Almost there - here comes the danger part


DAY 360

Fri Feb 29 17:50:05 2008 UTC - 0 34.86 N - 107 31.01 W

 

Yesterday evening we passed the equator, and returned to “our” hemisphere.

I wonder who invented this foolishness about the equator, greasing people, or compelling to drink the urine of a colleague mixed with ketchup ...

This perhaps is beating of froth, in order for it to be a little like conquering Cape Horn ... And a subject in a bar for marine tales, how many times already I passed the equator and in which manner in connection with this one must think about me...

From the moment when still as a "pup" I experienced how unstable human opinion is from nature, I stopped caring about it.

When I cared about how other people think of me, they had me in their hands ... Only when I stopped caring about recognition from the outside, I became my own master ...

Still before the cruise I carried in myself a remainder of vanity, I wanted a picture of Luka to hang in "my" port bar "Under Omega", and under it the flag we carried during the cruise, but I stopped caring about that, now that would remind me of a monument on a grave, and I don’t like cemeteries ...

Now I only care about taking Beata on my knee and eating well smoked sausage, the rest is an illusion and nonsense.
 


DAY 359

Thu Feb 28 18:35:19 2008 UTC - 0 6.11 S - 106 53.98 W

 

At night it puffed a little and we sailed into a marine oasis ...
Wacek is going crazy since this morning, he barks at the birds of which there’s so much here, a great herd of dolphins swam beside us.

We didn’t arouse their interest; they passed us half a mile on portside. Without a hurry they swam away in the direction of the equator, as if the whole “tribe" was moving onto a new hunting ground.
Young dolphins, and also the big ones, but still “young" were playing and did tricks worthy of the best oceanarium. It’s not true that the coaches teach the dolphins these tricks that later awe the audience. All these jumps, revolutions and tricks in the water they do naturally for entertainment, in captivity one can only teach them to do it on call for food...
The herd slowly swam beside us, but at this distance it didn’t make sense to take a picture with our camera, I leaned comfortably on the bezan and through binoculars, like in a theatre, I observed their performance.
Young dolphins jumped the highest, every few moments they jumped from the water, vertically up, like a missile, a good 10 meters high, or higher ...
Some turned slowly in the air, and the entered the water, cleanly like a jumper from a diving-board. Most often, however, they fell like logs of wood, spraying water on all sides. I had the impression that one bigger one, a master in jumping was showing the young ones how to jump and they were imitating him, often with comic consequences.
Bigger, serious dolphins liked brief and quick bounds right over the water, they turned quickly 360* and fell back into the water flat. Cheerful herd, like a troupe training before the circus show, they passed us slowly, ignorant of or ignoring the accidental audience.
Then I noticed something on the water, in such silence, the surface of the ocean is smooth like a mildly folded mirror, and when it’s like that you can see anything on the surface ... We moved like a turtle, in the direction of a miniature island, and I, through binoculars, tried to see what this was ...
Maybe a corpse of a dolphin, or a young whale ...

We came closer still and I reached the conclusion that this has to be a great turtle. But it was not moving at all, maybe it was sleeping, or maybe it died. If it died and doesn’t stink too strongly, I could bring it on deck, throw away the body and we would have a monstrously great shell for something.
A trophy ... I got into a huntsman’s trance, but I had no intention of killing the turtle if it turned out that it’s only taking an after-dinner nap.

I yelled, I hit a piece of wood about the yacht, but it looked like it was either dead or deaf. In the end I took a signaling pistol and shot taking aim a few meters from him.
The bang of the shot and then the boiling phosphorus under water woke him up for a few moments. Tortoise slowly raised his head, looked around in a turtle’s pace, and moved his fin, as if speaking “I’m alive but I do not want to move” and again it fell asleep.
After some time we passed by him
 


DAY 358

Wed Feb 27 16:16:53 2008 UTC - 0 39.97 S - 106 18.31 W
 

Silence caught up with us and looks like we will get bogged up in it. Any speculations about the entrance to Ensenada are of no substance at this point, we can think about that when we will pass 10 degree N.

More and more people ask when I will know exactly the date we will enter the port, or will it be a weekend etc ...

These questions kill my “blessed peace" which I so treasure here.

Settling on a date, of even an approximate time puts us “in frames” and it causes that, subconsciously, I begin to hurry, and a beautiful sunny day, such as today, starts to irritate me, because there is no wind.
And all this because people have to know the exact day of my return ...
We will enter Ensenada when we will reach it, and each speculation from my side on the subject of date becomes a commitment, and such a "bridle" I will only permit myself to wear with a knife at my throat ...
 


DAY 357

Tue Feb 26 18:45:17 2008 UTC - 0 57.02 S - 105 54.45 W

 

60 miles to equator. Yesterday we turned 15* to the west, but even so today the silence caught up with us, something there always pushes us, but on the water there isn’t even one wrinkle, Mother Ocean has a smooth mouth today, and smiles at us nicely...
The "house ulcer” broke , out poured a bucket of pus, but now at least it will have a chance to heal ...
Wacek changed his preferences, the screws don’t excite him anymore, now he steals tools from the engine room.

I found a big screwdriver and pincers, I searched for them a while ago...
While using the bathroom I noticed that the water flowing down spirals to the left, which means that we’re still sailing on the southern hemisphere.
I wonder in what direction my breakfast will turn tomorrow morning. Heheh ...
 


