I figure we are so close to land now I can show pictures of land again. SO this update is riddled with images of the canary Islands, the last land we've seen since a few weeks...
The end of this passage approaches us in a flurry of numbers and sky. Fate has played a few bittersweet tricks on us in the last 48 hours weather wise. It goes from tropical hot with little puffs of wind to squally heavy rainfall with winds from all sides. On the one hand, Achim and Coby want to get there sooner than later, but reefing and unreefing isn't their idea of excellent recreation after 2 weeks of almost no sleep. So, for example, we just let out more genoa, and we can probably ride this new speed for a few hours, until the next squall comes in and they have to wrench themselves back out to trim...
The kids, meanwhile, are little go to sleep wake up playing pooping machines. I'm amazed at how they both find things to amuse themselves even in these rocky rolly, mommy ain't gonna help conditions. Toni came in a few minutes ago, for example, proudly showing off a sailboat she made out of pink, blue and yellow drinking straws and tape.
"Arts and Crafts," she announces. Legos fly around the cabins along with uncapped felt pens, naked Barbie and Ken dolls, handmade flowers with pipe cleaners. I've given up tidying around them, opting instead for watching the clock's time to go mixed in with a bad thriller and making B L and D for hungry men, less hungry sweet-toothed kids and a noshy mamma.
So, what has it been like? As you will see from the sound of our various updates, my experience aboard may take a different hue than that described by Coby... but we're in the same boat! A lot of time rolling back and forth. An amazement at the amount of vast expanses of water. A feeling of closeness for us with the kids. An excitement to be seeing land again, and not just any land... an enchanted one. We love Tobago and are thrilled to be reuniting with the people (the Daniels and keens-Dumas families in particular) and place (you name it, if it's on Tobago we miss it!)
We have our work cut out for us once we land... but no major deadlines! We hope to keep it that way, too. The first thing I hope to do once we throw the anchor overboard is to jump into the crystal clear waters of Charlotteville.
Today we will eat the last of our prized dorado. Never did catch another bite after that one, but one big one is better than none. I feel so good about everything we've accomplished. Even the bickering between Achim and myself, and with him being so tired believe me there's plenty, has surprisingly became less important and substantial rather than being magnified by our pending landfall. In the old days of cruising, our bumping of heads used to cloud the beauty and enjoyment of the whole experience. I guess my life feels fuller now, and I realize that this too, shall pass, and we won't remember the little moanings and groanings, just the big, swooping, sailing picture. At least that's what I hope.
In the last days, it's been fun to get emails from my parents and sisters. We are organizing a kind of family get together on Tobago for end of March beginning of April. it's great to hear them all into it and know that this is something special we have to look forward to. Not to mention Coby's wife Margit who should be arriving to be with us in about 2 weeks. Carnival begins on the 6th of February and we will be there for that, too!
So looking forward, looking backward, looking all around us even in the moment... it's been a wild ride, and it's no where near over yet! But at least THIS part of the passage is!
Achim says: I'm so grateful for how everything has worked so far. Best crew, best boat!
kisses from a waterlogged chickadee
175 miles to go
12 11 'N
57 38' W