SEA GEM LOG
April 9, 1999
TOWARD HIVA OA
has held up and we are rolling on toward Hiva
at sometimes up to ten knots. If we get over nine knots and
the wave action is against us, the auto pilot cannot hold the course.
This does not happen frequently but when it does the boat must be
brought back quickly to avoid a jibe or going out of control, which
can do serious damage to the rigging. The seas were more settled
yesterday and last night became rolly again but not as severely
as before. We still hang on, always on hand for the boat.
We are averaging over seven knights and have about eleven hundred
forty three miles to go, but who is counting?
When it is rough it is hard to do anything but yesterday the refrigerator had to be cleaned
after something had slammed into a container of strawberry yogurt and it had mixed with the bottle of Italian dressing that had fallen over and comer open. It is amazing how far you can
spread a mixture like that. Everything on two shelves seems coated and all had to be washed. Well at least you find the things that have slid back in the refrigerator and become
"out of sight out of mind". Menu planning and execution is a challenge. Charlie and Jeff are appreciative, I think they know too many complaints and the cook might strike, and that
would leave on of them in the galley. I have done this enough that I can pretty well function even when it is pretty rough but our meals are pretty basic.
Mid afternoon and all three of us are on deck and Jeff suddenly exclaims "Look a boat, off the bow". There it was big as life. We watched to determine what direction it was moving,
with the help of binoculars, then without and determined it was not moving at all but adrift. It did not look like a fishing vessel but more like a research ship. We tried to raise him on
the radio but no response. When we got close enough to read the name on the side we saw it was either Chinese or Japanese (maybe why they didn't respond.) After passing them we
did spot one buoy in the water. Why they are out here drifting we don't know, but we waved, they waved and on we went. This was our first sighting of another vessel since we
left the Galapagos Islands on March 28.
Later in the afternoon we saw another vessel (or possibly the same vessel) at a distance. A lot of excitement in the same day.