DAY 356

Mon Feb 25 15:36:53 2008 UTC - 1 37.59 S - 105 11.68 W
 

We’re sailing.
 


DAY 354 and 355

Sun Feb 24 15:08:59 2008 UTC - 2 40.25 S - 104 30.17 W

 

 

24 February

It’s sad and gray. For many years now Beata and I grow a lovely flower, the plant is now ill and it withers. Sad and gray.

It’s still quiet, I can’t get anything out of her, something extra large had to have happened and my angel probably wet her paws in it, and now decided to be proud and not explain. I understand it all, only the middle of the sea is a bad place for such emotional games and besides that I have no alcohol.


23 February
We sail, in spite of the sun it became gray.
Beata sent me 10 text messages at night, but she does not answer the telephone ...
She has some problems. Lately perhaps I overly criticized her decisions, especially those she made while emotional...

Almost always there were some consequences to them, and I could not keep myself from spirited comments. Now Beata closed up and does not want to say what happened. Not to know, not to understand, not to see, that for me is the greatest torment. Damn "fear of the unknown”...

I am able to untie any know if I see it, there isn’t a hole I couldn’t fix, if I can only find it, but for such "wiseacres" like me there exists something extra, something no one can put a finger on and tighten the screw, the damn “fear of the unknown”. Now it sat down upon us like a stinking, rotten bat, and looks on...
 


DAY 353

Fri Feb 22 16:28:57 2008 UTC - 4 42.32 S - 102 59.01 W

 

The wind quieted down more, the ocean became flat, at night I was considering taking down the genoa, but it drew us a little and the autopilot kept us on course.

Yesterday I got a letter with late information about the moon eclipse, so this bloody glimmer on the moon the preceding night was a prelude to the eclipse...

So, that was cleared up.
I threw out everything from the warehouse, to which you can only get through a manhole from the deck. Now the cables, mooring-rope, rounders, the reserve anchor and 30 m of chain are warming up on deck from humidity of Cape Horn.

The reserve is a plough anchor, I bought it cheap because it’s Chinese, but of course I made a mistake, it wasn’t even in the water yet and already it rusted, perhaps I will rinse it with sweet water, and spray with some paint...

I would have done better buying a used anchor made in US, or for example in solid Sweden.

I incessantly experience something, but this something is usually an effect of my previous decisions...

I wanted to have a new anchor in reserve, but in the course of a year it became old and it will be necessary to paint it now. Maybe we will meet some sailor without an anchor; I will gladly give it to him. Maybe that’s precisely why I bought it and carry it around the world, maybe I’m keeping it for some John, or Kazik without a dime, who soon will lose his only anchor, and will begin praying for a new one...

 


DAY 352

Thu Feb 21 17:45:13 2008 UTC - 5 36.22 S - 102 28.76 W

 

Splendid sailing, although I should say splendid being on the ocean, because we’re actually sailing very little, we’re moving very slowly, and actually Luka navigates herself, and I feel like in a home on water ...
It’s warm, but it is not hot, a pleasant slight wind cools us, the wind is just strong enough to fill out our grand genoa and push us slowly in direction of Ensenada.
This time I managed to exchange the uphaul before it tore off, „practice makes a master.”

Today genoa would probably slide down; the cable was almost worn thin. I cut off the ending, and the new one I secured with a plastic hose and tape, this should suffice for some time.
Genoa nr 2 is about 20 years old, but it is still in good condition and extended on boom it deals perfectly with feeble wind. I bought it right before the cruise and it will stay with us.

Old sail however needs fixing, I especially need to sew the bottom, it frayed through the years and in many places the stitches begin to give.

So I dug out our sewing machine, but it turned out that I should have looked in on it more often because it rusted a little.

I treated it right away with a little wire brush and a great quantity of DW40 (effective rust remover).

Today we will lubricate our sewing machine with oil, and we will check if it still works.

It is not easy to find a machine for sewing of sails.

Besides the fact that it has to be strong enough to puncture the many-layered sections of sail, it also has to sew with a zigzag (simple sewing weakens sail), and it has to have walkingfoot – a foot tightening and moving the material.

Most machines, even if they sew with a zigzag, are too delicate, or they don’t have a moving foot, and a crew member is needed in order to pull the material from the machine.

I bought it on Ebay and only when I got it I found out that this is a product of China.
I couldn’t send it back, because it’s a heavy machine, and after all it sewed ...
However as soon as we got to the edge of sail, it stopped to sew.

I never before neared any sewing machines and I did not know what the problem was.

But this is after all a machine, and all machines act in a logical manner, with cause and with consequence.

I dove in the subject and after a week of trying and setting up of a few supporting screws, the machine started listening to me, and I became an expert on regulating sewing machines. This week of intimacy linked us together hehehe, and even though it’s Chinese, I have a fondness for it now. We sewed together almost all of the front sails and we shortened the bought on ebay for $200 hundred-meter genoa, it was 2 m too long.

I did not yet have an occasion to use it, I wonder if my fixing the bottom corners will serve it well. Then I discovered that in order to fix the sail well, it’s necessary to first tightly extend it, otherwise it won’t work, the narrow place will pull and again it will snatch up.
In the evening from behind the horizon slid out a great dial of the moon. When I inspected the environment later, the silver moon changed into yellow-brown.

