Talofa Samoa and Friends everywhere,
Today has been a very eventful day. Since we left Monterey Bay we've been under our traditional rig, otherwise also known as the crab claw rig. The weather has been overcast, with fog and not much sun nor stars. It’s also been quite cold. What has kept us warm and in high spirits has been the constant jokes told by each crew, Lole’s cook-ups and the horde of chocolates that we have onboard in abundance.
We feel that in San Francisco and Monterrey we’ve had a positive impact. People are now more aware and interested in what we represent – not just our environmental message, but the cultural one as well.
We passed by 5 oil rigs today. The smell and the feeling going by them was a bit surreal - it being the first time the majority of the Gaualofa crew have seen such a structure. It didn't look right. We thought at first it was a ship of some sort. Nick checked it out and came back and said it was an oil rig. After passing downwind of one of these structures we were hit with such an overwhelming smell that we could barely concentrate on the current manoeuvre: it had a blend of oil and sewage in it, nice eh?
We had to change our rig about 3 hours out from Santa Barbara light point, due to a sudden increase of winds from 13 knots to 25 knots. I have to say, we took our sweet time in changing the rig. Nick called all hands on deck to switch the rig, to which we did and set a record for the longest rig switch ever: 2 hours and 45 mins! I put it down to the constant repartee being bandied about while setting the rig up in winds of 25 knots and a new method of setting the sails up on the Bermuda booms before attaching them to the masts...oh and the fact that the topping lift line went flying out of someone's hand and came off the pulley. Faapau had to climb up the main mast and feed the topping lift thru again. All with 2 metre swells and winds of 25 knots.
After that eventful time we had stir-fried beef and veges for dinner.
As I'm typing this up in the fale I can smell the oil that's coming from one or possibly all the oil rigs on our windward side close to land, about 2 miles north of our va'a. It's a pungent smell and is nauseous to the crew on watch.
The crew sends their alofa'aga and faafetai to all