More Fun with Weather


Sept 18
Hanalei Bay to San Francisco
Day 8

Noon HST position: 37.05.07N by 157.16.02W
Miles since last noon: 76
Total miles of passage: 968
Avg. Miles per Day: 121
Course: NNE and N
Sail: Main and light wind genoa, mostly close hauled
Speed: 2 – 4
Wind: SW11-0
Sky: Mixed cloud cover. Squalls.
Waves: Light SW swell; heavy chop from NE, subsiding
Bar: 1019
Air Temperature: 80 degrees
Sea Temperature: 75 degrees

Wind went soft in the night.

By now you’re thinking, “will this guy talk about anything but the weather?” Sorry if that’s dull. In my universe, weather is all.

What was SW11 at noon was SW5 by 8pm. I kept Mo close hauled heading north-ish*, and we were able to generate just enough breeze to maintain steerage.

That is, until 3am when I woke and found us heading south. Or rather, pointing south and going no where.

I got Mo turned around over the next hour only to find our little puffs were gone and the “Bang Bang” chorus had resumed.

Nothing left to do. I dropped the main, wound up the jib and went back to my bunk. Mo bucked and complained in the growing swell, throwing the sack of apples onto the floor where the rotten one exploded. I slept poorly.

Dawn was heartbreak. Wind SW3, maybe, and a steep NE chop, this from the easterlies above us, enough to dunk the anchor on the bow.

Thought it through over morning coffee (wait for wind or motor north). I so didn’t want to use the engine on this passage. But I cannot miss the next low. It already looks to be too brief to get us over the top. If I have to wait around somewhere, wait up where it will be blowing on Tuesday.

So, we motored. And then wind filled in from the SW to 11 by noon, the chop died right away, and now we have a lovely, quiet sail north.

*that we were close hauled in a breeze whose true direction was our port quarter is indication of how uncommitted was our propulsion.

New strategy (of many): head N and NE toward 39N and then turn due E. The low arriving on Tuesday should bring good winds there, but current forecasts show it developing a hole at and above 40N. Get above 40N and I may be dead in the water again by Thursday.

I will freely admit the complications of this passage, the moveable feast of a highs and light winds, are proving a test.

Updated the water and fuel log today.

Of nearly 200 gallons in fuel, I’ve only used 27 gallons since departure from Neah Bay, Washington.

Of nearly 160 gallons of water, I’ve used approximately 22 gallons since filling up the aft tank in Nawiliwli. (I’ve been relatively free with water since I have so much.)

Other positives. I’m not the least bit low on cookies.


It’s an indication that it’s getting colder that I’ve put on boots. Almost switched to long pants last night.


Updating the water and fuel usage log.


A morning nap is OK when you were up at 3am.


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