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Day 13 – Awful. Just Awful

Conditions: The title of this post says it all. Persons aboard: One miserable. One very miserable. Fish count: I tried. Three lines out. Tangled two. Awful. Just awful.
(Ben) What a miserable day. No wind. Tons of wind. Squalls. Rain. Waves. Huge rollers. No wind. More rain. More waves FROM ALL DIRECTIONS. Ahhhhhhh. Frustrating. This boat is bouncing it’s way across the Pacific today. We have had a series squalls roll us all day long. They each come with torrential downpours and big bursts of wind.
I spent probably a solid four hours doing sail changes, furling sales, adjusting sails, changing course, collecting rain water. And then starting all from the beginning again. By the end of it I was kaput and went for a nap. Haven’t slept that deep in a long time. Wild dreams too.
My wife and I had a conversation today about what to make for dinner. It went something like this. “Honey, what do you want for dinner?” I responded with “How about some of that canned soup?” “Nah, I think I’ll make my own gourmet pasta and pasta sauce.” “OK.” I silently promised myself to hold my tongue. With this sea state any cooking is challenging. Standing upright is a challenge. Shortly after a glass jar of tomatoes went flying off the counter and across the galley. Boom! Glass and tomato sauce everywhere. What followed out of my lovely wife’s mouth will not be repeated here. Bless her soul. May she wash her mouth with soap.
Got news from our friends on our buddy boat SO WHAT today. They’re down to one engine. Wind instruments don’t work. Auto pilot is intermittent. One sail is shredded. Crew is miserable. I think we’re doing pretty good aside from the last point. (we’ve only had one minor issues with one of our bottom mainsail cars loosing ball bearings. But it’s minor and hasn’t affected anything yet).
May tomorrow bring sunshine, calm seas and a gentle breeze.
(Ash) I have been trying to figure out how to describe the motion out here. The only thing I seem to be able to come up with is Human pinball. We are literally bouncing from obstacle to obstacle. I feel like the boat is collecting points. 100 for bruise on knee, 500 for bruise on thigh and 10000 ding ding ding for a head bump. We stagger from one leaning post to the next… It is some of the worst prolonged motion we have ever had on a passage. Did you know the Pacific is meant to be named after peaceful as in calm. False advertising.
After Ben had made a herculean effort at sailing today it was my turn to come on shift. At this point the wind had gone lighter (the waves hadnt got the message) and he had the code Zero and the Genoa out wing on wing, something we have been talking about doing for a while. The problem was the genoa was barely flying, we were hardly moving unless the swell decided to pick us up and slide us down the front of one of the massive waves. I was already kinda at my wits end after the spaghetti incident. We looked at each other and looked at the sails and looked at each other and then *#!& this. We dropped the sails. Turned on BOTH engines. Take that WIND and OCEAN. We Win! FINALLY for the first time today, we were headed in the right direction. The mood lightened, Ben could sleep and all was good on Nahoa.
For the record, making veg pasta sauce is easy. Chop a few veg up throw in pan. Dump tomatoes on top. Throw in spices, anything else I think of and simmer. It does NOT usually involve cleaning up the entire cabin walls and floor. I think it was karma. I was going to cheat and use a prepared jar of spaghetti sauce. Not my usual. Anyway the ocean gods were unpleased and wanted me to make it myself. The saving grace was I have been getting smarter and rather than wait til dark when the waves inevitably seem bigger and the wind inevitable picks up, I made spaghetti sauce at 2pm… at 2pm spaghetti sauce all over the cabin, was bad, but not completely the end of the world…
As a side note I have since taken a lesson from our friends on a monohull and put that sticky shelf lining material at strategic points around the boat.
PS. Ben, I am not a huge fan of packaged soup mixes. Those are for you, when I dont feed you. PPS. Only 775 more nm to go!

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