I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boobies and Other Stowaways

Ah yes, another passage. This 500 mile, 4 day jump from the Marquesas to the Tuamotus has been pretty easy, especially in comparison to the 18 days from Mexico to Hiva Oa. It has been a relatively uneventful passage so far, but we are only a little over half way. There is still time.

There have been a few noteworthy events. As we were leaving Tahioe bay we departed with a farewell from a giant manta ray. Even a few feet under water its wingspan looked to be 10 feet plus.

My favorite thing about passages is that there are no bugs to be bitten by- or at least there shouldn't be. It seems that we had a stowaway, a mosquito, that drove me nuts all the first night. I have big welts where the bastard bit me. You can imagine my delight when I smashed it in my hands after waiting patiently/hunting it, effectively splattering my blood on my hands. I hope your last meal was a good one, you blood-sucking demon. I was thinking writing a script for a TV show: Corie Schneider-- Mosquito Huntress. Catchy, no?

Other stowaways: the Boobie. This morning just as we were finishing a nice breakfast of fresh baked scones, a Boobie (a brown, sea-faring bird) nearly flew into the cockpit. It was scary to have this animal trying to fly into our small little space! It landed on the dodger and Dad starts yelling: SHOO! GET OUTTA HERE YOU DAMNED THING! and Mom is saying, Neal, it needs to rest! NO IT DOES NOT, NOT ON OUR BOAT!

I am not a big fan of birds, but it does make for some entertainment when one lands (or tries to land) on the boat. The bird settled on the dinghy on the back of the boat, not to be discouraged by Dad's yelling at it. Finally Dad gave up and said to it: OK, but if you shit on my dinghy you are going to be in BIG trouble. As Dad came back in the cockpit he said that, "the damned thing didn't even look grateful!"

A few hours later we hooked a nice little tuna, which unfortunately slipped off the gaff as we were trying to get it overboard. Fish tacos sounded mighty tasty...

The seas are calm but so is the wind. We are motoring right now, but if we continue at this pace we will reach Makemo, our first destination, at night. No bueno. Entering the reef passes are sketchy enough during the day, so we will either have to slow down considerably or speed up an unrealistic amount to get there tomorrow. Either way we have to arrive during the daylight.

I have been corresponding with Liz Clark, a badass single-handing, surfer/sailor who has been cruising the South Pacific for years. She said the waves in the Tuamotus are amazing, shallow, reefy slabs. I am having dreams and nightmares about them.

For now, I am just stoked to be on my way!
At 5/8/2011 12:19 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 13°27.78'S 142°07.23'W

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