Sept 23
Hanalei Bay to San Francisco
Day 13

Noon HST position: 39.33.77N by 143.17.84W
Miles since last noon: 158
Total miles of passage: 1750
Avg. Miles per Day: 134
Course: ENE
Sail: #2 jib full all night; then twins poled out, wind 100 to 120 degrees on starboard
Speed: 7+
Wind: SW 10 – 25
Sky: Mostly clear. Thin cirrus and then SF style high fog, burned off
Waves: SW to 7
Bar: 1013
Air Temperature: 77 degrees
Sea Temperature: 66 degrees

For a few hours last night wind eased as a ridge passed quickly over. I decided to sleep instead of make more sail and press more miles into the day. The two previous nights had been largely devoid of that luxury and my attempts at napping, mostly exercises in staring at the ceiling. We’ve paid for my log-sawing in our daily totals. A fair deal.

Not so today, however.

With this morning’s forecast, I’ve decided it’s time to work some northing into our passage. Our current heading is 60 degrees true and our current target is an imaginary Gastro Pub at 43N and 133W. Here, I am told, the brew is rich and cold and the steaks are hot.

The reason: by Monday a large high may settle north of us and bring brisk NE winds to what will be our then location. I want to be positioned to take those winds on the beam.

The forecast is sure to change and I likely won’t need 43N (who cares about cold beer anyway). But that’s today’s plan.

I rose at 6. Had a cup of coffee. Lofted the port pole and the #1 genoa. Had a second cup of coffee. Lofted the starboard pole for the #2 jib, and we’ve been flying since.

We’re taking the winds, now just over 20 knots, deeply on the starboard quarter. Jib #2 is canted way forward, #1 hauled in taught. Both soon carried a second reef. We’ve covered 31 miles in the 4 hours since noon. And they’ve been easy miles. Monte Cristo is finding this so untaxing that he’s reading the paper and smoking a ciggy, and we’re still on course.

Things are not so rosy for SOLACE and her crew. The attempts to braid the broken steering cable together have failed as has the dyneema line used to replace the cable. This latter solution has stretched and slipped off the quadrant. No word on its being tightened or replaced. Steve has rigged a block and tackle from the emergency tiller to the center cockpit, and the crew are using this to steer (much as did Shackleton in the southern ocean), which he reports is at least an easier arrangement in light winds. High winds are still a struggle. Currently they are some 170 miles back of MOLI but are making consistent, if difficult, progress, and generally in the right direction.

Standing in the cockpit staring north and west. The cobalt waves tumbling like liquid glass, exploding in white cascades. The kind of day made for staring at.

Then an oddity in that wave. An olive colored shape moving below, surfing down the inside of the curl. Then another. Then two more. Not large–say the size of small dolphins. But not dolphins. They never break the surface to breath. So, fish, then. But what?

After a time, I think I see sharp pectoral and dorsal fins and perceive a compact and bullet shape to the body. Silver flashes from the water when they suddenly change course. Tuna? They hung out off port quarter all afternoon, waiting, I fancy, for Mo to scare up some flying fish.


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