Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Clearing Guadalupe, record speeds last night!

June 25, 2008

We’ve just turned a new corner – the south point of Guadalupe Island. To celebrate, we're eating a sample from our first batch of fish jerky, washed down with a celebratory shot of Patron gifted by our friends at the Sundiver 2. The flying fish taste a bit better than the Catalina Island Blue Perch - much better fresh.

We'll be making lots of jerky from now on to supplement our dwindling cache - photo here shows our first batch, drying in the saline wind. All of our greens are gone, as expected. We’re down to our "mystery cans" (more about this later), dry goods, and lots of cheese. We’ve got four massive blocks of cheddar. Two are in a mesh bag floating in the cool ocean behind us.

Guadalupe Island is roughly 15 miles long and 4 miles wide. For the last 200 miles we’ve drifted practically due south toward it. Yesterday we were five miles and bearing down on the north point. “Which way do we go?” we asked each other. Going west meant faster traveling, but the risk of being pushed ashore was greater. Going east meant a safe trip, but unexpected wind and currents. We flipped a coin, “East it is!”

Steep slopes of brown sand and rubble cascade into deep blue water. The island’s tall mountains create an imposing silhouette against the setting sun. We give a 4-mile buffer between Guadalupe and JUNK. The wind shifts to the northwest, giving us the joy of downwind sailing and a record 2.9 knots. We will skirt around this island in no time. At 1:00am Joel wakes me up, “Can you give me a hand with this spinnaker?” There’s no wind. It fell from 2.5 to .3 in the blink of an eye. The mountain, even at 4 miles, blocks the 20 knots of wind we need. It would now be up to the current.

At .3 knots we would clear the island in a couple of days, as opposed to tomorrow morning as we'd hoped - another example of humility at sea. The ocean does what it wishes. We are largely along for the ride....

Soon, the wind picks up again, and we’re making south point a few hours after sun up. As land fades behind our stern, we look ahead to the next rock rising above the water. Where that is, we don’t really know.

1 comment:

Linda Anderson said...

Anna, Please let Joel know that I sent his slip fee to the Harbormaster. It should have arrived Wed. Also, please visit my new blog on reducing plastic. The guys have inspired me to get into action here in the midwest. It is

Linda Anderson - Joel's Mom