October 19, 2014 Velella Velellas

October 19,2014
28 16′ S
171 46′ E
SOG: 4.0 kts

We got under “D-sail” at 0330 hours this morning (engine).  Our beloved SE trades finally pooped out as we slid off the back of the high.  It was a great 600 mile tack!

As I write this, we are witnessing a great natural phenomenon.  I caught a glint on the waves out of the corner of my eye this morning.  As we drew near, we discovered it was a unique jellyfish–I believe they’re called Velella Velellas.  They have an air sac or something that they inflate above the water, and “sail” across the ocean on the winds.  As the sun came up we saw that there were literally millions of these tiny creatures covering the whole surface of the ocean!  They look like little clear earlobes, and twirl around in the wind.  We motored past them for hours and hours.  And now at sunset we’re in another swath of them.  Every 2-3 square feet of ocean has one on it right now.  Definitely something I’m going to Google when we get to land!  They make me think of my friends Rob and Kai, who have a boat named Velella Velella.

We are over 1/2 way to Nelson NZ now and positioning ourselves westward for the approach.  We’re in a pretty veriable weather pattern right now, and expect a few days of motoring and a few days of beating into the southerlies associated with a low moving up the NZ coast.

It’s finally getting chilly at night!  It feels so good to put the woolies and slippers back on, and sleep cool again.  And the cold is also chasing away the “toilet bugs” that have swarmed in our ship’s head for the past 6 months.  For those of you who don’t know what the toilet bugs are, they are little black gnats that live under the rim of our toilet.  They’re too quick to swat and they land all over any food that you leave out, and mate in these conga-lines on the counter-top.  They will not be missed!

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