“There will not be wherever to get propane till we make it to the Galapagos!” I shout to McKenzie from the cocoon. “Which is one other 500 miles south from Cocos Island!”
“However we’re nearly midway to Cocos!” she shouts again from the throne.
“Yeah, and the guideblogs make it sound magical!” I name again. We resolve to take care of one other day or two of distress for the delight we hope to seek out upon arrival.
All through day three, transferring round Swell is a merciless recreation of human pinball. We white-knuckle our approach across the cabin, usually simply to trade locations between the cocoon and the throne for watch duties. So as to add to our dismal state, we are actually beneath siege by salt water as an alternative of rain. Every time Swell’s hull collides with a wave, spray launches skyward, catches the wind, and showers over the deck. Nothing it touches ever absolutely dries and we have lengthy since run out of dry garments and the motivation to vary.
Cocos Island Treasure
As morale slips additional, I flash again to an Military survival class I had taken at UCSB. The gruff officer, who had just one quantity of vocal expression yelling had warned us of a grave situation known as “dampass.”
“It is one thing to keep away from in any respect prices,” he had loudly cautioned. “As soon as you have obtained it, there isn’t any going again. It is a positive signal that you’re shedding to the weather.”
His phrases echoing in my thoughts, I muster the trouble to fish a bottle of child powder out of the cabinet within the head and pour it down my soggy pants.
“Sure, that is higher.” I whimper, passing it to McKenzie.
Cocos Island Photo Gallery
From then on, throughout watch exchanges we meet between the bunk and the cockpit, pulling out the waistbands of our foul-weather gear to shake extreme quantities of powder down our festering, damp pants. Short-term reduction from the wetness and well timed one-liners from McKenzie maintain our spirits afloat whereas making an attempt to pee or trim the sails or find one thing to eat on a bouncing forty-degree angle. Even easy duties like brushing our tooth and digging the cream cheese out of the reefer to eat with the crackers appear approach too onerous.
Cocos Island Guam
Because the miles to go attain lower than seventy-five on our fourth morning at sea, these rattling headwinds stiffly persist. The cabin has lengthy since exploded with free objects, moist garments and towels, charts, wrappers, odds and ends. The ahead hatch is an intermittent waterfall. Together with dampass, our our bodies are sore and bruised from the fixed tensing, clutching, and collisions.
Noon, I begin the motor to assist Swell maintain some momentum into the waves since we hope to make landfall by darkish, however simply as I sit down on the throne the alternator belt begins to squeal. I clench my jaw in denial.
“That is a beautiful sound,” McKenzie says, straight-faced. She has perfected survival by way of sarcasm.
I submit and go beneath, stumbling throughout the cabin to fish out a pair screwdrivers, a pry bar, and a twelve-millimeter socket wrench. I have not completed unscrewing the screws that maintain the engine facet door shut earlier than nausea units in. Disregarding my gurgling abdomen, I pull off the entry door, and inch into the opening beside the nice and cozy Yanmar. I loosen the nut on the alternator slider, slip within the pry bar, push the alternator agency in opposition to the belt, then tighten down the nut. My face tingles and flushes as the new, smelly diesel odor threatens to ship me to the rail.
Cocos Island Map
Warmth! An epiphany surfaces by way of my queasy haze. I again out of the opening, and make for the bin of canned meals. After finding some refried beans, I peel off the label, and pinball again towards the engine compartment to put the can in an innocuous spot, then refit the engine’s facet door. Gripping my approach again as much as the cockpit, I flip the engine key to start out her up once more. No extra squealing!
Half an hour later, I take away the can from the engine compartment, go it as much as McKenzie within the throne, then make my method to the excessive facet with a can opener and two spoons. We go the lukewarm beans forwards and backwards, consuming out of the can. A propane-less upwind delicacy.
Cocos Island Airport
After the much-needed nourishment, I pull out the logblog and zoom in on the GPS to examine our progress. Our soggy, flattened butts beg for mercy. I arise in between dousings, holding onto the stainless rail on the spray dodger, and squint forward.
“There it’s!” I scream. “Land ho-o-o-o-o-o!”
“Who you callin’ a ho?” McKenzie smirks.
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