Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 7

July 13, 2010

35º 25' N, 160º 35' W

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The first thing to happen today was seeing a bunch of dolphins off the starboard side. There were at least a dozen of them leaping out of one wave and into the other. Very cool. I don't think good pictures could have been taken of it since it was gray and overcast. It was a very impressive sight to be there.

Other than that it's just the same old routine. If the passage takes 21 days we're one third done... if it takes 28 days we're a quarter done. Either way we're now past a good chunk of the trip and no longer starting out. I've settled into a pretty normal routine: Wake up, make coffee, move bowels, hang out in the cockpit, do my daytime watch, read about celestial navigation (which is complicated by the way), write a bit, then eventually fall asleep, then wake up for night shift, go to bed. Repeat as needed.

I wonder what Stacey is doing today. Hopefully she's having fun and staying well fed.

Day 6

July 12, 2010

I felt better last night during my shift – I wasn't tired at all. I attribute this to chatting more with the other crew and also some nice hot apple cider I made at the outset. Got some good sleep last night.

Brendan made some pineapple curry today from the one fresh pineapple we had and it was amazing. Soangela made some quesadillas covered in chili for lunch and it was also very tasty.

I wish I had brought more music, but unfortunately I don't have a lot of it in MP3 format, just CDs. I especially would like to listen to Rite of Spring or the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet. I was enjoying watching a Valery Gergiev version of the latter on Youtube before I left.

I keep thinking about Stacey and what she's up to.

So far the crossing has been what Jay described and what Dave the Scot predicted. Jay doesn't like it because it's boring (and it is). Dave hasn't done one yet but guessed that most of the time it requires very little skill or seamanship. Long distance blue water cruising seems to cover a pretty small but important set of skills. Mainly navigation and piloting, dealing with monotony, and then occasionally dealing with heavy weather (which hopefully we won't have to do on this trip).

Oh yeah, we crossed 32 degrees North latitude today, which means we're parallel with San Diego. The next mark for me will be 38 degrees North, when we're across from San Francisco.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 5

July 11, 2010

The wind is turning more NE than I’d like, and I don’t think we’re heading much above 330 degrees magnetic. We’ve heard from other cruising friends who are in a Hans Christiansen 38 that is doing much better. I’ll be interested to see when the wind starts clocking more E and then hopefully SE. My suspicion is that we’ll end up motoring across the northern part of the high. I wish we were on a faster, better performing boat.

Had a strange dream last night. I was sailing my boat and then somehow woke up at home with Stacey. I couldn’t remember where I had parked my boat and I thought I had left it in Tokyo. I thought I had to fly there and then sail it back. Strange.

I’m fumbling around with the sextant. Taking the actual sights is not very difficult, but there are a lot of table entries and corrections to make after that. I’m hoping to get it all figured out in the next few days. I’ve found that I only have 3-4 hours where I’m not steering or sleeping.

We saw a cargo ship today. It came onto the horizon on the NE and we got closer to it as it was heading W. I was almost able to make out the name on the side, but not quite. I don’t think it was further than 3 miles away.

Day 4

July 10, 2010

The last couple nights were a bit squally -- the wind would pick up and drop some rain on us, but then it would ease back down. I don’t think it ever got above 20 kts. Today the seas have picked up a bit. It’s hard to get a good measure on the swell, but I’d say we’re in some solid 8 footers. Wind is still NE, but supposedly it’ll clock around to the E and SE. Geoff says we’ve got about 150 nm in the last 24 hours.

Saw my first albatross today! Very cool. I also saw many flying fish today compared to the last couple. I’m surprised how many birds there are this far away from land. Mainly high-aspect winged critters that look a lot like the terns I’m used to up north.

The crew is really settling into the schedule and things seem normal now. I’m not as tired during my late shift and it goes by pretty quickly. The crew is mostly fine… sort of a strange pack. Brendan reminds me of myself a bit when I was younger. He goes to Western, plays guitar in the music program (knows David Feingold, etc). He got a boat with his friend and lives down at Colony Wharf. He seems pretty eager to learn all things nautical.

We just got done taking the mainsail down, now we’re running under jib and mizzen.

The storm jib situation has got me worried ... since there is only one set of cars on the rail leading aft. How we’re going to stow the roller furler and then lead the new jib sheets back isn’t set. Not really the type of thing I’m looking forward to making up when we actually need it.

Day 2

July 8, 2010

Well here we are, aboard the Jolly Roger, heading north towards Seattle. We started the trip in Honolulu on July 5th. Geoff is the Skipper. Brendan, Soangela, Greg (Geoff's brother), and myself make up the crew. We shoved off the marina the morning after watching the Honolulu fireworks on the 4th of July. We sailed overnight to the island of Kauai and set anchor in Hanalei Bay. Everyone went ashore via the little motor dinghy. I got some fish tacos and my last beer in the town there. Hanalei Bay was amazing – a small bay surrounded by steep mountains with waterfalls running off the top. I wish I could have stayed there for a few weeks. There would be some great hiking around there. The town seemed really great too. A little touristy maybe, but not Honolulu by any stretch.

After spending the night, we stowed the dinghy, cleaned up the boat, then pulled anchor. We're headed due North to avoid getting stuck in the North Pacific High. The boat is making good time considering how heavy she is. The wind is coming more NE than I would have guessed. (I was expecting dead Easterlies).

I got a bit queasy on the trip from Honolulu to Hanalei. We were running under jib and reefed mizzen, mostly downwind. There was some pretty good swell and I got a little sick when I was down below putting on my harness. Things are fine now though. I thought the swell out here would be bigger.

Sleeping arrangements on the boat are not ideal. There's a huge bed aft, easily enough for two to sleep, but it's difficult in a seaway. There's only one proper sea bunk with a lee cloth and even that berth is located quite a way towards the bow making for a rougher ride. With five of us on board we have a pretty leisurely rotation. We double up on deck, especially at night. Right now I've got 4 hours on and 8 hours off at a time.