On Sunday, the moment of truth came where we realized we could no longer put off chores. Eric changed the generator oil and filter and the air filter in the main engine and on engine fuel filter while Christi cleaned and did laundry. We also both did some major re-organizing. No matter how much stuff we move around, we never can seem to put it all away. We always have something sitting out on the living room floor that has no home. And when we find a spot for it, whatever was in that spot goes to the living room floor instead. Someday we will get it all put away… Maybe… Mike went to the hospital to have his bandages changed. We are pleased to report he came back with slightly smaller bandages, which is a very good sign, indeed. In the evening we went out to dinner with a family we had met on the kayak trip.
Monday morning we took a taxi back to Ao Chalong bay to check out. We were supposed to have moved Kosmos to Ao Chalong, but we decided to sort of break the rules. Yes, true, not moving the boat as you are supposed to did prove disastrous for us last time we tried it in Lautoka, but Eric practiced saying “Oh, Kosmos is just out there, but you can’t really see her too well from here” and was sure he had it down pat. Fortunately they never asked where the boat was and so he didn’t need to lie. Phew.
By the time we got back and got Kosmos completely situated and actually left, it was 1430 (2:30 pm). It is now Wednesday night. The wind has been light and the seas have been amazingly calm and smooth ever since we left. We can’t even begin to tell you how happy we are about the wonderful conditions. Also wonderful is that we have seen very few fishing boats, nets or platforms. Yay! And the cherry on top is that the moon is almost full and visibility at night has been excellent. We could even see the Similin Islands as we passed them in the dark. Passages like these make you absolutely love traveling via boat.
We also have two more fruits to report on. The first is called a Thai apple, and it is kind of like and apple/pear cross in texture. It is not very sweet, but quite flavorful. We have no idea what the second one is called. It feels like a baseball. When you cut open the outer coating, the center is kind of like a custard apple in terms of texture and the way the seeds are spread out, it is quite tasty.
And on to a few blog questions:
Q: Are you using just your active stabilizers, or have you deployed your paravanes as well?
A: Except for one day on the passage from San Diego to Nuka Hiva, we have only been running the active fin stabilizers. They do a good job. The paravanes make the ride a little smoother in conjunction with active fins, but they also slow us down, and we feel they don’t help enough to justify the slowing down. We just want to get there ASAP!
Q: What is the difference between flopper stoppers and paravanes?
A: Paravanes are designed to provide stability underway. Flopper stoppers are almost the same thing, except they are meant for use at anchor. Paravanes can easily be converted to flopper stoppers by putting a different type of weight on the end. Our paravanes certainly help a lot to dampen the roll at anchor, though they would likely work even better if we had the flopper stopper attachment.
Q: Do you have a sine wave inverter on board? If not, do you think that is why Christi’s electric toothbrush died?
A: An inverter converts direct current (DC) electricity from the batteries to alternating current (AC) electricity that is used in standard household outlets. Sine wave inverters do a better job of replicating the alternating currents. Old style inverters didn’t replicate the waves as well, and sensitive electronic devices, like computers, wouldn’t operate properly with the choppy electricity they were getting. We do have a sine wave inverter on Kosmos. But even so, electronics are not very happy living on board. They don’t like the heat, the salty, moist air, and the bouncing around they get at sea.
Q: Have you all seen any whales while on passage?
A: Since leaving in 2007, while on passage, twice Eric has saw something that could have been a whale, but was not able to tell for sure. In 2006, in Ensenada, Mexico, we saw a whale while we were doing a shake down cruise around the area.