Lat: 14 22.457′ S

Long: 012 40.297′ W

It’s a beautiful, sunny day out here in the South Atlantic. Unlike the last couple of days in which our reliable trade winds were interrupted by a series of squalls carrying light winds and rain, today we have the more typical 15 knots of SE wind and are cruising along at over 6 knots.

We have been tuning in to hear BBC news each day and heard about the four American cruisers who were shot by the Somali pirates. We are pretty sure that we have seen their boat before but don’t know them personally. Regardless, it’s a tragic incident. I’m thankful that we are not on that route and concerned about others that are. The good news is that we received word today from our good friend Martin on S/V Anima, and he is safely in Yemen along with the other nine boats in his convoy. They still have to pass through the Bab el Mandeb with strong winds and occasional piracy, but they seem to be out of the most dangerous pirate territory.

Other than that, we’re just enjoying our leisure time and trying to finalize plans for the Caribbean. We are excited about our three groups of visitors tentatively scheduled to fly in from the U.S., but this means that we won’t have the space on board to take Tracey all the way to her destination (Antigua), so she will most likely be jumping off in Brazil. Bob from S/V Boomerang was teasing Dallas on the radio this morning, saying that he is one lucky man having two women on board. This runs counter to the old adage that it’s bad luck to have women on board, but I think that Bob’s got it right. Tracey couldn’t possibly be more enthusiastic or helpful, and she and I get along very well. Were this not the case, it could be a much different scenario!

Apparently the early explorers were well aware of the risks of coed crew. Dallas just finished reading “Blue Latitudes”, a recounting of Captain Cook’s three journeys mixed with entertaining stories from the author’s (Horowitz) visits to many of Cook’s landfalls. He shared some interesting info from the book over lunch. While women were prohibited from participating in the voyages of discovery that occurred during that period, a woman served on one vessel disguised as a man, and her gender went unnoticed all the way from Europe to Tahiti, where the transvestite-friendly Polynesians readily identified her as she stepped ashore!

It sounds like the gender rules were pretty justified considering the conditions on board. Their “head” consisted of a plank at the head of the boat extending over the water with large holes in which to sit! And imagine the atmosphere on board after the young sailors started imbibing their daily ration of a gallon of beer or a pint of rum! As much as I enjoy a good party, I think you would find me voluntarily marooned at the first port.

Not much else to report. We have about 1350 miles to go…