May 26, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Don’t let this title make you think it is about sailing!  Well, you will see later that it actually is but for now, life is fine.  Am I looking forward to another 4 days of being at sea?  Not really.  But life has taken on a pattern and we will be able to see it through.

In general, we have been lucky with weather and conditions.  The first couple of days were pretty mild but we were able to sail and make good time.  Yesterday afternoon, things got a little more breezy and the seas picked up quite a bit.  We are both doing fine but it makes walking around or doing anything in the galley tricky.  I am taking small doses of sea sick meds which keep me feeling well.

We have just reached a point in our sail where we should be turning more north rather than north west but because we have made good time, the winds have not yet moved further east as they are predicted to.  What that means is that we will be sailing further west than hoped for which means more easting when we pass Cuba and head for home.  Ultimately, this means a longer trip.

Still we are happy to have such good sailing.  Our sailing time in Panama was one of the best of any season and this will be the topping on the cake if all continues as anticipated.  We are still hoping for arrival some time on Tuesday but conditions can change that a lot, more likely taking longer than less time!

Now about the birds!  We are visited by birds that look to me like swallows.  They are a blue black with a rust colored breast and rather small birds.  We have seen them before when we have done open passages.  I don’t know why they are out this far but we always see them.  Some times they come land on the boat to get a rest but outside the cockpit is very windy for them and inside has people!  Still, sometimes they come and land for awhile before leaving again.  One even flew in to the main cabin while Rob was inside.  He was able to get it in a corner and it let him pick it up with a towel an put it on the deck.  Unfortunately, the wind was so strong it blew the poor bird off and it took flight again.

Last night we had been visited by some birds, one staying for awhile on a line we have hanging under the bimini cover.  It flew away and I was on watch at the helm seat when I felt something in my hair.  It started me and I brushed it way.  I soon realized it was one of those birds thinking my head looked pretty tempting for a perch.  I don’t know who was more startled.

We have been blessed with a full moon that keeps the sky and sea easily separated.  Sometimes when we have done this, it is so dark you can’t tell where sea ends and sky begins.  A month ago, Rob and I were on deck admiring the moon and we said that if we left at the earliest time we were willing to go, we would have a full moon to take us home.  Well, that is what happened and we are glad of it.

We have seen very few other boats in the last few days and the one or two have been by night and never reached closer than 3 miles away.  Closer to Cuba we will be more in the shipping lanes but for now we feel like we could be the only people in the world.

We are getting a lot of books read, redeveloping our sleep patterns and enjoying the messages we receive on our SSB e-mail.  Writing to all of you today is a way of reaching out of our little world and inviting in the greater world of family and friends.

We certainly know where the term “Old salt” comes from.  We will be “Old Salts” by the time we get home and the boat will probably weigh a few pounds more with the crust that is developing.  At least we can shower once in awhile though I think I will wait for calmer seas.  It may be a couple of days before we get that though.

Hope all is well with you.  Can’t imagine all you are packing in to a life in the time we are just trying to get home!  We have friends getting ready to embark on a trip across the Atlantic in the next few days.  We wish them the luck we have had on this trip so far!

Our radio email has been a little balky lately.  It seems to be developing a mind of its own.  If it decides to quit on us and you don’t receive any more emails or position reports, don’t worry.  All it means is we’ve lost email ability.

Have a good weekend!

Fair Winds,
Sue and Rob
Aboard Catalyst, coming home.

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