Sunday, 30 June 2013

in between

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective."
- Henry David Thoreau

Goodbye Pouheva, goodbye Makemo
A strong floral fragrance filled my nostrils. It lasted all of 5 minutes, and then the particular scent of coral dust replaced the pungent aroma. What was that? 1

It is the middle of the night. We’re on our way to Tahanea. The chart plotter tells me there is a small atoll to our port side, Tuanake is its name. I strain to see something, but the light of the Milky Way is not bright enough. So I continue on blindly, intermittently sniffing the air while Rick is sleeping in the sea berth.

Perfect conditions, appreciating every moment
We left Makemo frustrated and relieved. I’d spent hours splitting my time between emails to our WIFI adapter supplier and trying to get SkyFile to work as a temporary back up. 2 When it works, the WIFI adapter lets us connect our iPad to our satellite phone in order for us to download weather forecasts and Grib files. The adaptor also allows us to send short emails to our loved ones to reassure them we are okay. (When I say WIFI, I don’t mean surfing the internet anymore.) We have less wonderful ways to acquire weather information (our cranky shortwave receiver), and if needed, we can call a family member with our satellite phone, but neither option is as good or as affordable as what we’ve gotten used to.

Having said that, we decided we’d put off solving everything now and left with the favourable forecast instead of staying tethered to a village with Internet. (We knew the weather would turn in a couple of days and didn’t want to be in that anchorage, as it would have been uncomfortable.) As we raised the anchor, we felt the weight of the last 24 hours lift off our shoulders. We left with a nice breeze, and Nyon happily spread her wings in the bright sun as we quietly chatted in the cockpit, feeling good. Sometimes, a bit of space is all you need. We’ll deal with the issues, but for now we’re sailing. And sailing is a fine way to spend one’s time.

1While exploring a motu in Tahanea, we came across a flowering tree. Clusters of small white flowers that smell divine… I’m not sure what these trees are, but the scent reminds me a little of honeysuckle.

2 SkyFile is an email compression program with which we can use a USB cable to connect laptop to satellite phone. (Our usual program, AxcessPoint, can only be used via a WIFI modem.) We prefer using our iPad to download Gribs as we can load them right onto our chart plotter. (Our iPad is our chart plotter.) But when it comes down to it, SkyFile is better than our shortwave receiver, because we can read the information, and it’s easier to make sense of it than by listening on the crackling shortwave radio. Hopefully, I can figure out why SkyFile isn’t working so we can use it until we can replace our adapter. 

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