Puddle Jump Log
So, we've jumped. ohmygodwhathaveidone? deep breathe. For those who may be a tad confused, jumped refers to Puddle
Jumping. Puddle Jumping is crossing the Pacific to the South Pacific islands. In our case the next stop is Hiva Oa in the
I want to introduce Doris, The Wonder Crew! Doris is a lovely German lass who had sailed with Richard and I on San
Francisco Bay. She has foolishly agreed to come along for this 2,700 mile sail. HA, wait until she finds out the next shower
isn't until week two. Phew!
Now, as I sit in the dark listening to one of my favorite songs (Sailing to Philadelphia), I realized how beautiful it all is. At
times I just want to fling my arms wide and pull in the waves, sparkling water and dense fog of stars. Your heart can't be big
enough or your mind vast enough to take it all in. And this from a woman who has had the stomach flu for the past 24
Hello All from 1,000 miles out
I thought I'd give you all a description of typical passage life so far. To date the most entertaining things we do are watching
water and showering.
Well, there certainly is a lot of it, water, that is. We spend a lot of time gazing out at it. In the daylight it can be blue, greyish,
sparkling and even brownish depending on sun and cloud shadows. At night it is dark, or filled with green glows or starlight.
Yup, there it is......water. Its wet too. Sometimes the wind whips up frothy little white caps. Yeah, water lots and lots of water
as far as you can see in any direction.
Oh, I almost forgot. There are sometimes things in the water. Dolphin, boobies, flying fish, tuna, and squid. The squid
sometimes leave the water for no explicable reason and land on our decks necessitating the previously mentioned Dead
Thing Watch. But really, mostly, all of the time there's water. Lots and lots of water.
Okay, okay get yer mind out of the school girl's locker room, geeez. Its not like that.
You see, we go for quite some time without bathing. I know, I know, but, you do have to conserve fresh water. There is only
100 gallons for three people for the 2,700 mile journey. We do have a water maker, but, we prefer to be absolutely sure
that there is plenty of drinking water just in case.
This leaves very little for showering. But, the, um, fragrance does get to us all so we declare shower day. Yippee!!!!
Shower day!!! Happy shower dance! Big excitement is generated by the event, probably due to the monotony of the
aforementioned watching water activity.
So, sunny day, calm seas - shower time. In order to conserve fresh water most of the cleaning activity is done with salt
water. This requires three bare naked glowing white people to pile up onto the forward nets, scoop water from the ocean
and dump it over themselves. Brrrrrr, no, I mean ahhh, refreshing. Dump, dump, dump, soap, soap, soap, scrub, scrub,
scrub, rinse, rinse, rinse. Eeek! Careful not to step on the flying fish that has thrown itself up into the nets!
Finally we each get a shot at the precious fresh water in order to rinse off the salt. For those who aren't familiar with
saltwater, its an insidious thing that if left to its own devices will make everything you own, including skin and hair
perpetually damp. Naughty, naughty salt.
Then, the drying. Three squeaky clean drowned rats lounge in the sun. We become lizards, soaking up the rays. Yes, yes,
not too much, skin cancer and all that. Actually, showering is a lovely activity if done right. You just need a boat, sun and
an ocean. (oh yeah, and people not embarrassed to be nekked. Good thing Doris is German)
Hello from 13 miles south of the Equator! At 7:36 this morning we all went from being pollywogs to shellbacks. No, I don't
know what that means its nautical stuff, King Neptune and all.
I thought I'd take my shellback self and torture you all with more tales of the briny deep.
Night of a Thousand Fish
It was late at night when they sought to take over the boat. The moon was sparkling over the water and the wind blew
through the rigging. It was then that I spotted the first wave. He was a slippery devil, all flying fins and scales. He leapt
straight into the helm's mans chair. The impact was so hard he left a few dangling scales behind, no sacrifice was too great
for his evil cause. The silvery blighter was bravely trying to wrestle the wheel away from our auto-pilot his tiny fins a blur. I
leapt upon his finny little self and flung him overboard. I thought that was the last of it.
Later, Doris looks at me with a bemused expression and recounts her own harrowing tale of adventure. Bravely standing
watch, well, okay, bravely lounging on deck looking at stars, Doris was viciously attacked. A kamikazee flying fish, in an
effort to take control of the boat, threw himself (yes, they are always hims, hers have too much sense to bother with the
kamikazee thing) directly at Doris. Doris fought the creature and threw him back into the briny depths. All that remains are
a few shining drops of seawater to give evidence to the battle.
Fresh, clean, clear water is a precious thing at sea. Occasionally the gods see fit to bestow it upon us from the sky. In
order to take advantage of this bounty, we have devised a catchment system. Okay, not so much a system, but, a bit of
guiding caulk on the cockpit roof and some big buckets. The tricky part is getting to water actually in the buckets. You see,
the boat rocks from side to side sending the stream of water waaaay to one side then waaaay to the other side. The scene
goes something like this.
A squall is sighted. A squall is a black mass of clouds that spit forth copious amounts of rain and, sometimes, wind. Foul
weather gear is donned, we're soon covered head to toes by rubber clothing. We're ready for a squall or really, really safe
sex. The first drops start, then, the heavens open up. It starts to rain, drizzling, pouring, catting and dogging, pounding,
down your neck and out at your toes rain. You stand braced against the waves. You move the bucket as the torrent of
water goes this way and that way and, oh pooh, your head's way. Once the first bucket is full you pour it down a funnel into
a jerry jug and start again. Occasionally you dump an entire bucket over yourself as a wave with a black sense of humor
flips you in an unintended direction. Pant, pant, by the time the squall ends, you are a soggy drippy mess with full water
tanks plus laundry and showering water. Ironic since by now you have had a shower for the last hour.
Freezer Flora and Fauna
It began with a faint odor. A hint of malaise. The vague sense of something not quite right. Soon, the odor had become a
stench. A stench so foul that a dragon would refuse a virgin if she were cloaked in this perfume. It was coming from the
freezer. oh, um, uh oh.
Richard bravely opens the freezer. He pales. The compressor that was rated for 5 cubic feet seems to have only taken
care of 2 feet. The rest of the carefully prepared and packaged meat, fruits and vegetables have, up, become semi rotten
slushies. Worse, the meat has taken upon itself the task of re-creating the original primeval soup in a diabolical effort to
bring forth life. Yes, most of the freezer's contents have become, after two unfrozen weeks a ripe mess of brand new flora
As we dump package after package(The contents are dumped, not the plastic that smelly mess is waiting for proper
disposal in our anchor locker. I'm hoping pirates come and steal it in the middle of the night.), we say good bye to our
stir-frys, tagines, roasts and fajitas.
At least I , Jennifer, can say nyah nyah I told you so. You see, I caught a bit o' hell by provisioning with so much canned
stuff. "But Jen," they said, "we have plenty in the FREEZER." "Ha!" I say, scoff at my canned chicken and roasted red
peppers will you. Harumph, sometimes paranoia does pay off. Really, life shouldn't encourage me this way.
Yippee!!! The crew from Mystic Rhythms has sighted land! Actually, we are sailing along the island Hiva Oa in the southern
Marquesas. In short order we should be anchored and using our horrible French to check in with the gendarmerie.
Land, contrary to popular belief we did not smell it beforehand, must have had a bath recently. The islands are high -
almost 3,000 feet in places. The green hills are wreathed in clouds. There are clouds of sea birds and flying fish in the
Now, tired, want to sleep and stop bouncing so much. Oh yes, and have a bottle of wine to celebrate 2,800 miles and 21
days at sea. I can't believe we are here, we actually did it. Holy moly! I've sailed across the Pacific!