Coco to Galapagos Islands Passage…..

Dear F&F,
May 8, 2009

We have been at sea 30 hours with another 30 or so to go. Motoring head on into the wind & sea, it is very rough going.

\”Good Humor Girl\”
Boater friend Tami Stewart thought the Good Humor Man was Jonathon Winters. Maybe the company sponsored his radio or TV show.

Per Wikipedia: Good Humor was an American brand of ice cream novelties sold from ice cream trucks. Their heyday was in the 1950s. Scott remembers these trucks coming to his L.A. elementary school during recess. I don\’t know where or how I\’d heard of it, but the term \”Good Humor Man\” came to mind after my 7:00-10:30 a.m. nap. I was in quite a good humor. Good thing!
I actually laughed out loud as I was thrown off my feet in the bathroom while attempting to put in my contact lenses. My sense of humor is greatly affected by the amount of rest I\’ve had. I was able to get 15 minute cat naps during my prior shift so was in fine form.

The arduousness of this journey is incredible. King Neptune is having a really good time tossing us about in our small vessel as we dare approach his kingdom. We are about 150 miles north of the equator. It is custom to have some type of \”crossing the equator\” ritual. You may have read about sailors pouring food on their heads & tossing liquor into the ocean as an offering. I have my revenge for Neptune planned. The oldest can onboard is Loma Linda brand \”Meatless Tender Bits\” made with gluten. Do not ask what possessed me to ever buy this item. No doubt a sentimental memory of my good old Seventh-Day Adventist vegetarian days. I have been shuffling it about my pantry for 4 years & it is now showing a bit of rust around the edges. I consider it a fine item to open up & toss contents and can right over at zero degrees latitude. We\’ll make sure to duck since I expect Neptune will heave it right back at us!

In these conditions it is easy to understand all the sailing superstitions & lore. Even the call of the Mermaid is understandable. I often turn around with a start, quite sure that I heard someone whistle to me or moan or speak. It is only the wind in the rigging, the creaking of our hull or the slap of the waves. But it is enough to make me glance down at Scott through the little window from the cockpit into our cabin to make sure he isn\’t calling me. Of course he is just lying there asleep. Besides we have a special whistle that we use with each other, purposely unmistakable.

The great news is that we began sailing at 6:00 a.m. We had motored south during the night in order to get a better wind angle today. That strategy worked. I stayed up to help Scott by steering upwind to raise the main, running the staysail lines & trimming all. Little by little I am getting a clue on how to get this barge to run with the wind. Scott still does the fine tuning, but I no longer need to ask him every single thing every single time which is encouraging. The noise of the engines creates a monotonous \”white noise\” that helps with sleeping. We hear all the creaks & smacks when we sail. At times it feels as if we make as much motion up & down as we do in a forward direction. But overall we are averaging 6 plus knots under sail, about the same as while motoring & it saves fuel. Hopefully the wind will be good enough to sail all day.

I need to eat some lunch so will sign off for now. Tuna salad & potato chips, no vegemeat! Thank you all for writing. It is great to get mail while out here with the elements.
xo Cindy aka Good Humor Girl (well sometimes!)

Scott & Cindy