Estrellita cross the Equator yesterday, hooray for Carol and Livia! Inquiring Polliwogs (those who haven't yet crossed) await in hushed tones a description of their ceremony of ascendance to Shellbacks.
We sail on. Last night, torrential, I mean bucketential, cats-and-dogerential, rain fell all night, and in 30+ winds we were surfing at 8 knots. There was a bit of lightning thrown in for nail-biting effect. I mean, we are the tallest thing out here, so avoiding the bigger squalls by not turning south too early is important. I got soaked and chilled trying to stay in the cockpit, so we stood our watches below, peering into the liquid blast every 20 minutes. Not that we could see much. Jim figured out how to use his iPod as a timer (wearing earplugs so the off-watch doesn't get disturbed) and I followed suit. It worked well.
Last night reminded us of being hove-to off the Oregon coast, though we didn't heave-to in the night. But to answer Jay's question from awhile back (he asked what we'll do if we have to heave-to in high winds and seas,) we had Port Townsend Sails make us a backstaysail, got advice from several people including the Pardeys (it's in the new Storm Tactics reissue) and bought a Gale Rider, which, if the backstaysail isn't enough, we'd stream at a 45 degree angle off the bow to keep the bow up and slow down any fore-reaching so as not to outrun the smooth "slick" of water created to windward of the hull. Though we're ready if need be, we don't anticipate having to heave-to on this passage. However, we'll report how it goes when we do.
We haven't heard from Craig for a day or so, and figure he's coping with the forecast 10-16 foot seas off Hawaii. Seas here (8N, about 480 miles N of the Equator)are forecast to be 3 meters, too high for this amount of wind, so we're guessing the seas are coming from up north. So, HEY! North Pacific folks, please cut that out! We got enough seas of our own down here, thank you very much.
This morning was gorgeous but torrid. Good word, eh? Hot, sweaty, Night-of-the-Iguana torrid. Like, butt-nekkid torrid if we all didn't have to be careful, as Livia previously reported, about bun chafe from salty cushions, and BTW how does a woman with any endowment whatsoever wear a safety harness widdem tings? I tellya, if Victoria's Secret designed safety harnesses we wouldn't be in this predicament. There. The bondage theme has been addressed, sort of.
But if anyone still has one of those old "Sail Naked" posters, hang on to it.