Tradewinds!!!! 1:35.09N 128:04.58W

Alex Belmont
Tue 29 May 2012 02:30
Hurrah, we are finally in the SE trades. The little SSE breeze we were
with at the time of the last blog update turned out to be the real deal,
filling in much stronger over the next day. The last GRIB showed the ITCZ
shifting south, reaching for us last night and today, but it looks like it's
grab will fall short. We have had lighter winds the past 24 hours, but I
don't think the convergence zone will affect us any more than that. You
should see the weather file though. It shows the ITCZ reaching south just in
the longitutes surrounding us as if it is making one last desperate attempt
to grab on and hold us for a few more days. Thank goodness we got out of

After the trades filled in, we were sailing just one point off a beat on
port tack, making splendid progress. I reefed the main and dropped the
staysail in an attempt to make our motion a bit more pleasant. That helped a
lot, slowing the boat and feducing our heel. We're back up to full sail as
the wind dropped a bit yesterday, but when it build again, I think I will
hold Moondance back a bit. It really is so much more pleasant to be going
upwind at 4.5kts instead of 5.5. Moondance has a pretty gentle motion, but
any 30' boat beating into the trades is going to move more than most crews
would appreciate. I would rather spend an extra day or two moving
comfortably at sea than get there fast and tired out by a week of bashing to

Those of you that know me are probably aware that I have a bit of a sweet
tooth. Well, actually those of you that know me are probably laughing at my
word-choice there. I have a pretty serious sweet tooth. I love candy! And
treats of all kinds. Cake, pie, ice cream, etc... Mmmmmm. One of my favorite
candies is Snickers. The problem is that I was unable to find a good
inexpensive source of these fine candy bars in mexico. My friend Max was
very kind to fill his bag with Snickers bars when he came to visit me in
march. -Thank you so much for that, Max.- Amazingly, most of those survived
to see the beginning of this voyage. I had to bury them in the bow and do my
best to forget they were there. Anyway, this is a long trip, and as I said,
I really like Snickers. So I had to figure something out. At one of the
dulcerias (basically a shop specializing in sweets) in La Paz, I stumbled
across Nugs, a candy bar consisting of nougat, caramel and peanuts coated in
chocolate. They work out to like 20 cents apiece and are delicious! What a
deal. I will have to do some more side-by-side comparison testing to tell
just how they stack up against Snickers, but so far I have found no reason
to complain. I'll work on those tests and let you know.

Between our slow start (in case you don't remember, it took 5 days to get
out of the Sea of Cortez) and then being stuck in the doldrums for a full
week, this is not shaping up to be a fast passage. It has been a lovely one
though. I can't say I had much fun in those few rainy days last week, but
after the skies cleared - and I managed to get over the frustration of slow
progress - I started really enjoying myself. Our sense of time started
getting distorted a while ago. The days just go one after another,one
blending into the next. If it weren't for the log I couldn't even try to
guess how long we have been out here or what day it is. To add to that, our
watch schedule is based on whatever time-zone La Paz is in, so as we sail
west, our watches shift earlier and earlier. I think we will have sailed
through five hours change by the time we get to Hiva Oa. Neat.

Ouais! Salut tout le monde et bienvenue au super blog hyper accueillant et
chaleureux rempli de details super technique sur nos deplacement sur le
Pacifique! Je n'ai pas grand chose a dire vraiment... Dernierement, toujours
pas de maudit poisson! Mais on a du bouillir nos oeufs avant qu'ils ne
passent au cash, donc on est rendu avec environ 30 oeuf a coq! Aujourd'hui
au menu, sandwichs aux oeufs... Pas un succes phenomenal! Mais on a mis
beaucoup d'ail, oignon, moutarde, poivre et mayo afin de dissimuler
vaguement leurs gout de vinaigre et sel. J'ai du passer au travers quelques
millions de mots a lire tout ces livres j'en fait des reves et me reveille
le matin et me surprend en train de narrer mes propres actions haha! Demain
ou du moins dans les prochains jours, nous devrions croiser l'equateur et
c'est a ce moment que j'y lancerai ma bouteille a la mer! A voir si on me
contactera d'ici mille ans. Serait super! Allez hop, je vais continuer a
ecrire cette dite lettre et je dois me concocter un bouchon bien resistant
aussi! Bonne fin de may et a toute a l'heure! (J'espere que d'ici 8 jours on
mettra pieds sur terre en passant... j'en reve! Cette nuit je me suis
reveillee d'un reve ou on voyait la terre wouhou... On approche!)
A Dios! Audray-Rose.