Day 10: getting into the ITCZ

24 hour run: 136 miles
Distance covered since departing Mexico: 1406
Distance to travel to Hiva Oa: about 1540

With high temperatures and 100% humidity, we hardly needed last night's squalls to remind us that we're getting near the equator. The periodic rainfall was a welcome fresh-water rinse for our decks, and break to the humidity. At dawn, the sun came out for the first time in days. We all felt energized by the blue skies after many days of gray!

The evening sky was utterly spectacular. I cannot do it justice. Try to imagine layer after layer of cottonball cumulus clouds, stretching scores of rows deep as far as the eye can see. The most distant layers turn nearly peach; shades of silver and white color the closer puffs. Is the earth flatter at the equator? No, that's ridiculous, but the horizon seemed to stretch farther in every direction than any I've seen before…the clouds almost seemed like they were reflected back through a carnival funhouse mirror.

My parents sent gifts with Ty, to be opened on our 10th day. It was great timing for a diversion as the kids were somewhat antsy this morning. One of their packages included Girl Scout Cookies- YUM! Samoas, my favorite, and Thin Mints. I didn't realize how much I'd missed them! In the afternoon, Ty helped them all to make Turk's Head knots for bracelets to put on their wrists or ankles.

Here's the latest on Totem v. Lice. Having the sun come out today also meant we could tackle some laundry, and use the solar oven to "cook" some of the little buggers. The children's stuffed animals were rotated through the oven and given an hour long roasting at around 175 degrees. Bedding must be isolated, since it doesn't fit in the oven. Niall's buzz cut has made getting him cleared up a snap, although I still can't believe that gorgeous hair is gone! All three children have had head treatments and we seem to be winning the battle. Thanks to everyone who emailed us ideas combating them, and alternatives to the usual OTC medication: my parents, Carla, Diana, and especially Tim & Charlotte for pointing out that this was an excellent use for the solar oven. I wonder what the good folks at the Solar Oven Society would think?!

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