The first of our big passages hello pacific. I think I’ve been waiting my whole life for you.  Here we are on day 5 of the passage and I now understand why people would actually want to travel by sail boat.  Flat seas, 10 knot winds from behind, blue skies, amazing.  We set off on the afternoon of St. Patrick day. I unfortunately took a seasickness pill that made me loopier than just being at sea, it has so much calmer than our anchorage in Panama city  It was heaven to finally be on our way again.  Like a weight had been lifted off of us.  The first day we each saw a few ships, and then nothing until yesterday.  It is sweltering hot in the day but at night time, especially the first few nights it was beyond freezing.  T-shirt, long sleeved shirt, fleece, foul weather coat, long pants and rain pants, wrapped in a fleece blanket and still chilly.  We are doing watches now.  Finally starting to get into the rhythm of it and feeling less of a zombie than those first few days.  Phil is on watch from 7-11, I’m on till 2 am, He’s back on until 6 or so, then I’m on till 11 am, then we nap as needed until the next night.  Those first few days you feel like the night of the living dead.  But we are more into a routine now and feeling better.  WE have been away from shops for nearly 2 weeks and still have enough food for an army.  Actually worried about eating all the fresh stuff before Galapagos in case they quarantine it and try to take it away.  Day one was a lovely sail, day 2 we put up our big spinnaker and flew before the wind, day 3 we put fishing gear over board, Phil caught our first fish ever, a skipjack tuna (about 6 lbs.) within 30 minutes of putting the hook over.  With our trusting fishing guide in hand we managed to kill and fillet it and have some for lunch, pretty incredible.  I decided I didn’t want to miss out on the fun so I put the line back over, by 6 pm I was reeling in my first catch a 5 lb. yellow fin tuna, delicious.  Tried a recipe for ceviche (lemon onion, tom, pepper and raw tuna) delicious, and had the rest marinated in chili sauce the next day with coconut rice from my hand collected and grated coconut, talk about eating local!.  Realised we are going to need to work out more fish recipes soon.  Yesterday was a day of rest. Our big spinnaker had some pre-existing love wounds on it including a patch that featured duct tape. So we have been relying on the little on.  The wind typically fails a least 2 times a day and we’ve used nearly half a tank of diesel so far, with the doldrums left to come.  Still have lots on board though. Later that same day we had a pod of dolphins come and ply, there were 5 of them, playing in the bow waves, going from the front of the boat to the back, playing with each other, hey staid with us for 20 minutes at least and it was such an incredible experience, it really felt like a privilege to be out here and see them.  That night as I was trying to sleep at 7 pm (a hard thing to do even when exhausted Phil shouted for me to come up.  The nights have been so dark, not a star in the sky because of the clouds and no moon so it is hard to tell the horizon from the water, but the phosphorescence has been amazing.  Our friends were back, leaping around the boat, we could only see the; bioluminescent splashes where they landed, One of them came like a bullet under the boat; the only thing giving him away was the trail of green.   Yesterday was the long liners, from out of nowhere, haven’t seen another person for 4 days this little 25 foot outboard boat comes up to us and tells us in Spanish they have a long line out for fishing.  I have never woken up so fast from a nap hearing Phil talking to another boat.  That was the first of 5 separate fishing teams, some asked for food, others just escorted us through and past their lines so we wouldn’t snag it or break it and one guy looked really angry when we told him we had no cigarettes on board.  My favourite boat was Devino nino jesus.  I couldn’t’ imagine being stuck out on the water 100 miles from shore with no shelter, it is hard work.  Whatever they were doing with those long lines it was more wildlife than we had seen in ages, big game fish jumping, our first potential shark spotting (just saw a fin from a distance), a school of big fish leaping out of the water like dolphins, incredible.  Today is a day for recouping,  Spinnaker has been taped, Dishes washed from last nights feast of vegetable stir-fry and homemade apple crumble (which Phil has declared to be his new favourite boat thing), a fried breakfast this morning. It is so much better than just hanging on.  I’m typing on the computer in the shade of our sunshade, trying to keep the spinnaker flying as we head ever closer (currently 58 Nm from the equator.  We have bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but not sure how that I’ll go with our current eta of 5:30 am.  Another night watch ahead, a blackness, broken by the kitchen timer ringing every 10 minutes, sometimes a sail change, often watching the birds that pluck things from our wake, the bioluminescence of the waves, or our wake behind us, sheet lightening last night, stars if we are lucky.  A quiet, peaceful, happy time.  Looking out for boats, but knowing you are probably not going to see them.  I love it here, I told Phil I hope that this will be sailing from now on. I know we won’t be that lucky but it has been heaven.  Off of the computer, time to check the weather and see where the intertropical convergence zone is, how many more days will we be able to sail before we hit the doldrums?  Will try to type again soon.

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