Location: Underway to Galapagos

Hello, again, friends and family from the beautiful shores of somewhere 30 miles south of Panama City. Today started with an on-time and delicious brekkie carefully crafted by Elise and Kirby. Post breakfast. We had seamanship (which included a few excellent presentations about anchor and hull types) and a brief interlude for passage prep. By some crazy coincidence, I was skipper the last time we did passage prep (at least according to the passage prep sheet), and I have to say our efficiency has skyrocketed. I timed it on my watch, and the whole passage prep only took like half an hour (max). Because we were so quick, we petitioned Steph to move oceanography earlier to do what? That’s night. Maximize our shore time after lunch! We flew through eight of our oceanography presentations (I went second), and we were lunching in the blink of an eye. Post lunch, we split in many directions; the grocery store, our bunks for naps, and a group of us went to a nearby restaurant for cold drinks and snacks. Back on Vela, we dinned efficiently and answered my question, ‘what is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?’ My answer was early is on time, on time is late, and late is an unacceptable, honorable mention to ‘if you can’t tie knots, tie lots.’ We then threw on our PFDs and set sail for the Galapagos (again). Watch team one starts us off at a brisk pace of 10.5 knots (for reference, this is really, really fast) AND! most! importantly! The new prop is soooo much quieter than the old one. We are huge fans of this fact. TBH, we didn’t do a lot of planned activity today, so now I will entertain you all with my mathematical ramblings.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the mathematical relationships between different jobs on the boat. Today we will be discussing that which exists between dryers and salties. After some thought, I’ve decided that salties dpm (dishes per minute) follow an exponential decay model with some initial portion being linear with a slope of zero (a piecewise function, if you will). For those of you ecohydrologists out there, this is the same curve model as the infiltration rate curve, but with the soil-saturated hydraulic conductivity line (the asymptote for those who don’t know what that is) falling at zero. This is because, at the start of saltying, the majority of dishes are of the bowl/plate/ silverware variety. These are cleaned at a relatively steady rate (this is the slope zero section of the piecewise). While writing this, I’ve decided that this is confusing, so I’ll make a little picture and include it in the blog. Saltie curve is green, and the dryer curve is pink. Once the easy dishes are done, we enter the harder dishes’ territory, entering things like cutting boards. These take a bit longer to finish (making the dpm decrease but still continue at a relatively solid rate). At the very end, we have things like mega pots, gunky pans, and the things that we left to soak. These all take a long time to clean, further decreasing the salty dpm. Eventually, the dishes are done, and dpm goes to zero.

On the other side of the pit, we have the dryers. One would think that the dryer dpm graph would look very similar to the salties, but I disagree. Initially, it’s assumed that the dryer starts with a bone-dry towel (this is not usually true, but for the sake of the argument, we will state this). Dryers are able to dry at a slightly lower rate than the salties can clean things like bowls/plates/silverware. Additionally, as more dishes are done, the drying tools (towels) get wetter and wetter, increasing the drying time of every item and decreasing the dpm. Eventually, a point is hit where the dryer must get a new dry towel. This point usually hits after the dpm of the salty pit has already decreased, so now the dpm of the dryers is higher than that of the salties. But wait, you say, the dryers can’t dry any faster than the salties salt because they need their dishes to dry! While this is a good thought, you have to remember that initially, the salties are producing faster than the dryers can dry, so there is a bit of a backlog (think of the integrals, and it will all make sense). During the fresh towels, while still having a backlog overlap, the dryer dpm is higher than the salty dpm. After the backlog is made up for the dryers, only dry at the dpm that the salties clean at, also eventually reaching zero when the dishy pit is done.

Maybe for my next blog, I’ll go over how deckies and gophers factor into this as well, but that’s a problem for 31 days from now. Ok bye!

P.S. Hi, family! Love you!