More questions from readers

Happy Canada Day!

Thanks to everyone who commented to let us know they are out there, to tell us what they think of the videos or posts and to ask questions. I’m writing this from Bora Bora. We’re bobbing about on a windless day in 15 feet of crystal clear light blue water with motus on one side and mountains on the other. Of course, this is Bora Bora so we also have all of the tourist activities imaginable around us (snorkelers, divers, jet skis, tour boats) but unlike many cruisers, we enjoy being part of the hustle and bustle part of the time.

I often wonder what it will be like to swim in a reef with sharks...Did you have any close encounters?

Well, at first, all encounters felt like close encounters. After a while we could tell if the shark was actually approaching us, or if it hadn’t realized we were there yet. Sometimes a shark would be swimming and then it would see us, do a u-turn and speed away, particularly the small ones. But sometimes it would be clearly checking us out. In Fakarava South they feed the sharks so sometimes I think they were coming close enough to see if we had food and when they saw we didn’t, they left. I saw the reef sharks swimming jerkily when fish blood was in the water (when friends were spear fishing and I was safely in the dinghy with my head in the water) and we never saw them swim like that around us when we were snorkeling. Probably closest was a white tip shark that kept circling me when I was diving. When my back was to it, it would approach and when I turned toward it, it would swim away. I definitely didn’t like that and we went back in the dinghy.

When you say the journey was good, but hard, could you write a little bit about what was hard? Emotionally? (discouraged by lack of wind? isolation? fear?) Physically? (Sleep deprivation?) We'd love to hear more on that if you're willing to share. Thanks!

From Carol: Sleep deprivation for sure. I like my sleep. The lack of wind obviously was a big factor. It became a mental game because of the lack of progress. You become frustrated. When the boat is not happy (sails slapping, or rolling or the wind comes up in a squall and the spinnaker is getting overstressed), you are not happy. You feel fear when you get lightning around you. From Livia: The biggest issue for me was the light wind we experienced. When we were sailing nicely my mental state was very positive. I didn’t get frustrated or bored. I could see the miles speeding by and I busied myself with tasks. When we wallowed about in no wind, I wallowed about emotionally. I would get so angry with the wind (which is absurd, granted). Also, in the last week, I found myself bored of it all. I had enough of fighting for miles. I wanted to do something different. With an SSB and modem, I didn’t feel isolated. As a HAM, we were able to get phone patches to our family via the Pacific Seafarers Net so I talked to home while near the equator! I emailed everyone on night watches to pass the time and listened to two nets every evening. I wrote and posted blog posts via the modem. Not a lot of fear - I only felt mild fear during the squalls and more fear during the lightning storms. We didn’t have much lightning but we had a few nights that were tense. Sleep deprivation was huge. You kind of get used to it but it is still affecting you. I felt like I had adjusted but I had much less energy than normal. Small tasks like sail adjustments became big tasks and small problems like spilling something or stubbing my toe caused emotional turmoil out of proportion to the problem.

Was your Fortress simply "stuck in the mud" (that's some mud!) or something else?

According to Michael who dove on it, it was just stuck in the mud. Soft, sticky, suctioning mud that our other friend’s powerful electric windlass could not remove the Fortress from. Michael just had to break the seal by scooping some out from underneath with his hands and the anchor itself is so light that he could then just pick it up and swim to the surface. An ad for Fortress, and also a kick in our butts for not setting a trip line.

"Making bread on sticks over a fire." When you get WiFi you'll have to educate us on how-to.

Post with pictures forthcoming.

that's just can't post a picture of a boat like that with out some details!! Fill us in on that beauty. You do know that this is pure jealousy speaking.

Hi Tom! Her name was “Marie” but otherwise we don’t know much about her. She has an elevator on the forward mast for the crows nest where you see the guy drinking his coffee and the crew (or maybe owners/guests) wave, slow down, and go downwind of us when they motor past us when we’re sailing. Classy behavior from a classy boat. We saw her in Fakarava Atoll in the Tuamotus.

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