And on the Seventh Day We Rolled

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June 27
Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca
Day 7

Noon position: 49.51.54N by 129.31.53W
Miles since last noon: 128
Total miles of passage: 980 (200 miles to Cape Flattery)
Avg. Miles per Day: 140
Course: ESE (Changing this to cardinal points going forward)
Speed: 4 – 6.5 knots
Wind: 0 to NW 15
Sea: NW6

We motored under a sunny sky on a sea made of glass.

Leaning from the bow and staring into the abyss, I could see scads of small jellies, all translucent but in varying shapes. One looked like a deflated, stretched-out football, even to the sewn seams; it had a red spot at one end, and was always on the surface. Another just below it was round but with Dumbo-type ears it flapped slowly for propulsion. Others further into the water column were less distinct, but all suggested how little of the ocean is seen when we sail so quickly across its surface.

In the evening, a breeze began to fill in from the NW, and by 11pm we were was sailing quietly before the wind. I’d hoped to use the port genoa pole a final time, the one whose car I broke a few days go, but while lowering it, the car popped off the rail and the remaining bearings spewed out. So that was that. The pole is now lashed down on deck and awaits repair.

I put us wing and wing, the main boom held in place with the vang *and* a long line run from its bitter end to a block at the bow and back to the cockpit. With such security against a gybe, I didn’t notice that it had backwinded somewhere between midnight and 1am. When I came on deck we were held in place by a new and novel way of heaving to. I dowsed it.

Today we are 70 miles offshore and just south of Vancouver Island’s Brooks Peninsula. Winds have increased to +/-15NW, and I’ve run out the large genoa to get our speeds over 6 knots. But, holy mojito!–do we ever roll. The swell is all out of proportion to the wind–6 – 8 feet from the NW and steep with another two-foot
slop riding on top of it. All this knocks to boat around as if she were a piñata.

From on deck it looks like the boat is masterfully shouldering her way forward. It’s quite beautiful to watch. But below is a cacophony. Books slam from one side of the shelf to the other. The dishware in the galley cupboards cries out as if a Tasmanian Devil has been let loose in their midst. The empty (thank god!) pressure cooker, for days happily wedged uphill of the ice box, suddenly flies into the head. And there are deep and disturbing thumps from below, as if our cargo of Pacific Northwest logs has somehow come adrift in the hold.

My biggest worry is … Oh, and there she goes. The starboard pole just dipped two feet into the water. Not good. I best be on deck.

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