S/V Panacea: May 26, 2004


Wednesday finds us all well, including Timber -- he is not the burial at
sea. The winds are almost nonexistent so we are once again motor
sailing. There is enough breeze to keep the sail full to steady the
boat but if we were traveling under sail alone, we MIGHT make 2-3 mph.
We have had beautiful weather even if the engine is having to help us
along. At least we have an engine this trip! I don't mind the engine
because then I can play the CDs without worrying about consuming too
much power. The solar panels are putting out extremely well but we are
still unsure about the wind generators.

Yesterday, I mentioned our hitchhiker (the bird). It is with tears in
my eyes and a lump in my throat that I must report, he passed away.
When he got to the boat he was in rough shape (tired and wind blown) so
we thought he just needed a place to rest. It actually turned into his
final resting place and was ceremoniously buried at sea after his last
breath. Enough sadness, on to happier things.

As I was preparing the noon meal (chicken wraps), I heard Benny say,
"Would you look at that!" Coming towards us, jumping, flipping and
performing dolphin acrobats was a pod of about 15 North Atlantic
Speckled Dolphins. We have only seen one before in captivity (Dolphin
Research Center, Marathon FL) so to be treated with such a display was
truly awesome. They came straight to the boat and traveled with us
about 45 minutes. They rode the bow wake, swam beside us, flipped over
flying through the water upside down, and even rode along scratching
their backs on the hull of the boat. We were so entertained. Even
Timber wanted to jump in and play with them.

Later about 3 AM, I heard more blowhole sounds and they were back. It
was much harder to see but it was still fun to watch.

I hope everyone is getting a chance to keep track of our position with
the information we sent before we left as we have no way of knowing
whether it is working or not. We might try to make landfall in Venice,
FL to top off fuel, ice and visit with Benny's buddy from work before we
head on to the Dry Tortugas. It sill is undecided.

Love to all,
Benny and Timber