Lat: 12 32.030′ S

Long: 055 51.888′ E

Less than 400 miles to go to the Cape! We are finally closing in on it. Dallas’ rigging repair seems to be holding up very well, which has been a huge relief. It was so nice to start sailing again after two and a half straight days of motoring, and we really couldn’t ask for better weather. The seas are calm, the wind is fair, the sky is blue, and at the moment we are in a current that is pushing us right along. We are going 5 knots using only half of the jib (so that we don’t put too much strain on the rigging).

Despite the idyllic conditions, I’m no longer feeling as though I could stay out here indefinitely. I’m ready to be there yesterday! Just kidding. I’m not desperate (yet), but I am really looking forward to going to bed well before 3 a.m., having some new scenery to explore and people to meet, and of course, eating some food I didn’t prepare accompanied by a nice, cold beer or a glass of wine.

Dallas asked me what I would rather have when we go ashore: a cold beer or a salad. I told him that it depends on the salad and the beer. I would almost certainly opt for a greek salad with chicken over a can of Bud Lite, but given a choice between a garden salad and a pint of good lager — that’s a no-brainer. However, I did dream about salad, and to my knowledge, I haven’t dreamt about beer!

Being on passage tends to make for some interesting dreams. We were discussing this with some other cruisers in Cocos and deduced that it is because sleep is more disturbed by the noise, movement, etc., so you wake up and remember dreams more frequently. I think another reason for it might relate to the function of dreams. Typically, dreams are thought to be our mind’s way of consolidating information that was processed throughout the day, but in the case of being offshore for 2 1/2 weeks, there’s not a whole lot of new info coming in. For me anyway, it seems like the mind responds by cycling through old material. I have dreamt about people and places that I haven’t thought of for many years. It’s like being on a garbled and disjointed version of “This is Your Life”. Or maybe this is what it’s like to be in a sensory deprivation chamber. People pay good money for this!

In our waking hours, Dallas and I are both reading up on Africa. I’m reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”. Of course it’s an amazing story about the ability of a group to affect change (stop apartheid) through sheer determination and devotion to their cause. It also led me to realize just how Africa-ignorant I am. For example, I’d never heard of the Xhosa nation of which Mandela is a member, and reading about their customs gave me new appreciation for what makes African culture unique, at least by Western standards. For example, as a child psychologist, I found it interesting to read that Xhosa children are expected to learn through observation and imitation. Asking adults questions is considered impertinent and probably will not result in a response. I can see how this could foster respect for elders but think it might backfire when used with more inquisitive types who need to know “WHY?”.

Right now I want to know why the fish aren’t biting. Dallas rigged up two new lures with in-line bungees to absorb the shock of the hit on the other end, but we’re trolling both to no avail. The fish aren’t even responding to my shouts….like I said, time to get off the boat!