An update from JUNK: winds are just barely whispering, giving our sailors time to entertain visitors as they drift - including a very intrigued Coast Guard plane.
Some Northwest winds are expected to pick up in the next few days....music to our ears.
We left Los Angeles three weeks ago. We’re 300 miles away...2000 to go. At this moment our primary concern is clearing Guadalupe Island, 100 miles directly in front of us, due south, the direction of our drift. If we had wind we would sail west, but no wind and sunny skies makes for a slow paradise. Nothing to do...nowhere to go.
We dove under JUNK to inspect last week’s placement of mini-pontoons. All seems well – some expected shifting, and a host of new passengers. A school of palm-length fish hovered below me while I added two more pontoons, tied knots and cut loose ends. Topside, Joel repaired the stove. Later that day we had visitors.
Curious critters have paid their visits. First a fur seal swam by, indigenous to Guadalupe Island, they can venture 100 miles from land to hunt, or check out JUNK.
Two black-footed albatross gently swam for hours behind us. Every time we came close to the rail, they’d approach, stare and appear to be waiting for us to do something.
Nothing to do...nowhere to go.
Then the Coast Guard showed up.
The U. S. Coast Guard, flying low in a C-130, circled us several times, each time banking in tighter circles.
“Uhh, sailing vessel this is Coast Guard aircraft circling above you, over,” our radio cackled.
“This is JUNK,” I responded. Joel and I wore grins from ear to ear.
“We’ve never quite seen anything like your vessel. What’s it made of?” they asked. We gave them the laundry list of materials: Cessna 310 fuselage, 15,000 plastic bottles, 20 sailboat masts, and 5000 plastic bags woven into rope.
“Do you guys have a website or something?” another voice inquired. After a few moments of polite introductions, the Coast Guard began asking the standard questions for any vessel, about life jackets, radios, sail plans, emergency equipment.
“Before we go do you guys need anything?” they asked.
“How about a weather report?” I replied. Far south from where we are is the breeding ground for tropical storms. They rarely come our way to warmer waters, but sometimes a hurricane will bend toward Hawaii. They came back with no information worth worrying about. We should have asked for a pizza.
They bid us good luck, fair winds and following seas. Before circling one more time, they gave us a phone number to call in case of an emergency. Like 911 for the high seas. Soon our last visitor for the day was gone.
The moon rises, the sails hang like curtains, the sea is gentle. We hope for wind.