Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Relaxing Day, Sparky, and the Barleys

A Relaxing Day, Sparky, and the Barleys

May 17th, 2011

We are around 550 miles off Cape Falso. We didn't change or reef sails and there were no minor crises! A relaxing day. 

Owen put out more of the genoa today, shifted the main and altered the preventer. Then he spent most of the day watching the sails to see how this combination worked. 

Tamsyn and Griffyn spent most of the day below with LEGOs. We have 4 two liter containers full of LEGO parts. There are many specialized parts for making vehichles, people and the typical blocks for building structures. So the kids can build and populate whole cities. At some point in the morning, I suggested that their buildings were experiencing earthquakes (when the boat crashed into waves and shook violently - as it did often that morning), we laughed about it. Their day was calm and uneventful until Griffyn bit Tamsyn when she threatened to break his LEGOs because he wouldn't give her her piece back (or something like that). Then there were lots of tears and time outs (and Griffyn was gounded from LEGOs for 2 days). He spent the late afternoon in the cockpit (as a time out) where he immediately spotted a vessel. Owen jumped on the VHF radio and hailed the unidentified vessel to let them know we would be crossing their stern (in case they were trailing fishing nets). They turned out to be a commercial fishing rig. In broken English, they offered to sell us shark meat and swordfish. Owen chatted a bit but declined their offer. (It is hard to find the perfect "time out" spot aboard a 37 foot by 12 foot home, we try.)

I slept through Griffyn calling me in the middle of the night, it was my first deep sleep in a while. I washed my hair (in salt water with Dawn dish soap and a fresh water rinse.) Dawn dish soap sudses up in salt water, shampoo doesn't. I took a sitz bath with about 2 cups of fresh water (using a total of 4 cups of fresh water). I MISS a shower, but was pleased that I could feel refreshed using so little fresh water. And of-course if I did have the luxury of using a lot of water it would all just splash out of what ever little container I was using to bathe in. As it is, we attempt to sit in a small square bin (which could hold about 2 gallons).  It is quite cramped for my big butt and the cockpit well is not much larger than the bin, but you need the cockpit well walls to brace the bin so that you do not go flying naked and slippery around the cockpit. Banging your head as the boat lurches during a bath is anything but relaxing. I think about land and hot soothing water pouring out of a shower head in a shower stall that doesn't move, but that kind of dreaming will get you know where on a small cruising yacht. Owen also washed his hair and took a bath. Tamsyn's hair hasn't quite turned into dreadlocks - but luckily for us they are in style. Tomorrow we'll wash Tamsyn up. 

I changed my pillow case today. I cleaned a bit, cooked and did the dishes (in salt water & Dawn with fresh water rinses.) These simple tasks seem so uneventful, so mundane, but we haven't had the time or energy to do even the simplest things in our new life on this continuously moving vessel.  Our menu for the day: 

Breakfast - bacon & eggs, limeade (freshly squeezed), coffee
Snack - crackers
Lunch - Pb & J, carrot sticks, sliced apples
Snack - cookies
Dinner - baked beans (canned) with hot dogs, rice, steamed broccoli, UHT milk
Desert - fresh pineapple & home made yogurt

We have a number of pets aboard. "Sparky" (our automatic bilge pump alarm), this dog barks every time we heal or hit a big wave. (That can be as often as every 20 minutes!) Sparky's "bark" is somewhere between a phasor (think Star Trek), a siren, and a small annoying dog that barks every time a stranger approaches your door. He reminds me of a time when Tamsyn, Griffyn and I were walking the streets of La Paz looking for the dwelling of the woman who made our full length swim wear. In La Paz there are tons of "guard" dogs hidden behind garage doors, fences and gates, in addition to the ones out in the open threatening to rip your leg off if you trod on 'their' sidewalk. They ALL bark vigorously when anyone walks by. So one hot sunny day while we were traversing those dusty, dirty, shadeless streets, Griffyn started barking back at all the dogs. At the time, I was hot, thirsty, and frustrated with him, he single handedly doubled the noise level that day - but eventually we found ourselves laughing out loud. Now when we hear Sparky go off - we just say, "Oh Sparky  shut up." And that makes us chuckle about the loud irritating interruptions. Of course Sparky wouldn't go off so much if our auxiliary bilge pump hadn't broken just after we left the coast of Mexico.

And there are the "Barleys" - small hidden creatures that move with the motion of the boat - we can hear them but not see them. There are many "Barleys" on board. One I hear distinctly each night as I crawl into my bed. He is right above my head. He says, "Dada ra TAT tat tat tat tat" and repeats ad nauseum. I have no idea where this creature is hiding or I would not miss a heart beat to squash 'im.

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