It looked like a scene from a horror movie 'The death of a planet”.
I stared and wondered what happened to the moon...
Around midnight the bloody color disappeared, the greater part of the moon also disappeared.

On a cloudless sky now hang a thin, silver crescent...

When of a few hours later I was checking the environment, on the sky again reined the full dial of moon and it lit the ocean with silver brightness, like a gigantic lantern.

This had to be a moon eclipse, and this yellow-bloody glimmer was caused by some planet which then hid it.
Wacek barks on the deck, there’s a herd of dolphins nearby hunting, they enclose the fish in narrow circles and then stun them by hitting their tails about water. Maybe they’ll leave some for us...

 


DAY 351

Wed Feb 20 17:39:43 2008 UTC - 6 40.17 S - 101 53.29 W

Trade wind weakens; we’re sailing slow, but thanks even for this, each day we approach Ensenada. 
I was looking at the topping-lift of grotto which now is elevated. The block of topping-lift is fastened on the back side of mast, and the stay, how it’s usually with stays, is in the front, so the cable comes around the mast and leans on which rubs it. 
Today I will take down the genoa, cut off the end of topping-lift up to the place in which it rubs, and the new end I will secure with a thin hose. 
For some time now life on Luka has slowed down, so I took to training the crew. 
For now I discouraged Wacek from treating the whole deck like a garden and for a few days now he does his business only on the stern. 
Next step will be inducing him to put his mines on a mat which will be attached with a longer cable to the railing. 
He probably won’t learn to “flash the toilet"; the captain will have to throw the mat to water. 
I’m reading a book about the Maciejewicz cruise and I’m sorry that it will end soon, the boys were stopping all the time, and this bacon from a Polish fisherman's ship in Peru, they ate that for a whole week... 
They also cited the extraordinarily reports of two yachts, Japanese and German. 
The Japanese fought with sharks using a boat hook, because they tried to bite off his helm heheh (not bad BS), the Germans were attacked by a herd of blood-thirsty dolphins (still better BS), and they were saved only because they immediately turned on the echosound.

That’s how “Marine Tales" are born. 


DAY 350

Tue Feb 19 17:06:19 2008 UTC - 7 43.06 S - 101 23.67 W

 

And again I’m thankful to Ken from Ensenada for the boom which he gave me.

The wind since yesterday is feeble, and on this course without a boom the genoa would jerk around pitifully and I would have to take it down in the end, although as before we do 2-3 knots.
I’m already beginning to plan the “after cruise” repairs, also the emotional ending of the cruise starts.

I look forward to the work period on the yacht, I remember two years of preparations before the cruise very pleasantly...
Ensenada is situated near the border with US, and it’s easy to get the necessary parts, and the list is long. Besides, I changed the big bathroom on the left ship's side to engine rooms, now in the second, smaller bathroom I have to make a convenient shower, and the room in the salon which earlier constituted part of the engine room, I will change into a second bathroom ...

At sea there are usually no shops, and on yacht the rule everything "in two’s” prevails, in case of accidents ...
Besides it’s comfortable to have two bathrooms, especially when the crew gets up about the same time and they are for example: Sara, Beata’s daughter, who spends half her life in the bathroom, and my two princesses, Kasia and Alicja are not any worse in this regard...

Besides, with the end of this cruise the stage of solitary navigating in my career is officially closed.

27,000 miles, which in the language of overland rat means 50.000 km of talking to myself will suffice ...
Before the cruise from two containers for water I made the containers for petroleum, and now it will be necessary to build new container for water. I will make it in the front part of yacht, integrally with trunk, in place where the ballast begins. The additional tons in the front part of yacht will cause our beak to dip slightly, so we will also build integral two accessory containers in the stern cabin, there we will keep -+ 500 liters of petroleum, the iron reserve. Stern is higher; I will be able to empty them to the main container gravitationally. The repair should keep me busy until August, and at the end of the hurricane season we will go through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. This time we will stop often, maybe we will enter the Cortez Sea for a week or two.
We will surely enter Venezuela and we fill up there under cork. With new containers on stern, we will probably pour in about 2.5 tons of fuel. With such capacity it’s worth to look for a cheaper “gas station”.

Then straight to Cuba, there we will fill up on rum, Cuba rum as before is indecently cheap ...
Filled up to the teeth we will find some cozy bay on the Bahamas, with access to the internet (we have an antena, we can get a signal within a few kilometers) and in such a place so that Beata could spend weekends with us.

We will dive, I will make two cages for spiny lobsters and crabs, we will be drink rum with juice and ice, we will eat fresh oysters, spiny lobster and sashimi from freshly caught fish and we will receive guests, hopefully from Poland, and still more gladly from my hometown, Ilawa.

And let someone tell me today that "life is not a fairy-tale”.

 


DAY 349

Mon Feb 18 16:04:17 2008 UTC - 8 47.47 S - 100 50.76 W

 

 

In the morning Wacek raised alarm, he was barking at a red cask moored to something, with which it drifted, because it’s too deep for anchors here.
Probably longline, long rope with thousands of hooks and bait.
In that case there must be fish here, but our fishing-rods are empty.
Today the wind quieted down and it became hot, I am glad now that I put thermal isolations in and the heated deck does not warm the inside, although our deck does not warm up too much, it is white ...
I sympathize with folks traveling in the tropics, in a yacht with a deck with lain out tic.
Such dark wooden deck heats up a lot and along with it the inside of yacht.
You can’t go barefoot; it burns like a warmed frying pan.
Perhaps I will take off the lead weights from baits, I put them there so that the baits would go deeper, because of the seagulls, but now nothing takes...

