Feline backend

Well , this is really great. True deal. We’re about 180 miles north of Mangareva and 630 miles south of Fatu Hiva , we’ve got about 12 knots of east wind with smooth seas. Three sails are up and pulling; full main, staysail and genoa. The contraption on the stern is steering as usual. Five point five to six point three knots of boatspeed. Warm, warm. I was sitting on the quarter seat in the breeze in a pair of shorts. The southern cross is high in the south sky. The moon will rise in another hour. It’s a dark warm. “Self”, I said,”savour this, it can’t last, and it might not happen again” ‘Course that’s what I said the last time things went this well. Doesn’t pay to get complacent. Not like we deserve it. Our precious east wind was scheduled to change around to the north today or tomorrow , but the latest wind agenda ( forecast) seems to indicate ongoing light easterlies. Beeeooootifulll. We’re checking in to the Pacific Seafarer’s Net (14300khz at 0330 Z) for the latest gossip. Who should come up but VA7 LIV (Livia and Carol)(remember Meredith?) on Estrellita 5.10B who are , at this very moment in Apataki (remember , Barb?). Who would have guessed: there is a boatyard at Apataki and you can haul out your boat on a 20 t trailer and leave it there now. Nobody clears this stuff with me, ever. In 1988 we went to Apataki, then across the channel to Arutua , and with the help of a guide we entered the lagoon. They were growing a lot of pearls at Arutua ( I don’t know if they were normal or black). I broke the daggerboard on the windsurfer in the chop at Arutua and was barely able to get back to the boat. It felt remote. There was an Englishman living in a hut on the beach at Arutua with a local woman , clearly he’d gone ‘troppo’. Breakfast: big bananas and papaya. Dinner: papaya and carrot salad , with corned beef and tomato sauce on pasta. We are enjoying the corned beef. Doug is sleeping in the lee berth until midnight or 0100, whichever comes first. Last night was not that great for sleeping because it was very hot. Now we have the forehatch open with some canvas keeping the spray out, we hope, mostly. Old story. I was going to build dorade vents on to the boat, but by the time we got to that stage of construction, it was time to launch or someone was going to die. Besides who wants to spend a lot of time in the tropics? Answer: D. Swanson. But we’re just passing through, again. 20 12.3 S 135 04 w ###

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