Preparing for a Visitor

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August 2
Cape Flattery to Kauai
Day 11

Noon PST position: 28.51.21N by 14.20.32W
Miles since last noon: 155
Total miles of passage: 1762
Avg. Miles per Day: 160
Course: SW (mostly)
Speed: 6+
Wind: ENE 15 to 20
Sky: Cumulus, occasional squall
Waves: ENE 5-7
Bar: 1019
Air Temperature: 79 degrees
Sea Temperature: 74 degrees (Note jump from yesterday of 4 degrees)

A lesson in going about your business, even when such is absurd: I found a tiny spider building a web on the *outside* of the pilot house today. He was on starboard, so had a slight lee in his favor, but still, the infant web of the infant spider was being buffeted by the wind, requiring more persistence in the construction process than I have seen in any other creature. And all for naught. There’s not a thing for him to eat out here. In fact, how he *got here* is a mystery. When I looked ten minutes later, spider and web had been blown away.

Today I’ve been preparing for Howard’s visit.

Howard is a Tropical Storm that was, this morning, positioned at 18N by 127W. It’s moving WNW at 15 knots and is making a beeline for my estimated Thursday position. It’s not, thus far, forecast to be a storm by that time, but merely a “remnant low.” However, appended to that remark in this morning’s forecast was, “…with likely gale force winds.”

That got my attention.

Other bulletins forwarded by my friend, Jim Walter, throughout the day suggest the chances of winds over 34 knots are in single and low double digits. And besides, I can probably run with the twins in winds to 40 knots.

Still, I’ve used it as an excuse to get ready for some heavier weather. I’ve moved the fenders chockablocking the anchor locker (where the storm sail is stowed) to the fo’c’sle. It’s a testament to how boisterous our weather is already that the first fender leapt into the sea (free, free at last!) before I knew what had happened. The others had to be lifted from the locker, lashed on deck; then unlashed when I’d climbed from the locker and was ready to transport them below.

The storm sail is out and rigged for action; the ugly Jerry cans on deck have been put into the anchor locker along with the jug of gas for the generator. The spare propane tank has been moved from its awkward stern location and is lashed in the cockpit well. And lashings have been prepared to hold the solar panels in a down/locked position.

Notice a pattern?

Upshot: the deck has been cleared and is ready for action.

That may not sound like much, but when you work with one hand–the other holding on–even the smallest projects take forever.

We had settled weather and lighter, steadier winds overnight and until about noon when a squally sky returned and brought back the 25 to 15 to 20 pattern. Still making very good time, if less gently.

Today is my birthday. I am 54 years old. I think I’ve been at sea on my birthday four years of the last six, which makes it very difficult for someone to bake you a cake. My own celebration has been simple. I took a bath and put on a red shirt, the last clean one in stock.

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None of the harnesses aboard had “crotch straps,” without which the harness is likely to be stripped off your body if you fall overboard. This one I jury rigged from the galley safety strap and some spare clips.

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I guess I’ve not visited the foredeck in a while. Found this guy today and it looks like he’s been sunning there for some time.

4 Comments on “Preparing for a Visitor

    • Hey Remy. Thanks for the well-wishes. As regards tails, I’m sure you think them the naturalist thing in the world, but some of us prefer a simpler life. And I, for one, have no trouble going in circles without the target appendage. Best to the two legged member of your clan. Hope the garden fairs well.

    • Hey Robin, thanks for the well wishes. Howard turned out not to be an issue. I got really lucky. Best to you and the crew!

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