Ed from Aka came over today to help with the temporary repairs on my rudder. We can't weld the broken tang so we are using layer upon layer of fiber strands and fiberglass cloth to strengthen the rudder body and remaining tang. We were mixing resin and laying in cloth and filler for 6 straight hours. Tomorrow will be more of the same. When the rudder repair is complete we'll need to baby it until we get to a location where the tangs can be welded. That means we can't sail fast or tack the boat. We'll have to sail downwind. Which means we'll have to go to Fiji instead of Tonga. We are a little bummed about that. But not too much. Fiji is one of the finest cruising destinations on the planet. B ut we were psyched about the possibility of swimming with the humpback whales in Tonga. And it's something new to us - we've already been to Fiji.
Working on the boat I spend hours absorbed in a task 2 feet from my nose - worrying away at some problem or project. Every so often I look up and see the color of the water and the sky and it always catches me off guard. At Noon the water is a perfect, luminous Pacific blue. At one point today Ed was laying in fiberglass as quick as I could cut the shapes and mix resin. I paused and looked up at the scene from the back of the boat and muttered: "wow, look at this". Ed stopped in the middle of brushing on resin and peered over the top of his glasses at me. "Huh?" After cruising continuously for 32 years I think he's not as easily glamoured by the scenery. The attached photo is my current favorite of Minerva. It shows off the sky's variety. And the totally flat horizon. But it's not possible to capture the immensity of this sky using pictures or words.