So, this is Kansas?

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July 30
Cape Flattery to Kauai
Day 8

Noon PST position: 32.27.95N by 139.45.48W
Miles since last noon: 161
Total miles of passage: 1292
Avg. Miles per Day: 162
Course: SW
Speed: 6+ knots, but dropping
Wind: NE 10 to 20 (diminished overnight; has been lighter all day)
Sky: Solid deck, low and oppressive.
Waves: NE 4
Bar: 1020
Air Temperature: 72 degrees
Sea Temperature: 68 degrees

For those of you playing the Halfway-to-Hawaii game, the answer is…we passed it today. I’ve drawn a rum line course on the chart, not that I’m following it exactly, which shows 1215 miles remaining.

We’ve been running dead downwind since yesterday afternoon and making good a meandering SW course. There’s a single reef in the working jib and an equivalent amount of sail out in the genoa.

Stars overnight. Again, the hope that we’d sailed out from under this everlasting gray.

But when I stopped my sleep cycle at 7am, cloud had moved in so thickly it was still too dark to write in the logbook without a flashlight. An hour later I could see the definition of the sky, and if I weren’t sure I was in the middle of an ocean, I’d say I was in Kansas in summer.

Low, oppressive, tornado-alley cloud, often jagged on the underside. I studied these extensions, these often sharp fingers pointing seaward and could watch them form and dissipate and twice even saw rotation. I swear. Small twisters in the making? I know–the temperatures are barely 70 degrees.

White Tailed Tropic Birds have been our mates all morning. Twice, a pair of them. One attempted to land on the mast top, but found it too much a moving target. Not sure if I’m seeing the same birds or different individuals passing through, but have had six our eight sightings since coming on deck.

The frayed wind vane tiller line continues to fray for no reason that I can figure. I’ll have to change it tomorrow. But in good news, I’ve switched to a light-wind air vane and that has stopped most of our wicked “S” curving over the ocean (if in doubt, read the manual).

Of Food…
Opened the last of the Homer-era coffee today. In the Anchorage Costco, this back on May 5th, I bought two large (3lb) bags of freshly roasted French and vacuum packed them into nine 3 cup bags (the size of my galley coffee can). That batch has lasted three months, nearly. It takes 8 days or so for me to use 3 cups of grounds. (Two 32oz bags purchased later remain in stock).

A 12.6 oz can of NIDO powdered milk, used almost exclusively as coffee creamer, lasts two weeks. (I still have 6 cans aboard).

I’m down to 13 cans of beer … but haven’t touched the ample supply of wine as yet.

I’m cooking less than I anticipated, opting, in boisterous weather, to open a can of raviolis or lentils or other soup. I’ve eaten cold 8 cans of lentil soup (26 remain) and 3 cans of raviolis (10 remain).

Of stewed tomatoes, a staple for stews, I’ve used 9 cans (37 remain).

I’ve barely touched the dried legumes (have used only one 1lb bag of lentils) or the grains like Quinoa (four 2 lb bags remain), the brown rice (have used 6 cups of a 15lb bag), and I’ve eaten through only 18 cans of canned meat (beef, pork, chicken, salmon, tuna), leaving 66 in stock.

Which is to say, I’m loaded with good food.

I’m out of tortilla chips and am low on cookies, however.

In other food news, my nets of fresh vegetables (zucchini, roma tomatoes, mini bell peppers, cabbage), even my bread, are feeling the heat. All are going off at once. I bought three loves of bread in Port Townsend and the two remaining are getting green.

Moreover, my success with “spreadable” butter (butter blended with canola oil) on the Kodiak to   Cape Flattery run has failed this leg. Too warm. It’s separating and liquifying. Interestingly, the Ghee purchased in Homer is holding up better–has the consistency of ketchup. But it has developed a salty odor reminiscent of parmesan cheese. This seems not to have effected its edibility, just its delectability.

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