Time: 2:16 AM

Current position: South 4 degrees 34 minutes, West 26 degrees 41 minutes

Very quiet now, ghosting along in the moonlight at 3.75 knots in 5.2 knots of wind, wind slowly building. Wasn’t quiet earlier. All day we have had 20-knot winds or higher, big swells, and lots of rain squalls. Sometimes there is a chain of them, and you get stuck in their path. The only real problem is you must close up the hatches – and the boat gets warmer inside pretty quickly without the breeze. We’re basically living in our bathing suits these days, and towels are everywhere.

If I were going to do another passage this long (not likely – this is 1/3 of the way around the world in one go), I would have made sure we had more towels. “All kinds of towels,” as our autistic brother Michael would say. Bath towels, beach towels, hand towels, tea towels. It’s easy enough to wash clothing and towels, but it is almost impossible to get them dry in this humid climate, with squalls coming one after the other, and because we are surrounded by thousands of miles of salt water. So the only real way to get a dry, clean, salt-free towel – to sit on or dry yourself off with – is to start with a fresh one.

Otherwise not too much to report. Have been trying to download email all day; it keeps getting hung up on “message #2” – must be a big one – and then, after 20 minutes of watching bars accumulate at 9 kilobits per second (your cable modem is about 350 MEGAbits per second, I think), it decides it just can’t transmit anymore and the signal is lost. The process must then be started over again. So if you’re waiting to hear from me, that’s why.

We’re just about to waypoint #1, which was a point in the ocean off the coast of Brazil set by Matthew: South 4 degrees, West 28. It’s mostly a formality to reach it at this point, but there’s something about hitting your target in the middle of the ocean that is both satisfying and necessary. Once we get there – tomorrow – we turn left and start going up the coast of Brazil. We will cross the equator a couple of days later, and will have a ceremony of some sort. Philip says he’s ready, I’m still thinking about what I’m going to do.

The generator is still running a bit rough. Philip thinks he has a theory as to why, and will go down and open it up again and go a little further “up the chain” so to speak, from the impeller. Water is definitely coming out of the exhaust (Mickey, thanks for the input on that – it has been fine that way), so that’s not it.

Well, that’s it from here. Will keep trying to get the emails, and will answer them as soon as I have them. I hope you all have a great weekend. Thanks for all your encouragement and prayers. We really appreciate them, especially when things get “interesting.” 🙂

Much love,
Philip and Kristin