Noon Position: 47 18'S 17 35'W, COG 090, SOG 5.8, Day's Run 140nm. So I learned yesterday afternoon about this weird phenomenon knows as the "leap year," where apparently February has 29 days instead of 28... being at sea really leaves me out of touch with the world of calendars, among other things. I'm back to reading "The Grapes of Wrath" on my kindle again, after taking a brief sojourn into the world of real books with "Midnight's Children" and a rehashing of "Thurber: Writings and Drawings," whose short stories and essays are just about the right length to read 1 or 2 between squalls. Unlike almost everyone I've ever met, I never had to read "The Grapes of Wrath" in high school, and I always wondered what I was missing in this quintessential 11th grade english novel. I'm beginning to suspect that it's place in the canon may be more due to subject matter than to any inherent brilliance. So far I have to say I'm not very impressed - I came into the book with very high hopes from reading "Cannery Row" and "East of Eden," but it seems to me so far to be less powerful and certainly less captivating than either of those other works. A bit too heavy-handed or preachy, with the mini 3rd person lecture chapters which should serve to help set the scene detracting from my enjoyment of the story. I still have 2/3 of the book to go and I'm hoping for redemption - if not for me, than at least for my respect for the book selection of high school english classes. One nice advantage of going back to the kindle is that once I've peeled a glove off to get a fingernail into the little slide-y power switch, which otherwise resists all my advances, I can turn the pages just by mashing a button, which I greatly appreciate after awkwardly pawing at two stuck together pages with my gloved fingers on what seemed like every third page of "Midnight's Children." (which I greatly enjoyed, gloved page-turning notwithstanding) I've also discovered that in the cold, the kindle likes to warn me that the battery is dead about two days before it actually dies - I assume the temperature messes with it's sensing somehow. As of last night Odyssey is now more than halfway from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope - here's hoping that the second half of the seemingly endless South Atlantic is as good to us as the first half.