Just Chugging Along

July 2, 2018

Day 184/14

Noon Position: 44 45N 139 11W

Course/Speed: ESE5-6

Wind: WSW8-10

Bar: 1037, steady

Sea: SW <1

Sky: Overcast. As in NO FOG.

Cabin Temperature: 74

Water Temperature: 56

Sail: Spinnaker poled out; main other side, running.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 109

Miles this leg: 1,914

Avg. Miles this leg: 137

Note the above reference to the highly unusual absence of FOG, which has finally cleared after nearly a week. Cleared to a heavy, dark deck of cloud, but this is a positive step. We are not trapped under a dome after all; we did not end up in Minnesota. Amazingly, it’s just the ocean we’re on. Just.

Been flying the spinnaker most of the day and with the main as opposite side accompaniment. The two together loft a whopping 2,000 square feet of sail, roughly the same number of square feet as the average America home. As such, am on deck often to adjust the sheets and guys as our light winds waft now from WNW and then WSW. We make a respectable 5 and 6 knots on 8 and 10 knots of wind, which is pretty damned handy for a battleship.

The seas is flat, the sails, motionless. Now and again, a storm petrel. At noon, I lifted the sextant to my eye and began racking down the sun. Suddenly a geyser in my telescope, a whale blowing stacks. There is only one noon. I had to stay focused. After the shot I looked and looked and never saw the whale blow a second time. At least my latitude was spot on.

When not on deck, am at maintenance chores below–polishing the contacts on my headlamps, for example. Everything gets wet, or at least damp, in the south, including sealed devices like headlamps. I have three due to their being essential kit, and all three have gone temperamental this last month. The contacts show signs of corrosion; to wit the pensil eraser, mentioned in a previous post, has turned out to be the perfect solution, and now two of three lights are back online and functioning normally.

It’s too early to be counting miles, but I’m counting anyway. A rhumb line to the Golden Gate Bridge was 872 miles as of this morning. Add 15% for not sailing a rhumb line and that comes to 1,002. At an average of 110 miles per day, we arrive in nine days. At 120, 8.4; at 130, 7.7; at 140, 7.2. So, figure somewhere between a week and that plus two. Sadly, I’ll miss out 4th of July fireworks.

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