Cape Flattery to Kauai
Noon position: 39.52.05N by 130.31.31W
Miles since last noon: 169
Total miles of passage: 620
Avg. Miles per Day: 155
Speed: 7 knots
Wind: NW 15 – 20; stronger into the night and then light to 10 and 15 by morning
Sky: Low cloud and drizzle
Waves: NW 4-8
Air Temperature: 66 degrees
Sea Temperature: 61 degrees
This morning we passed the latitude of Cape Mendocino. For cruisers making their way south along the coast, this is the magic juncture at which it is said one can start pulling off the fleece layers needed further north.
From our vantage 200 miles offshore the transition was less distinct. I had warmth and sun enough to take morning coffee on the veranda (in the cockpit) and both sea and wind were down such that I could cook a hot breakfast of egg on toast without the pan being flung into the head, but low cloud and drizzle quickly reclaimed the day and has held it tightly since.
I’d not cooked eggs since the Kodiak to Cape Flattery passage, so was relived to find, again, what a perfect travel food is the egg, and how unrealistic are many package expiration dates and calls for refrigeration.
The eggs in my larder were purchased in Homer on June 2; are labeled as expiring on July 2, and on July 26 are perfectly tasty. They have not been refrigerated since purchase, nor have I taken any special care–i.e. turning them every week or coating the exterior with petroleum jelly. One of the yokes broke, which is to be expected, but one held, and both were bright inside.
Three ships on the scope today heading NW and SE, now gone, and never seen in the flesh. I think I just sailed over the great circle route connecting California ports and Asia.
I’ve kept experimenting with sail combination in search of the perfect (fast and comfortable) ride at this wind angle (betwix abeam and aquarter), and though it embarrassed me deeply, I took in a third reef in the main at dusk and let the working jib out full. A third reef in a 40 foot boat in 20 knots of wind! Indeed. This kept more of the power forward and cut down marginally on our yawing.
Wind rose into the night and I rolled some of the jib back up, this so that when it did inevitably fall loose and slap too (the block is right next to my ear), I wouldn’t wake thinking the second coming was in progress but with me on the wrong side of the line.
Today I’ve taken in the main altogether in favor of the large genoa, which has had the effect of softening our ride considerably and reducing our speed by a knot. That won’t do.
Sadly, the wind angle isn’t right quite yet for the twin jib poles. I’m now headed SW and toward an imaginary spot at 35N and 135W. That spot is a compromise: I don’t want to sacrifice northing until Georgette and Frank make their intentions clear; at the same time, too much westing may take me too far into the High (may already have, as evidenced by today’s lighter winds).* So, SW is today’s strategy. May change tomorrow.
PS. I think the drinking water in the forward tank is fine. I pumped out about 10 gallons and it cleared up, though I’m still getting the occasional tea leaf. I presume the mess was in the line, not the tank.
*Howard Conant, with whom I became friends in Port Townsend and who sails a fantastic aluminum cutter named Holy Grail, mentions the 1020 rule. Which is to say that the best winds on the route to Hawaii are at the 1020 pressure gradient. Note above that today I’m back to 1022 after having spent most of the 23rd and 24th at 1020 and 1021.