 


DAY 348

Sun Feb 17 17:28:23 2008 UTC - 9 55.69 S - 100 25.77 W

 

I changed the genoa, I had to use grotto which a little in “Chinese" I put on the second side of mast, the uphaul of this genoa frayed and it broke still on Indian, and there is no entrance onto the mast in a place other than smooth like a mirror port.

I barely survived the last climb.
In the evening I had to fill up the boom, take it down, and throw down the just put up genoa. I noticed torn bit on the “free link"... I fought with laziness awhile, it would be more comfortable to fix it tomorrow morning.

I belong to the "skylarks” and not counting sex, it’s difficult to compel me to evening work ...
But in the morning I get up rested and ready for anything ...

If however I wait until tomorrow, it might turn out that the hour of sewing would turn into a day, or two. Besides I couldn’t sleep, and even if it was not so, I would hear how at each squall the sail tears still more ...

It was 7 in the evening, the sun was still high, perhaps I should again set my watch. I took the boatswain box and the self-adhesive tape which like the maker assures, should settle the affair without sewing. I do not trust such assurances and I assemble it double, sometimes even threefold, I stick patches from both sides of sail, and I hem twice, making a competent zigzag, then I sew with X’s at a diagonal.

I was finishing sewing, racing with the sun. I won, and before it got dark, the genoa again drew us in the direction of Ensenada.
Earlier I made two new baits from a can and colored bit of strings. I unfolded one “fishing-rod”, but on the second side of stern is attached a long cable which we are dragging over stern in case of accident.

I wanted to take it from the water and put in its place the second fishing-rod, after all we have no designs to go overboard here, it is quiet, we are in trade winds ...
But almost immediately I imagined that I was going overboard, which can actually happen a few times daily, it would suffice that something atypical would happen, something suddenly will break, unscrew and I will lose equilibrium and splash...

Then I saw myself in deadly fear trying to catch the rope left over stern for precisely such circumstance. Panicked I look for the rope, and it hangs smartly on railing. Luka sails on, on autopilot, but there is a thin cable and hook with bait, maybe I can catch it ...
A horrible vision – the sailing away yacht and no likelihood to return to it and all from my own stupidity.

Sense of guilt and stupidity would probably kill me before I could drown ...
In spite of it all I wanted to throw out the second fishing-rod, so I found a compromise, I tied the cable with bait to the end of the other cable and both are in the water.

Now if I fell out and could not catch the rope, I could always swallow the hook...
 


DAY 347

Sat Feb 16 16:50:19 2008 UTC - 11 27.15 S - 99 40.99 W

 

Instead of fish we caught a „chicken” ... Something nagged at me and I put a flying fish as bait ...
Foolish seagull, it must have been young, it rushed at it and swallowed the bait together with hook ... Wacek raised alarm, but he had to have missed the beginning, because when I jumped on deck the seagull was already dead ...
This was a little sad, a useless death.

I will not use flying fish as bait anymore.
I decided to change the genoas. Genoa on roller is not extended fully, because the boom that pushes it is half a meter too short.
Even strongly selected, it works on the roller and gradually frays, especially the edges hemmed with sanbrella. We will stay on this course a few more days, so today I will put up the old genoa on second stay.
This sail is traditionally pinned to the stay with snap hooks, so jerking lightly on the wave will not bother it, although if sails were able to speak, we would probably hear a discussion.
 


DAY 346

Fri Feb 15 16:31:17 2008 UTC - 12 49.92 S - 98 58.87 W

 

Every day in the morning I check the fishing-rods and nothing, we’re not catching anything, a few days ago flying fish appeared, so somewhere in the neighborhood must be those bigger ones that hunt them. Besides that, I finished the distilled alcohol, yesterday I drank up the remainder of this abomination, for Valentine’s Day.
This Valentine had to be amorous, since we observe his birthday as a holiday for lovers. Ah, those saints of ours ... If we were to read their biographies, we would find out that they weren’t so holy.....
Sometimes such sainthood depended on a bag of gold, or  family affinities.
It is extraordinarily difficult to pray to such, for example; St. Teofil knowing that his whole life he would walk around in soiled pants, in those times Catholics bathed only once a year, on Easter ...
 


DAY 345

Thu Feb 14 17:32:13 2008 UTC - 14 7.77 S - 98 24.46 W

 

For many days now I did not change the setting of sails, I only check to see if something doesn’t fray - this is a foe of long flights.
Yesterday's thoughts gave me the hiccups, I got up in the morning and right away I started thinking about, what I will do next, what is my next goal, because I have to find some goal, otherwise that which is nice in me - will dry up, twist and die.
All that will be left is a balding, drunk ex sailor, who  once sailed somewhere.
Something is nagging at me in my head, presently this is only an indistinct shape on the horizon, I have to get closer to it, and then plant it in myself, like a young branch in an old pear-tree ...
If this "young branch” will set roots , I will need a lot of cash, before anything will come to fruition ..., but we will make do.
I got money for my yacht and my cruise, I will also get money for "my well" ...
Scientists searching for answers to the question of how life begin on earth, reached the conclusion that the factor which enabled life on earth, was ... Life ...

The dream, how microorganism thrown in a friendly environment of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, begins producing oxygen, and growing, until it is born filled with life created in itself ...
Each day hundreds of people in Africa, especially children, die from diseases because, for the lack of choice, they drink dirty like liquid manure water.

Often they draw brown water from rivers and streams, in which a few meters higher, lay corpses of animals, thrown out garbage and human excrement ...
I remember, I once helped Peter to sew a net on deck, we stood then at kei on Kodiak.

We were fixing the provisional fixes we made during the cruise, some patches we had to tear and to sew anew...

The net had to be sewn together even, not one mistake could be made, in places where mistakes were made the net would pull strongly and the whole repair would be for nothing, it would tear right away.
We were sitting on plastic buckets and fixing the net, like two spiders their web.

I had this day one of those moods calling in question everything, and suddenly I was visited by an old forgotten memory.

About twenty years earlier, I visited (with my mother) my grandmother Zosia (may angels braid her hair) her friend happened to be visiting at the same time.

My grandmother Zosia’s friend was a nun and even though the church didn’t agree with telling fortunes, Sister Ann had a genuine gift and she gladly told fortunes to her friends .. ..

She told my mother, that one son will conduct a normal life and will be (how she defined it) "near sea" , but the second son will be known (she used another word, but I don’t want to say it) at sea and he will be very rich.

I let go of the crayfish and started to laugh like an idiot ...
But when I tried to explain to Peter the reason for my happiness, he looked at me awhile attentively and then put his finger to his forehead ... Heheh.
"Known at sea' I already almost am, at least in my Ilawa.

The conclusion is that I will be rich... Heheeh.
We will dig in Africa a deep well, and this well will never dry and there will in it a multitude of healthy and sweet water ... Amen.
 


DAY 344

Wed Feb 13 17:35:09 2008 UTC - 15 35.13 S - 97 43.51 W

 

We’re sailing quietly, I made the roller of genoa safe with cable and I attached it to the fore basket, now we can slacken the cable revolving roller, and it will not fray. On wave, even the strongly select genoa works, the cable rolling up the sail moves back and forth and is slowly rubbing. Likewise with the sheets, in spite of the fact that genoa is exhibited on boom and select on sheet metal, they move in blocks, and sometimes they form grooves in the block and fray themselves.

Everything is being used up, the not used things also ..., some things even faster if they are not being used ...
I opened a warehouse on beak not long ago, a little water got there at Horn, new cables stored up in there started getting old, and new, reserve anchor started to rust. So sooner or later all will "turn to ash” hehe
Yesterday after dinner I took a nap on the sofa and very distinctly I heard a voice say- "soon you will die" .
I woke up with this "frog" in my mouth and I thought fuck it, this moment is as good as any other, maybe even better, because now I am almost happy ...
In certain cultures, Roman and even in a tribe "black Jews" from Rwanda :-)
Some people, of so-called success, interrupt their life, when it becomes obvious that they won’t move any further "up this ladder" , they want nothing else besides what they already have, and from now on they would start to go “down” ..
I heard such stories from my neighbor, I met him at a holiday rental in Florida. He came from just such tribe of "white blacks" , he was a perfectly well-educated ex banker disagreeing with the changing government in Rwanda.

He looked like a delicately built European, he had a narrow, slender nose and the face features of a black Polish Hebrew. He told me about his grandfather, who owned great herds of cattle, had many wives and children.
One day he organized a fiesta for the entire tribe, made a speech, then went to the forest and hung himself ... Heheh.
The Romans settled this more elegantly, but this is a thing of taste ...
I wonder what this voice really wanted, when whispering this meanness to my ear ...
I am not on any top, I have a new great plan, better than sailing the world, and a multitude of unfulfilled desires, so in this moment, this voice can’t count on any cooperation from my side ...
I analyzed the situation, and relative to circumstances, I do not see any danger.

At night we have a vivid positional light, and the likelihood that we will be run over by some giant in this emptiness, is such as a blind dog has "for romance" in a strange little village ... Heheh.
We are far from shore, so perhaps I will not have to murder any pirates here, and Luka, taking into consideration that this is a sailing yacht, is in altogether good condition ...
With our wonderings I came to only one sensible conclusion, this had to have been some "ghost fucker" and it tried to scare me.
Go away in the direction of the light ... Hehe. Amen.

 


DAY 343

Tue Feb 12 15:58:23 2008 UTC - 17 15.29 S - 96 54.09 W

 

Trade wind at night turned off a little and today we have half, this is a favorite course for Luka, autopilot hums sparsely and lazily, this means that it’s comfortable ...
We have many canned tuna, especially those in water, I don’t really like that one, but it’s edible when prepared with rice.
Yesterday I mixed one can with dried potatoes, I added a little dried eggs, some dried spices and made chops.
Chops looked a little like potato pancakes and dead fish. Wacek was smelling them long and suspiciously, in the end he took his portion somewhere on deck, he probably buried it in staysail ...

He behaved like a dog of a gardener...

In the end the chops will end up overboard anyway, or they will dry like a stone, or the rain will fall and they will spoil.
Once the chop with dried potatoes was a tuna fish, it hunted on flying fishes and any other creatures that fit in its mouth.
Then one day it made a mistake and swallowed an imitational shrimp with a great hook.
A fisherman lazily standing on its smack, observed 10 "fishing-rods" stretched on deck, he saw the caught tuna, turned on the hydraulic spinning-wheel, took the tuna fish from water, with a quick motion took the bait from its mouth and threw him to the gutter on which like on a slide the fish went to the storage salted to the limits of satiation, cooled to -15C which efficiently and quickly freezes even the greatest tuna ...
Then in the processing plant a stinging knife made from him shapely fillets, and shapeless bits of leftover meat were boiled and put in cans. Now in the form of chops with dried potatoes, after the adventure with Wacek on deck, it will be eaten by little fishes which sooner or later, because such is their doom, will find their way into the abdomen of some tuna.
And when I open up a new can of tuna, the whole game will begin again ...
You can begin a story of a circle everywhere ...

 


DAY 342

Mon Feb 11 15:59:01 2008 UTC - 18 50.35 S - 96 0.59 W

 

Since this morning something stinks here. Wacek was walking all over me at night, I put him in the wheelhouse, but it looks like he “marked” this affair and put a mine somewhere.

I can’t find it although in the neighborhood of the navigational table there is the discreet smell of shit.
If he went on deck, and then some wave rinsed it away, then what stinks here and now?
Good and evil are relative terms but this does not mean that in our private world such a shit does not have its genuine smell. Through our life there are always “little animals” passing through.

Some may please us and we name them good, others - bad and stinking, with time they become mutual, and we can’t differentiate ...
However, when you look at them closely, such “mine” for example, it may turn out that even though here and now it stinks and bothers us, in another place and in another time someone might fall in love with this “toy”.

For a dung beetle...Wacek’s mine would seem like acres of strawberries, a bucket of mushrooms or a beautiful rose might spring from it, if only it found itself in corresponding place and in corresponding time...
 


DAY 341

Sun Feb 10 16:59:55 2008 UTC - 20 21.18 S - 95 6.57 W

 

Today we will reach 20 degree S, which marks for us the official entrance into the zone of trade winds.
We sail on ¾ genoa exhibited with boom.

We can’t sail anymore on butterfly.
In the night nothing happened, but I slept restlessly, I sometimes woke every 20 minutes, I would light up the deck and check if the provocatively exhibited genoa is still there.
I was wondering this morning, how differently this cruise would look, if I didn’t have any books on deck.
We have a few thousand books on discs and more than 700 in MP3, until recently I sat like a guest on a comfortable arm-chair in the steering room, I would observe the environment mechanically and listen to the recorded books.
When one ended, with excitement I searched for another, suitable to my mood. Sometimes I worked on some from text to MP3 and those times the sweet voice of Agata from the reading program Expressivo would read them to me.
Agata read uncritically, with an inherent grace.

One day I decided on a game and I ordered her to read some spicy bits written by me...

She recited them for me with her charming voice, without a stutter hehehe.
Not long ago I broke the last player and from necessity I returned to paper books.

At the same time I realized that it’s time for glasses, perhaps I’m getting older “my belly rises, skin becomes pale, my front teeth are going”.
If not for the books, I would indeed have to sit here, like in the built with my own hands jail.

Thanks to the books, most of each day I spend “outside the yacht”, or at least the most important part of me, roams freely all over the world. You don’t need any secret knowledge, or inherent talents, in order to travel outside your own body, an interesting book will suffice and a little concentration.
Thanks to those books I kept a balance between loneliness on the Ocean, isolation and the world which was left behind the stern, and which now again approaches ...
Every day I enter somebody's world, I roamed with Michael Baigent and his pals, trailing the Holy Grail, with Kmicic we put a greatest support under the walls of Czestochowa, and I picked apart the world with Ken Wilber , and then we put it back together.
Who knows, if not for my books, maybe after standing on anchor in Ensenada, instead of to the dentist, Beata would refer me first to a psychiatrist.
 


DAY 340

Sat Feb 09 15:29:43 2008 UTC - 21 58.33 S - 93 55.01 W

 

Yesterday Philip ate Today it blows like yesterday, tomorrow it will blow like today, trade winds...

It would seem that you can build something on this stability, but this is only a delusion...

Once in a while a hurricane appears in this nautical paradise, and levels all like a big road roller.
Actually the attempts to construct something stable in life is an illusion, a wasted energy, unless we build it for the adventure of building.
All is under incessant changes and the only thing worth investing in is ourselves, our dreams.
Someone wise once said that you should treat life like a ready to eat fruit.

Carpe Diem.

Each man is the author and the cause of his own ‘upward flights and collapses”, and the key to what we will experience tomorrow, is what we feel and think today and what decisions we make.
Optimist and pessimist both will someday die, but how differently they experience life...
 


DAY 339

Fri Feb 08 16:13:13 2008 UTC - 23 17.01 S - 92 48.45 W

 

Yesterday Philip ate a piece of chicken breast, maybe he will stay with us a while longer... (?)
We are in trade wind, perhaps it will not let us go until the equator, and there we count on meeting his northern brother, and hope that we can make do without the 'throwing out of horses" .
We could now go considerably faster, but autopilot would then work “on the whole whistle”, and this is our only navigator. Navigating a yacht in which the keel does not run through the whole length of the trunk (full keel) is hard on course with wind.
All trunks with abridged, narrow ballasts on full drive, have a tendency for ‘poking about”, sailing in a snake.

Omitting the force of the wind, the center of rigging in such conditions should be as close as possible to the beak, and the surface of sails inversely proportional to the wave size.

The yelling autopilot pump directed us to such conclusions, and each time choosing corresponding sails effectively closed its "mouth”.
Manual steering has not worked for a long time and the autopilot is our only crewmember that under such circumstances can steer Luka.
So we pay careful attention that the autopilot doesn’t overwork itself and that the sails balance Luka well...

In the end it has to deliver us to Ensenada ...
In our world the speed with which we sail is of a third-grade importance...
Most important is to get there, followed by getting there comfortably, only then speed is a factor.

Between "comfortably" and "quickly" almost always exists a conflict, but except for the neighborhood of Mr. Good Hope and Horn, "comfortably" always won with "quickly" .
We sail under foresail on boom for windward and staysail on butterfly.
Luka rocks like a duck, but these are the charms of course with the wind.
There is still another bottle of alcohol “a’la Luka”, perhaps it will be necessary to put on a new brew, but this time we will make wine, we will add jam ... Hehe.

I remember distilling like a bad dream; I think that a lot of the alcohol escaped through the not quiet air-tight handle in the pressure cooker...

I wonder if such wine from yeasts has any vitamins, maybe it will turn out friendly for my tortured by the canned foods gastrointestinal system.
At night something overboard trained deep exhalations, we have a strong searchlight, but this something perhaps did not want to be found, it would surface in different places and immediately disappear.
Both fishing-rods are in water, maybe today something will happen.


DAY 338

Thu Feb 07 14:50:33 2008 UTC - 24 45.94 S - 91 32.44 W

 

The wind “manned-up”, let's hope that this is already trade wind ...
Beata cries, I am sad, our Philip is dying.

It was he who was supposed to go with me on this cruise, but he got old in the meantime (8 years), and stayed home...

He has cancer, he lost 15 pounds, won’t eat anything, the veterinarian can’t do anything...

He doesn’t suffer and may it stay that way, only gets weaker, I wish him a peaceful way to dog-heaven...
 


DAY 337

Wed Feb 06 16:20:35 2008 UTC - 25 50.06 S - 90 46.69 W

 

At night we budged from place. We have feeble, but stable wind from the south east; I wish it would stay with us and change into trade wind. Tomorrow it should blow a little stronger, we will sail faster, and maybe we can catch fresh fish. I will not dry fish anymore; it’s actually not edible later... We have vinegar on deck, so we will marinade. In what proportions should I mix vinegar with water? Is it necessary to boil water with vinegar? And what to add salt, sugar?
I finally with exhaustion finished the book by Paulo Coelho „Pilgrim” and I have heartburn...
'You will know the tree for its fruit” ...

Fruit from this particular tree look nice from a distance, when you look at them closely however they loose their color and eating them is out of the question.
Mr. Coelho unceremoniously wove bits from Carlos Castaneda books into Roman Catholic traditions, lay this pate on an old route of pilgrimages and covered the whole with his own thoughts which in general are naive and in many places create an irritating combinations of truth and the hallucinations of a schizophrenic.
The book in such form maybe would have been acceptable if it warned the reader that except for the historic background the remainder is fruit of the imagination of Mr. Coelho.
Our author speaks with his own demon every day – if this not literary fiction, then it’s schizophrenia. For some reason he did not like the image of the unconditional love, which Jesus showed us, and divided it to bits. One bit is supposed to feed us, another may be our foe, and the third probably aids digestion...

And this „Good War”, in the world of Mr. Coelho, good even after corpses.
Half-truth is a calculated lie ...
For example writing about the Templars - „Templars with lightning speed gathered inestimable wealth, and this estate often was used for paying of ransom, for the freedom of wealthy Christians apprehended by Muslims ” . – He’s trying to convince readers that they were angels in armors.
The only truth here is the word “wealthy”.
Those interested will easily learn in the history of the order that the Templars first instituted the system of bills and traveler's checks, and in order for such a „noble” ransom to come to fruition, the family of the kidnapped first had to pay a suitable sum in the nearest convent, and present a coded bill.
Nobody was ransomed without an interest, not even their own knights.
Templars gathered wealth very fast, but nothing was spent.
Such jumble of truth and nonsense is hideous - one can neither accept it nor reject it...

 


DAY 336

Tue Feb 05 13:32:35 2008 UTC - 26 16.56 S - 90 23.25 W

 

Silence, we stand in place.
Yesterday I spent half of the day under water, but with bleak results. I pressed in a slit around the roller a bit of rubber from an old rived-bed, but this rived-bed was from „another fairy-tale”, the rubber turned out to be too bulky. I tried to polish it, but the extractions were too deep and it would fall apart before I could get it to adequate dimension. I did manage to force a narrow belt in, I cut the remainder. The roller does not clatter, but it also doesn’t guarantee this for more than 5 min.
Water is smooth like glass, Wacek raised alarm, a thornback with two pilots on back swam up , I could swear that it was looking at us…

 


DAY 335

Mon Feb 04 14:01:35 2008 UTC - 26 17.02 S - 90 26.76 W

 

Silence. Silence, we stand in place.
The old rule "in life nothing should surprise you. . .” proves true.
I entered the water yesterday and it turned out that the part of rived-bed supporting the roller disappeared. The Zinc protecting the roller before electrolysis, a little affected with corrosion, was right at rived-bed, so the rubber funnel did not advance in this direction, rather the turning roller probably moved it to the inside of the tunnel.
It’s difficult for me to accept this new situation...

After problems with the radiator, injection pump, broken valves, and transmission it seemed that we had a "truce" in the engine room and would enter the port in Ensenada on our own...

But in this situation using the engine is out of the question, the roller would immediately twist (if it’s not twisted already), next it would break the tunnel outlet, and then the screw would probably cut a hole in the bottom. Yesterday I made a mess in the engine room searching for something I could use to stick in the funnels around the roller.

It would be nice to know that we could use the engine if only for a short period of time, if only for a few minutes this, in order to move us a little.

In this moment anyone could hit us, we rock like a cask on a dead wave. Water is warm, yesterday I cleaned the bottom, it went faster than before, however we are overgrown again.

This little compressor is super, it enables diving to 20 m (with my lung capacity probably 10m), it weighs 2 kg, you can’t dive with it professionally but for works on the yacht it is enough ..
)


DAY 334

Sun Feb 03 14:26:21 2008 UTC - 26 19.65 S - 90 25.42 W

 

Silence. Yesterday it blew a little, but in the evening it died.
We have 2 L of alcohol, but it was a nightmare.

I stood all day at the hot stove with a wet towel in hand, it burned three times...

Experiment with the big pot did not work out; I was not able to tighten the lid enough.

So, we used the pressure cooker, but it turned out that American pressure cookers have three safety valves, probably to prevent litigation, if such a little steam grenade exploded ...
In place of one I put an ending to which I attached a rubber hose, I tightened the second. One safety valve will suffice.
In spite of this somewhere near the handle it was leaking slightly, but this was enough in for the pot to catch fire three times ... I filled the pressure cooker six times and six times the mash had to almost boil. I will never again distill on yacht, this is dangerous and moreover I pumped out an entire container of gas. Before I started distilling, I tasted the mash and it turned out that it was very tolerable; if I added jam earlier it would have been still better. In the evening I was cooling off on deck, tired of the torrid heat of kitchen, with a glass of tomato juice and a glass of something so horrible that the smell alone could cause marine disease.
Wacek raised alarm - on the horizon appeared a naval craft, it turned out that this is a ship transporting yachts, I saw it in Ensenada. It has characteristic, unnaturally high sides, it is excavated in center and it has an opened stern.

In port it dips like a dry dock, the yachts move onto it, even the great ones, and then it rises to the surface, together with “passengers”. This is a convenient manner of traveling for people who want to sail for exp; the Mediterranean Sea, but they don’t want, or can’t sail there, if of course they can afford it. Transport of a 17m yacht from Mexico to some port in the Mediterranean Sea costs about $70,000.
Later I was loading the batteries, I turned on our athlete engine, we were moving slowly, deasles don’t like to work without a load...

Batteries were almost loaded, suddenly something started making noise. I thought that this was something in the engine, but before I ran to the engine room, I realized that the racket was caused by a roller, propeller screw. I turned off the engine, it became pleasantly quiet, I poured more of this abomination, and sitting on deck I thought about this clatter...

Tomorrow we will enter the water and look at the screw.

The possibilities are following;
- the screws buffeting and controlling the screw loosened (very little probability)
- a piece of screw broke off, but I do not remember the bump (little probability)
- zinc protection which I put on the roller still on the Atlantic ocean fell off and the rubber part of the rived-bed supporting the roller at the outlet of the tunnel this time came out completely
(possible, but I would be surprised)
- we caught some cable in the screw and it wrapped itself on the roller

(please ... This problem would be easy to get rid of)
I will drink up my coffee and dive into the water, I hope that there isn’t some great, famished fish with three rows of stinging teeth in the vicinity...
 


DAY 333

Sat Feb 02 13:16:31 2008 UTC - 27 2.23 S - 89 54.39 W

 

Silence on the sea, maybe today we will jump into the water, we will scrape a little, again we are overgrown on water line. After midday it should blow a little...

Distiller is almost ready; I used a large pot for boiling crabs,

Pressure cooker seemed too little; we have almost 25 L of mash to heat up. I bore a little hole in the lid, I put ending to the hose, on the lid edge I stuck a gasket. We will use 3 pairs of grip-tongs and a few little clamps to tighten the lid; it must be air-tight...
 


DAY 332

Fri Feb 01 14:43:51 2008 UTC - 27 16.07 S - 89 37.63 W

 

Silence, however, we’re moving slowly, autopilot answers sometimes with brief humming of the pump. Sun since morning, again it’s like the beach...

It looks like all the yeasts died. Based on what I know from instructions of the home distiller, which I got many, the yeasts had to die from excess of alcohol. The second day after mixing of mash, I tightened the distiller, I put in a tube with a bit of water in knee, and then for a few days everything gurgled beautifully. But the last two days the gurgling in the tube slowed, yesterday I suspected the cork was not tight, so for certainty I stuck it with dough, but this changed nothing.

I blew solidly in the tube, suspecting that it is stuck, and then it gurgled for a moment, but this was only pressure leveling, after my blow. A moment ago I unscrewed the cork, the mash smells like bad wine...

Today we will prepare the yacht distillatory set and tomorrow we will heat up...