Day 11: passing the halfway mark

24 hour run: 121 miles…not one of our better days.

This zone around the equator may be dogging us with light winds, but it's nearly making up for it with spectacular skies. In the afternoon, we tracked squalls on the radar and watched rain fall under blue skies. In the evening, Ty, Jamie and the kids are in the cockpit for some post-sunset skygazing. Mercury showed up first, staring unblinkingly back from above the sunset. Clouds are condensing literally in front of our eyes: I wish I had a stop-image series to help pick up the changes too slow for my eyes to register.

Despite the slow day it's an exciting day on Totem, as we crossed the halfway point to Hiva Oa. As I type, we're MORE than halfway there. Our trip log puts us at 1543 miles so far on the passage- leaving about 1400 to go. Wooooo hoo!

Our fresh produce is holding up well. We've lost a few oranges, and we're down to our last head of lettuce. The carefully packed box of tomatoes is proving worth the effort. With help from the children, each tomato was individually wrapped and placed in a crate: the hard/greenish ones at the bottom, pinker and red brethren at the top. Having a fresh tomato salad with basil, olive oil, and queso "seco seco" after 11 days at sea is heavenly.

We still have a few carrots, red bell peppers, pineapple, jicama, plantains, mangoes, chayote…and of course onions, potatoes and cabbages. Oh, and limes… limes by the dozen. You can never have too many limes! It is all stored in breathable crates in different parts of the boat, organized based on storage needs and veggie compatibility. Two crates (onions and cabbages) fit under the bench seat in the main cabin. The forward head hosts two more crates jicama, tomatoes and potatoes. The final two crates are in a storage locker in the girls cabin, one full of oranges and the other with the balance of the produce.

I am very fond of a particular tienda in La Cruz, nicknamed the "green grocer" for the exterior paint and the produce inside. Two evenings a week, Consuelo has truck deliveries to her warehouse around the block from the storefront- one of those deliveries was the on eve of our departure. This is exactly how you want to purchase before a passage: the vegetables close to the producer, not refrigerated or over-handled, and many still under ripe.

After a final feast at our favorite street taco joint with the crew of Ceilydh, we went around the corner to shop our hearts out. Jamie was so tired from working nonstop on the boat that he literally could barely stand. Diane, Evan and I shooed him home, then shopped like vegetarians on a bender before humping the bags and crate stacks homeward. We made it as far as the marina gate guard, who took pity on us and our heavy load and fetched his truck to wind us down the drive to the head of marina near the entrance to the dock.

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