Friday, April 25, 2014

Life on S/V Moments

All is well on the SV Moments!  Sure, we are both already feeling a little stir crazy but we have good weather and it looks like this pattern might hold for a while.  

Before we left I had a lot of questions about what exactly it was we would be doing for our month at sea.  Frankly, it's pretty boring.  We like it boring, we want it to be boring; boring means everything is as it should be and we have good sailing conditions. 

Life on the boat is pretty much like life everywhere else, you just have to understand that everything moves.  We also don't have a real shower, but that is another story.  The first few days of this trip, and our other longer sails, were exhausting.  While at anchor, we had gotten used to going to bed and rising with the sun, which typically gives us 9-12 hours of sleep a night!  This has been a serious treat for me as medical school typically afforded me only 5-7 hours, maximum.  We cannot truly anchor the boat at night in the middle of the ocean.  The depth where we are right now is more than 3000ft.  Also, there are other boats to worry about.  As as it takes about 14 miles to stop a large cargo ship or tanker and fishing vessels generally have such bright lights that they cannot see us until we are very close, too close, we are always on the lookout.  

We take three hour watch shifts all day and all night.  The good thing is that we are generally so exhausted by the end of our shift that sleeping is not a problem.  We also have plenty of snacks, warm beverages and reading material to make the shifts more enjoyable.  Also, did I mention the spectacular scenery?  Sharks, turtles, HUGE tuna (yes, we can see them through the water), rays, dolphins, whales, birds etc and at night the bioluminecence makes our boat look like one of the floating cars in a Jetson's cartoon, floating among the wonderfully starry sky.  I cannot count the number of falling stars I have seen since this trip began.  

Luckily, one of the things you typically do not have to do while on watch is physically steer the boat.  There is no power steering here and to keep the boat pointed through the waves is a significant workout.  Occasionally, it is necessary to hand steer for a while and even with the Monitor windvane (a mechanical autopilot of sorts) doing most of the work you always have to be alert and make small corrections to the course and most importantly adjust the sails. 

Now that we are ticking off our 10th day at sea (4/23) we have both become more accustomed to the sleep schedule, our meals actually occur at regular time intervals and we have fallen into a routine regarding necessary chores on the boat.  We eat pretty much how we would eat anywhere else which includes baking bread once or twice a week.  We get weather information and even some emails from our family through our SSB radio once a day, which is how I send out these updates. 

So there you have it, extraordinary yet at the same time boring, just the way we like it.