morning and was not pleased so thrashed around with baby wipes and baby powder for a while and feel much better.
At some point I'm sure I will have to do some sailing again... but until that time… I just need to survive inside my 10' x 10' cabin and my 4" X 4" brain.
View all recent New Zealand photos in larger format here:
Additional NZ Crossing photos: