Wet and Not Wild

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June 24
Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca
Day 4

Noon position: 53.23.92N by 138.36.82W
Miles since last noon: 157 (same as yesterday, pooh!)
Total miles of passage: 558
Avg. Miles per Day: 139.5
Course: 120t
Speed: 5.5 – 6.5 knots
Wind: SW 10-20

Woke to dense fog which has lifted only to be replaced by heavy rain.

I’m disappointed in the daily mileage, though winds went light overnight, and an average of 6.5 knots isn’t terrible. Still, I counted *ten straight hours of 7 plus knots* of boat speed with wind abeam, main reefed and smaller genoa, full. If I’d “raced” the boat after dark (I opted for shut-eye instead) we might have done better.

Sleep. Must admit I’m not doing well at this yet. My habit is to sleep in one hour intervals. At each hour I rise and have a look around–scan the horizon for ship glow; check the chart plotter; course, set of sail. If all is well, and it usually is, I go right back to my berth.

I say “habit” because there’s no evidence rising at all during the night is needed in this quadrant of ocean. The horizon is consistently and utterly empty, and the boat, plugging away without need of advice from Capt. Groggyhead.

I’m not sleeping well for two reasons. Heat and noise. Getting dressed 6 – 8 times a night is a pain, so I hit the bunk fully clothed. Jacket stays on. Harness stays on. Boots stay on. Wool hat stays on. I brought one ancient but thick down bag and so, though I go to bed with cold hands and feet, I’m quickly too hot.

The other reason is cannon fire in the bilges. The boat’s metal hull and insulation mean she’s still as a church relative to outside sounds; the rush of water, the rattle of sail, hardly noticeable. But her water tanks, built into the keel, appear to lack baffles, and even in the lightest of weather it sounds like the battle of Gettysburg is going off just below me. Kathump! Kawhap! Kathump!

So, I’ve been napping during the day propped up in the nav station.

Weather. One reason for speed is that a weak low is dropping into the Gulf of Alaska.

I access weather forecasts via the Iridium GO! and am currently using Saildocs as the data source. One bit of learning when researching the GO! was that Saildocs is not limited to SailMail (The SSB email/weather application I’ve used till now) but can be gotten via email…for free!

Each morning, I send simple text queries via email to query@saildocs.com and get weather in return, like the attached wind and pressure map (called a GRIB File) at the bottom of this post (caution: I also need a GRIB viewer, available in the Apple app store).

If curious, full instructions at: Info@saildocs.com. Send a blank email, anything (including nothing) in the subject line.

In any case this weak low is going to take the westerly component of my SW wind away by tomorrow afternoon unless I can get down near the latitude of Haida Gwai. Another 150 miles might just do it.

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