It's been sometime since our latest update. Events on this side of the Pacific Ocean occur very fast. There’s constant motion and the urgency of preparing events on this side requires everyone and their energy to make them happen.
We'd like to apologise for the lateness in this getting you and for any future tardiness in the blogs.
Today has been a VERY eventful day. Since we've 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, not much of a sun nor a star to be seen and it's also been quite cold out here.
What has kept us warm and in high spirits was the fact the crew constantly tells jokes, Lole’s cook-ups and the horde of chocolates that we enjoy on board. Well, and really, the majority of us feel that after San Francisco and Monterey we've made a positive impact on those areas.
People are now awake, more aware and actually interested in what we represent, not just the environmental message that we come with but also the cultural aspect.
We passed by 5 seen oil rigs today. The smell and the feeling going by them was a surreal. It being the first time the majority of the Gaualofa crew has seen such a structure their reaction was that it didn't look right.
We thought at first it was a ship of some sorts. Nick checked it out and came back and said it was an oil rig. After passing down-wind of these structures we were hit with such an overwhelming smell that we could barely concentrate on the current maneuver: a blend of oil and sewage, nice eh?
The night became even more eventful: Due to a sudden increase of winds form 13 knots to 25 knots we had to change our rig about 3 hours out from Santa Barbara light point. I have to say, we took our sweet time in changing the rig. Nick called all hands on deck to switch the rig. We did, and set a record: with 2 hours and 45 minutes the longest rig switch ever!!!
I put it down to the constant repartee being banded 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 factor 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 of this with 2 meter swells and winds of 25 knots.
After that bit of eventful time we had stir fry beef and veg for dinner. As I'm typing this up in the fale I can smell the oil that's coming off from one or possible all the oil rigs on our windward side close to land and it's about 2 miles north of our va'a. Its pungent smell brings nausea to the crew on watch.
The crew sends their alofa'aga and faafetai to all who have supported us on this long 5 month voyage. This voyage is just the start of many more to come. And judging by the smell right now, many more are needed.