Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Laundry Library, Tales from the South Seas

Day 8 Maupiti to Niue, Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Position at 9AM Niue time (UTC -11hrs), 18 13.781s, 165 21.615w
A well stocked library, essential equipment on a blue water sailing boat. Due to space constraints, books come as go as their relevance or usefulness changes and sometimes we just hate to let a favorite book go. That's why we started our "Laundry Library" page of the blog but recently we've had little opportunity to update the page.
At anchor we are kept very busy with maintaining Bristol Rose, catching up on admin tasks that just go along with life in general, communications, socializing with other cruisers and enjoying the location. Reading is not an activity we have much time for. However on a long passage that all changes.
On this passage the crew have read 7 books so far! Plus consulting a library of reference books, Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" (long standing essential reading for ocean crossings), "The Pacific Crossing Guide" by Michael Pocock, "Landfalls of Paradise" by Earl Hinz and Jim Howard, "Moon Handbooks South Pacific" by David Stanley and "Ken's Comprehensive Cruising Guide for the Kingdom of Tonga" by Ken Hellewell. We also have quite a lot of reference material filed on the computer.
The reference books are essential as we dream and plan our landfall. We like to be prepared to make the most of each new location. As it must have been back in the times of the early explorers on voyages of discovery, sailing the South Pacific is an exotic and richly rewarding experience. Now that we are here we realize how little we really know about the islands and the people, literally on the doorstep of Australia.
To feed the appetite for reading material we frequently swap books with other cruisers. Usually a laundry or marina bar is a good place to swap. We try to make sure we have a fresh supply of books to keep us entertained on a long passage.
We picked up a copy of Mitchener's "Caribbean" from a fellow cruiser when we were in Las Perlas and found the signature of Christian Alair, of S/V Christa, inside the cover. Prior to departing from Maryland in November 2008 we followed Christa's Blog and dreamt of cruising the waters of the Caribbean. When we visited Grenada we finally got to meet Christian. After following his blog for over a year we felt like we already knew him. Getting to read a book that he too had read on his journey was a special experience for us. Like a message in a bottle, his signature said "Christa was here".
Lately we've been leaving our mark by way of the BR boat seal inside books we particularly like. It's fun to make the connections and think of the journeys the books themselves make as they hitch rides across oceans.
Posted by Single Sideband Radio

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