Out to Sea

October 5, 2018

Day 1

Noon Position: 35 33N 124 06W

Course/Speed: SSW 7

Wind: NNW 17-19

Sea: NNW 6

Sky: Mostly clear. Some thin cumulus

Bar: 1022 and falling

Cabin Degrees Fahrenheit: 68

Water Degrees Fahrenheit: 62

Percent Relative Humidity: 71

Sail: #1 genoa out full; one reef in main; wind on starboard quarter.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 146 (Note: this is distance measured as a straight line from one noon position to the other.)

Avg. Miles/Day: 146

Miles since departure: 146

Well past the Farallones and on into the evening, the sea maintained the color of jade. As the stars winked on, so did the lights of jets climbing out of SFO, and all night Mo maneuvered between coastwise shipping as she edged further and further out.

By morning, all evidence of that other world, the world of the land, was gone. Now the sea was an ebullient blue and empty in all directions until met by a powder blue sky stacked with dry cumulus. Inside the horizon, nothing but water, wave, and wind, available, to the observer, in apparently infinite measure.

It is the most amazing thing about this world, the size of it, and that within a day’s sail one can be beyond all evidence of humanity. The vast majority of the planet surface is ocean, and nearly none of it knows the least thing about civilization.

Overnight Mo creamed along south under a full main and big genoa. Slowly, but steadily, the wind built. I woke once an hour to monitor passing ships–there were five on the scope at one point–and to worry about when I should take a reef, which I did not do until 3am with winds steady at 22 knots.

Reefing the big main with strong wind on the quarter takes care. With the sail pressed against the spreaders, the batten cars can foul in the lazy jacks and any slack in the halyard can allow the sail luff to snag the mast steps. I know this and yet committed both errors last night. How quickly one forgets.

To clear the luff from the steps, I had to roll up the big genoa and let Mo round up. No big. I had time. Sleep was difficult; better to work in the cool and the dark.

Much of today has been dedicated to killing sand flies, a great many of whom refuse to be blown away by strong northerlies. Many I had captured in a small hand vacuum, but when I climbed on deck and released them into the wind, they were not swept out to sea! To a one, they all flew back aboard. So much for charity. Now I’m killing them outright, when I can; they’ve grown wary.

Wind is steady at 25 knots this afternoon; still, it slowly builds. The big genoa is in. I have a double tuck in the #2 and two reefs in the main and we make better then 7 knots.

7 Comments on “Out to Sea

  1. I enjoy reading your travels. I will pray for your safety travels❤️. Love, your cousin Marsha

  2. I often wonder about the best way to reef (or drop) the main when headed downwind. Glad to hear I’m not the only one that needs to head up every now and then. I loved following last year’s voyage; so glad to see you’ve headed out again! Safe travels.

  3. Why don’t you lower the lazy jacks? Put them back up when you know you are going to douse the main?

  4. So interesting about the sand flies. I was about to ask about them. How long does it take to get rid of them, and if you will find any other critter later on.

  5. OK Randall…here we go! Schubert and I are with you 100% in spirit. Your posts make a perfect companion to our morning coffee. Be safe, friend, and we’ll see you soon. Stacy & Schubert

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