Big Bang, Down You Go!


Sept 28
Hanalei Bay to San Francisco
Day 18

Noon HST position: 40.26.66N vy 128.12.57W
Miles since last noon: 169
Total miles of passage: 2578
Avg. Miles per Day: 143
Miles to San Francisco: 330
Course: SE
Sail: Triple reef in jib and main. Wind angle: 120 degrees
Speed: 7
Wind: N25-30
Sky: Clear, some scattered high cumulus
Bar: 1017
Air Temperature: 67 degrees
Sea Temperature: 62 degrees

Wind has veered into the N, allowing me to relax Mo’s wind angle without a change of course. This has quieted things down considerably. I no longer feel like a war correspondent on the front lines.

Seas are still up, however. Steep and confused and occasionally combining  into a Big Bertha whose break is a mushroom-shaped collapse that then foams-out for a 100 yards. Beautiful to watch if you are a sailor; not the least bit surfable.

At around 10 this morning and before the winds went N, one of these Berthas (I presume, as I never saw it) delivered an interesting imitation of a knock down. Sound like thunder, then heavy water at the pilot house windows and suddenly Mo was on her right ear.

When gravity returned to something like normal, I jumped up to check Monte, who was so unperturbed he’d not bothered to put down his espresso, but the cockpit was half full of water (upside: I got to see how fast it drains) and the line in the port side cubbies was afloat.

In the galley, the only notable casualty was my coffee grounds container, which had launched into the head and exploded. This provided nearly an hour’s entertainment with broom and pan, though I noted an improvement in the smell.

Over the last two days we’ve taken so much spray over the boat that a rime of salt crystals has built on the the cockpit teak. And I’ve been able to ascertain with certainty which hatches leak in weather and which don’t. In short, all leak. Or leaked, until I tightened up their knobs with a screwdriver.

My only disappointment: whenever I bring my camera on deck, the entire seascape suddenly goes all shy. Not a whitecap can I find nor a wave with as much heft as a bedroom pillow.

I’ve not been cooking much since the weather went north. Not for lack of appetite, mind you, but I’ve yet to master the galley in boisterous seas. For example, I need to rethink the cupboards, which tend to happily pour their contents, en masse, onto the counter top unless I time the roll perfectly. Then there’s the gimbled stove, an island of calm in this shake-n-bake world. The only problem is that, boat motion being what it is, I’m either clawing my way up hill to reach it or fighting to keep from being thrown bodily onto it.

On a related note, it’s getting noticeably cooler. Temperature in the cabin as I type is 64 degrees. What this means is that I can eat cheese again, which was untouchable when the cabin was 80.

Two days to San Francisco at this pace, but you’d never know it by looking out the window.

SOLACE update. Steve and crew appear to be doing well. To reports, the repair to the quadrant steering, replacing the parted cable with Dyneema line, has continued to function. They are currently jogging NW and SE at around 40N and 140W while they wait for winds to become favorable for a return to an easterly heading. This should happen by week’s end.



2 Comments on “Big Bang, Down You Go!

    • Decided on Marina Bay for the very short term. Plan to haul at KKMI early next week. When diving on the boat in Hanalei, found to small gouges in the hull and my new bottom paint (how?) that need repairing and the prop zinc needs exchanging. An easy job, except that the previous owner used 5200 to lock the nuts into their recessed chamber (entirely covering access). THAT alone may take a week.

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