October 7, 2014
Running Free splashed today after spending 5 sweltering months on the hard (land) while I flew back to Cody to keep the Inn.
I’m back in the water where there is a trade wind blowing and fewer bugs. Last night I was sleeping on the boat, which was parked high and dry in the midst of a coconut grove. Now, coconut groves are beautiful to look at but not so hospitable if you are a boat. There are rats in coconut trees and coconut crabs in coconut trees and spiders in coconut trees and last night about dark I noticed thousands of little flying no-see-ums (well, actually, just barely visable) bugs landing on my ‘bug-buster’ screens, which cover every hatch. The screens stopped most of them but hundreds somehow got inside the boat, buzzing around and finally spiraling either onto my sweaty body or into my sweaty hair and beard or down to the cabin floor. So I spent 3 hours with paper towels catching, killing and cussing. Oh, for the open ocean where the bugs are rare and the breeze is cooling – usually.
Today was spent installing a new starter, rewiring a new alternator, fixing a leaky prop shaft seal and adjusting all rigging. Tomorrow I hope to fuel, provision, stow assorted gear and clear customs with the cranky French Ghandarme so that I can shove off for Tonga on Thursday. Starting a passage on a Friday is bad luck and although I’m not superstitious, it is the open ocean after all.
I’m looking forward to the next 3000 miles of this 7500 mile crossing from San Diego to New Zealand.