We are now flying along in ideal conditions … the wind is on the beam, we are making between 6.5 and 7 knots and sun is shining down on a sea of a brilliant cobalt blue overblown with tiny white frothy wavelets.
But all is not well within our little home. Our standards have dropped! While we are definitely not fashion models, we have always kept to a certain standard of clothing ourselves. We might meet up with some military ships and be boarded at any time, and who knows whether the way we carry ourselves and dress will have an effect on how we are treated?
But now ... if you were able to look in on us, you will see us in an unaccustomed state of undress. As I write this, the Captain is stretched out sleeping directly on the sole (floor). He's in a state of utter nakedness and I myself sit at the computer in a pair of well-worn black cotton underpants. Under both arms is a dishtowel collecting the pools of sweat running down from my fevered brow.
Checking the Captain's Log, I find it's our SIXTH day of 31 degree sea temperatures (88F). This boat is well-insulated and has a white exterior which deflects the sun's rays to a great extent. Nonetheless, with heat-producing machinery inside the boat and some ventilation constraints to keep the sea spray out, we ourselves are sweltering at an even greater temperature than the great ocean beneath us - 34 degrees (93F). Even the flying fish are not flying in this heat. The sea birds come around only towards the end of the day.
I haven't been able to carry out any of the projects I'd planned – dusting and oiling all the woodwork, moving my winter clothes (which I was wearing when we started this voyage) along with the Christmas music which for some unaccountable reason is still out. These must go into the long-term storage so I'll be able to re-arrange my limited summer wear (now all wrinkled) so it has more room to breathe.
Of course, we ourselves can hardly breathe with the heat.
Even our ONE pretension towards "class" is in a state of siege. When we moved onto the boat in January of 2001, many of the finer things of life went into long-term storage. Here I mention the Cloughley prints, the Florentine Gold Wedgewood china, my 6'8" European Grand Piano and accompanying grand Indian carpet. We thought that our time at sea would have well-defined limits (4-5 years).
We invested in a complete set of low-brow but practical white Melmac 'china'. However, in order to keep some sense of the fine table we had been able to keep, I took out the sterling silver (still in it's drawer) and placed it on the boat. We had seldom used it ashore after I found that the bone-handled knives were not allowed in the dishwasher. In the last 15 years, the heavy silverware has worn really well at sea and it feels so grand eating with it. We have managed to retain most of it.
Now (for some reason) it too is under duress … it keeps tarnishing in this hot, hot weather. I keep polishing it … It pays to keep SOME sense of class out here in the 'wilds'.
At 6/4/2016 19:57 (utc) our position was 11°04.06'S 163°41.27'W