View The Voyage of Red Dress: Hawaii 2009 in a larger map. Click on a boat for daily coordinates. Click on the line for a ROUGH ESTIMATE of daily distance traveled (in statute miles, not nautical).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 7

Seventh Day.

This is the day that God rested on, after all that hard work of creating the sun, the moon, the earth, the sea, the creatures great and small, etc., but there were no creatures what-so-ever, nor much rest for our brave sailors today. They finally got some wind, as they had wished for, 8 to 9 knots, and the boat was sailing beautifully and steadily on course at 6 knots. They were estimating that at this point they're scheduled to arrive in Kauai in 16 days (from departure), but they're hoping to catch up and reduce it to 15 days.

So on Saturday, May 17th, at 3:40 pm PST, they were at 28 degrees 22 minutes North and 134 degrees 9 minutes West. 1420 NM to go, having gone 800 NM.

This is a great chance to thank Adam SO MUCH for not only showing the progress on the blog, but also linking all these nautical terms to Wikipedia, for our good friends Max and Lucas (who were born August 5, 2002, when Bill, sailing little Chubby, was about half way to Hawaii; we always know how long ago it was by the age of the twins...) and anyone else who, like me, struggles with these terms.

And now that the vital statistics were given, allow me to deviate a minute and tell you of the word for "mood" in Hebrew, because it translates to "state of the wind/spirit". "Matzav Ruach", "state of the wind" (or spirit, same word in Hebrew), indeed describes the mood of our brave sailors exactly, because the ups and downs of their mood are directly related to the "state of the wind". (Yes, folks, since we're in the Sabbath mood, that double meaning of the word Ruach is what made the translators of the Bible write "and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters" in Genesis 1, while every Israeli child is convinced it was just a great big WIND that was hovering on the face of the waters...)

Etymology and Bible aside, they had grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast. Quite heavy for starting the day, said Pam, but it allowed them to have only crackers with peanut butter for lunch (She also pointed out that Bill, who made those aforementioned sandwiches, still calls them "Gorilla cheese sandwiches", a fact which Noa and Yael surely remember very well... and he made them with 7-grain-whole-wheat bread and Swiss cheese, in the same method and in the same pan where the biscuit was made yesterday, and, Pam said, they were very good.)

And in case anyone is worried about too much carbs and fat, they have been eating also a lot of tomatoes, carrots, celery, and red pepper. And also taking some supplement vitamin C, in an attempt to get over the cough which still bothers them.

Other than that, they are feeling very good. The weather is pleasant, not to hot, and the sea completely empty today, but beautiful. Pam said the sun is coming out now -- it was a bit overcast before -- and the sea is of a very rich blue, a kind of purply blue.

Last night when she sat for her night shift, at 2 in the morning, it was a very solitary feeling, like being completely alone in the world. But she saw lots of [phosphorescence] in the sea, which looked like fireflies in the water, especially in the wake of the boat and where the waves were breaking, and it was very beautiful, like magic. (This [phosphorescence] is caused by plankton, tiny little organisms that whales like to eat.) When the clouds would break she could see the moon, half full and very bright, and many, many stars. It was really amazing. She likes how the boat rocks like a cradle, or like a big fish, moving from side to side. It's very comforting and pleasant, especially when you go to sleep.

The wind vane is doing great steering for them, so they don't need to steer, they can just sit and look around that no ships are coming at them.

Bill, who sat watch until 2 am, said also that the moon was spectacular and turned the whole ocean to silver, from the horizon all the way to the boat.

He said they opened many of the notes that Yael had collected for them, and it was very inspiring and uplifting. Thank you, Yael! Thank you all who wrote! They read the notes from Eddie, Joe, and Oded (very funny note, Oded!), and two from Yael, with lyrics from Southern Cross and the Be Good Tanyas, which they liked a lot! [editor's note: if any of you guys are willing to share your notes on the blog, that will be greatly appreciated. Give me permission and Yael will send them to the blog, or you can put them as comments yourselves.]

Pam said they were also reading aloud to each other excerpts from the books they brought along. So far from Tuesdays with Morey, and from Hafiz, two of Pam's favorite and most inspiring books.

Tonight they expect to make their turn right towards Kauai. They hope to get the Trade Winds, and with them warmer water with more living things. Bill said he expects some flying fish to fly into the boat, like they did with Chubby in 2002, and that they'll try to catch them and fry them for dinner.

Tom Johnson, could you please explain to us (on the blog, preferably) about the electric auto pilot Bill asked you to bring with you for the way back, and also a little about the solar panels and what devices on the boat they provide electricity for? Thanks! We didn't have time to discuss all this on the phone.

I think that was all for today.

Those who wrote me yesterday, thank you so much for your warm and supportive notes, it was really nice and heart-warming!




  1. Nomi asked me to update everyone on the autopilot (auto tiller) I'm bringing with me next week. The Cape Horn Windvane has been working wonderfully - except in fairly light air -- if the wind is moving 4 knots, and Red Dress is moving 4 knots, the Windvane thinks the wind is zero - then it doesn't know what to do! So, by installing an autotiller on the transom, wired into the 12v electrical system of the boat, and connecting that directly to the windvane, in light air, we would power that up, set a compass bearing, and the autotiller would control the windvane which in turns controls the tiller/rudder! So now we'd have self-steering in light air too.

    The other piece of equipment I'm bringing is an extra toilet pump assembly - just in case....

  2. Solar Panels! The 12v batteries on Red Dress power everything - from starting the motor, to all the boats electronics for navigating, lights, to the power-outlet to keep the iPod working! The boat's motor has a generator which is able to charge the batteries - you have to run the motor however around 2 hours each day to keep power levels up. On a voyage, running the engine would empty the fuel tank quickly. The Solar Panels (2 of'em) keep the battereis charged and of course are QUIET.