All Is Well

Oh my god, I've just made purple bread. How do I do it?! Two days ago I
made purple cauliflower soup (the colour thanks to a kumura – sweet
potato- I picked up in Isla de Pascua), and green bread; yesterday I
made some quite unpleasant porridge from quinoa and tomatoes… and
today, really trying to make something nice for a change, I seem to have
produced purple bread. The purple is, I hope, from the raisins I
included and not from WD40 on my hands.

Don't get me started on hands- eek. Andy's are worse than mine but we do
both look like we have a fairly unpleasant skin disease, especially
immediately after they have been submerged in a bucket of salt water
while doing the washing up. I thought we'd have gnarly tough hands of
leather by now but the continual wetness instead has brought out white
blisters, splots, and continually peeling skin. Along with the various
scrapes and cuts they feel fairly raw. Not tough at all.

I look over and see Andy asleep on the sofa/couch/bed/bunk… the only
one on the boat that fits the width of an average human (who designs a
boat with a too-narrow bunk?) He's got a scraped knee, bruised foot,
black fingernail, lacerated finger, and I'm sure various additional
unseen injuries. I think we might just start eating Arnica as a daily
food supplement.

Life today is good, really good. No longer am I the moany old cow
complaining about incessant rain, too-big waves, lack of sleep, lack of
amenities etc etc… damn it, we're sailing across the flippin' Pacific!
That's right: The Pacific! Our boat is smaller than everyone else's, and
more basic, and more open to the elements, and it's harder to change
sails or auto-steer, but it's going west just as well as everyone else,
and has less to break and less to fix. Sure, we could have added all
those additional comforts… but then we'd still be not here, not
sailing, always preparing for never-never land.

Yes, today is a Good Day. We have no wind, absolutely no wind, and are
bobbing around in the middle of just about the most remote patch of sea
you can imagine. Four hundred miles west of Easter Island, six-hundred
miles east of Pitcairn, a place we probably won't be able to anchor
anyway. Another two days after that to the Gambiers and a more assured
resting place.

Every other sailor in the world would, I'm sure, be going mad with these
conditions. The lack of wind, the lack of direction… but I'm just
loving rocking around in the safe, flat, calm, quiet sea, clear blue sky
and sunshine, puffy clouds, a bird even flew past earlier. The weather
report shows we can expect some wind later today or tomorrow so we're
not worried about never arriving… or about running out of water en
route, for now anyway. Time for a rest.

It is amazing how much weather conditions can differ in such a short
space and time period (and the effect they have on your mood). Four
boats left Easter Island around the time that we did, and every evening
we check-in on the HF radio to see how and where each other are. While
we were facing crazy winds from the south, Neptune was motoring north,
not far from us, and the other French boat was entirely becalmed. The
Canadians who nearly bumped into us on day two are now experiencing
almost identical conditions, and remain a safe 70 miles away. Let's try
and keep it that way.

It's not a race. Part of me wants to be just us out here, really living
it. Feels like it's somehow cheating, checking in with others and
analysing their navigation decisions. Then again, it's incredibly
comforting knowing that other boats are out there and know where we are,
just incase… you never know. It reminded me of backpacking, age
seventeen, 'on my own' around New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Asia.
I don't think I was ever actually on my own for more than one day, or
didn't need to be…I just didn't have any other person with whom I was
continually travelling. Even in the Pacific, we people trying to 'get
away from it all' still act like magnets to each other. Is it human nature?

But then again, Easter Island was too crowded for us – a whole six other
boats! And so we looked at a map to see where we might go next that's
sure to be quiet. I think we're going to go South, towards Rapa and the
Australs, and the opposite direction from Tahiti.

But first… I'm getting excited about our next destinations. Pitcairn
possibly, followed by the Gambiers. A good friend of ours has been
sending us information about Pitcairn from the web… try and forget
recent history and the reason why you might have heard of the place, it
sounds amazing.. fruit, veg, fish, crafts, local community, and best of
all a local dialect that's a cross between 18^th Century seafaring
English and Polynesian!

So. All is well. Just wanted to make that point as I think I've been a
bit negative lately. Damn it,- we're sailing across the Pacific, how
cool is that? Not always easy, no, but I can't think anything else I'd
rather be doing right now, or any better place to be doing it. Bring on
the purple bread!

5 thoughts on “All Is Well

  1. Yasoo Nafties (Hello Sailors)

    A fantastic read,the highs,lows of your adventure, voyage. we wish you light winds calm seas.

    God speed love MAD xx

  2. We love purple bread. You made me smile lots. I wonder if you ever can see these comments, maybe not. I say you guys are doing a great job!
    Lots of kisses,
    frini xxxx

  3. Hi Rhian,

    I have been reading your blog since you were in Halley and I have loved all your adventures. Please don't feel creeped out but I do live vicariously through you (did I get that right?) so, YEAH! PACIFIC…and am really glad you blog :-)

    have fun…

    renuka

  4. hey Renuka…very cool to get your message, and at a time when I have web-access for a change… but frustratingly blogger won't tell me your email address. Would love to write you an email but only can do if you send me your address somehow… maybe you can send a msg to my bro for him to forward. He's felixsalmon at(his name again).com

    hope this finds you well, Rhian

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