We hit our halfway mark today, officially putting us about as far away from land as man can get on this planet–smack in the middle of its largest ocean.
It doesn’t feel much farther out than it feels when we’re out for a day fishing on the Gulf Stream, out of sight of land. I think the biggest difference is the size of the swells. In the middle of the Pacific, the predominant swell has been 12-14 feet, but the wave periods have been so long that when we’re sitting atop the peak of one looking down into the trough before the next, it’s like sitting on the top of a small rolling hill, looking down the slope at the vale below. They pass under us rather smoothly.
The only rougher parts come when the wind picks up, creating surface chop and wind waves, shortening the periods and forcing us to adopt the “3-point rule,” in which we do not remove a limb from a surface until the 3 others are firmly anchored to something permanent. The boat is wide, so once you get tossed, you have a pretty good distance to build up speed before you crash into something across the room. It’s an experience best left un-had.
On the way we’ve caught (and released) a few finger mahi and a skipjack tuna. We ate the skipjack for dinner tonight, but truth be told, I’ve had enough tuna. I’d be very happy to have some fried mahi fingers one day soon… I never thought I’d say that, but that dark steak-like meat seems to have run its course for awhile.
Since we left the Galapagos, I’ve read:
- Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain
- The Apothecary’s Daughter, by Julie Klassen
- Half-Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls
- Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
- Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
- Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
- Whatever You Do, Don’t Run, by Peter Allison
I’m averaging about a book a day, and I’ve only got five unread books left on my Kindle. If any of you have read anything good lately, please post it here, and when we get to Marquesas I’ll set about downloading my next collection before we make our way from Marquesas to Tahiti.