Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 12 - Was THAT the ITCZ?

It seems that we're through the Intertropical Convergence Zone without really having realized that we were in it. Sure we had a couple of days of squalls that we dodged, but nothing too terrible and certainly none of the lightning storms that we had feared. And sure we had a few hours here and there of slower wind speeds but nothing like the complete lack of wind that is characteristic of sections of the Doldrums. We haven't turned on our motors once. And so here we are, on the other side of it, no worse for the wear. It was actually quite fascinating to look back and see the band of clouds that IS characteristic of the ITCZ (Have a look at a photo of the earth from space and you'll see the band of clouds around the equator). And now we're enjoying the southern trade winds, making great time.

This blog can also be titled: FISH ON! Yes, we finally caught a beautiful yellowfin tuna. Truth be known I wouldn't know what it looked like whole, as I like it - the cleaning gets too messy for my stomach to handle. I had just begun my morning sleep when the fish gods offered him up but awoke 4 hours later to see the thing filleted beautifully and waiting to be eaten. Sushi for lunch! This raised an ethical issue for us aboard however.

For those familiar with the rules of Passover, you'd know that rice is on the taboo list for Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews - read: us). Those of Western European descent (Sephardis) apparently never got the memo from the rabbis indicating that "kitniot", comprised of foods like beans, corn, peanuts, and rice, were not permitted to be eaten on Passover. To complicate things (or simplify them, depending on your perspective), the Conservative movement, with which we associate, came out with a ruling in the past year that we can now eat kitniot, and gave an in-depth explanation of the why's (none of which I can recall). My local rabbi agrees that we can have all the corn tortillas, rice and beans we want during Passover.

Believe it or not, I am not good with change. Shocking, I know, given the current situation of our lives. However, the change to eating rice during Passover is just too much for me to handle right now - perhaps given the current situation of our lives. And so I opted to eat sushi sans rice. Michael and the kids, however, were quick to embrace the new rules, so they heartily partook of the traditional sushi rolls. My seaweed wrapped raw yellowfin tuna packed with all kinds of veggies and spicey mayo was just delicious.

Day 12 Stats:
Distance: 142 miles; Total trip: 1809 miles; Average daily distance traveled: 151 miles
Average Speed: 5.9 knots; Average overall speed: 6.3 knots
Sea Conditions: Seas have been relatively gentle. Fairly significant cloud cover again for much of the day, and then skies cleared into the night, although still a few squalls. Hot and humid, around 80 degrees. Winds today were from the ENE varying mostly from 6-10 knots but as high as 10-15 knots.
Incident Report: Could we be in the ITCZ? Winds have shifted to the E and SE, plus skies are clearing, and we're even seeing stars at night, including the Southern Cross. When water is permitted to pool around the base of the mast, it leaks into one of our food lockers and down into one of our clothing lockers. Nothing serious, but we're keeping an eye on it. All is dried out now.
Fish caught: A yellowfin tuna!! SUSHI! Total: one lousy fish.
Produce Inventory: All holding up nicely. Still lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, celery, plums and yes, avocadoes that are on the verge of non-edibility. One small watermelon that we are saving for the equator crossing. And the usual suspects still include potatoes, onions, carrots, jicama, apples, pears, and limes. I had saved about a dozen oranges that are still holding out after unwrapping them, and one juicy grafefruit.
Meals/Snacks: Breakfast was banana pecan pancakes (Passover pancakes are a bit gloopy); plums for snack; Sushi for lunch with seaweed, orange bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, jalapeno, lettuce, and rice for some; Afternoon snack included celery sticks with almond butter; Dinner was leftover sweet and sour meatballs with quinoa and broccoli.

At 4/23/2011 02:19 (utc) our position was 01°29.37'N 129°28.40'W


  1. Corn? Legumes? Rice? You have made me so happy!

  2. How fun to catch a yellowfin tuna, delicious too!

    We love keeping up with y'all through this blog and the GPS track, your adventure is so doggone cool!

  3. Dear friends - it's called Sashimi. No religious laws against it (assuming you don't do Lent).

    Thinking of you guys often - as I am proudly wearing my Whatcha Gonna Do T-shirt right now. Be well!