Current time: 4:08 AM

Current position: North 3 degrees 2 minutes West 31 degrees 46 minutes

Hi, All.

Sorry I missed a day. Been really busy, and just had to finish that copy for Shloma. Took up all my writing time.

As I type this, the boat is violently making its way north, through some squally seas, racing at 7 – 8 knots. I’m glad the boat was designed for this – rocking and rolling, over and through the waves. I’m working on me being designed for it. Trying to learn how to be a cool cucumber. My husband, if he were not such a gentleman, would tell you that I am not naturally a cool cucumber. So this is my personal goal for the rest of the trip, and beyond. Philip’s mother was the best example of a cool cucumber; I think about her a lot anyway, but am doing so even more now. One thing I’ve realized is it starts with your “self talk” – what you say to yourself when things get scary.

There’s a lot to report, guess I should do it “factually.”

– We obviously crossed the equator. It was a special moment. Philip gave Neptune a sample of each of his favorite chocolate treats, including the last Woolie’s mini eclair, which he had saved for the purpose. There was a sun shower as we crossed the equator, so we used the opportunity to take an outside shower. A big, full rainbow appeared to the east of us, just as we crossed the line. I thanked God for the rainbow – they’ve always shown up at the most wonderful times in my life – and for our safe crossing thus far.

– Before and after we crossed the equator, we were really, truly in the doldrums. The water was smooth as glass, except for the swell, as far as the eye could see. We were doing zero knots, so we started the engine and ran it for about 24 hours, and went due North, as you will see by our new position. It was hot – 104 degrees – and very humid. No sooner do you give yourself a little cleanup than you are sweaty again.

– After that close encounter with a ship (or tug/barge), we did not see any other ships.

– The Halfway Box was filled with all sorts of goodies. A little dog doll who reminds us of Matthew and Ally’s very interesting cocker spaniel; a tiny angel to keep us company; four little fish – probably the only ones we’ll have on board on this trip; lots of yummy eats – including a wonderful jar filled with layered spices that I can use to make Bobootie, a Cape Town specialty (I have all the other necessary ingredients); balms and sprays for the sun; two lovely and appropriate postcards showing South Africa landmarks, including the V&A Marina and the Cape of Good Hope; and some crayons, which Philip said he would use for complex navigational computations. 🙂

– In between no wind around the equator, there were squalls – one after another. The wind in these squalls wasn’t as strong as in previous squalls, but it still did the 360 thing and still rained hard.

– Finally, today, the Northeast trade winds filled in, pretty steady at 7 – 8 knots. During my night watch, there have been squalls again, but the winds have not gotten higher than 8 knots or so, so I’m sticking with the first reef in the main and have reefed in the jib considerably.

– Really blew it with the sat phone. Thought that, when I was connected to the network, I was only charged for data transmitted, not minutes. So I often left it connected while writing emails and doing web work. I checked in with them earlier this month, and everything was fine so far…until I really started using the phone for email and web work. The bill is so high the gal at the sat phone company asked me, in sympathy, if I wanted her to turn it off. I said no, I need it – but I can tell you I have changed the way I’m using it. I send and receive, then turn it off. So thank all of you for sending short messages – especially not including any previous message history – but in the end, I was the one who found a way to rack up an amazing bill. No web work at all for the rest of this trip. When it takes 20 minutes for a page to download, and you’re paying by the minute, your usage method has to change.

It did occur to me last night that this trip would be quite different if it were not for the ability to hear from you all and to send these updates. At the very least, I would be wondering how everyone was doing, and would feel we were missing out on the lives of our loved ones. There is also the fun of sharing an experience that is somewhat unique, and to talk about lessons learned. I often learn best by writing about something, so you are all certainly doing your part in helping Horizon operate as efficiently as possible. Thank you for that.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Much love,
Philip and Kristin