Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Passage to Hawaii: day 16

Date: Mar 27, 2012
Distance remaining: 745 Previous 24 hour run: by GPS: 121

Date: Mar 28, 2012, Time: 10am Hawaii time
20° 12' N 144° 13' W
Wind speed: 13 / wind dir: 055 (NE), Heading: 280, Speed: 5.5
Barometer: 1018, Water Temp: 73
Log: 4751.7
Distance remaining: 613 Previous 24 hour run: by GPS: 134

If I recall, in my last report I reported that the winds were lightish but that the boat hadn't fallen below around 4 knots of speed. Shortly after sending that report, the boat speed fell to 2.5 and stayed there for a while. Drat. Even with the swell falling this light wind left Luckness at the mercy of all the waves that rolled through, rocking her side to side for hours. On top of this, the previous night's run had left us north of the rhumb line and in order to get back south we had to sail wing-on-wing - which accentuates the rolling. Another good training day! At around 10pm more wind arrived which sped the boat up but left it rolling.

Yesterday I didn't touch the sails or monitor steering adjustment at all - the boat was heading in a good direction and I just let her run. The wind would back and veer slightly all day, leaving me slightly north of where I wanted to go, then slightly south with the result being that Luckness was almost directly on the rhumb line all day, with little diversions north and south.

Last night's run left us south of the rhumb line as the wind backed to be more northerly over night. This morning I lowered the pole, brought the genoa back to the port side and went onto a broad reach where I am now, making decent speed toward the destination. I think I'm now in trade winds! The winds are now NE and ENE mainly with lightly scattered low level cumulus floating by. Last night the boat continued to roll as I was still wing-on-wing.

I have 'seen' two more AIS targets today so far, neither one of them came within visual range but its a reminder to me that there are other boats out there. Both were cargo ships running at around 13 knots.
As you may recall, my 20min timer has three levels of alert after 20min: 1min of blinking light; 1min of alarm clock loud alarm; and then a fire-alarm intensity horn until the reset button is pressed. Last night I managed to incorporate the alarm clock buzzer into my dream three times, telling myself that 'that noise is nothing to worry about.' Then the fire-alarm buzzer would go off and I would get up and chuckle at the dream. Its as if parts of my brain aren't sure about what is going on out here. Before starting this passage I was wondering what it would be like. Now that I'm 16 days into the passage I'm still trying to figure out my reaction to it. Sailing all this way is a very physical process with lots of moments where you can reflect about where you are and what's going on. My 'upper' brain is totally on board. I know where I am, how far there is to go, how to get there, what it takes, where I am in relation to other bits of land etc. But my 'gut' doesn't seem to realize where I am sometimes. I think its related to the lack of landmarks as we move - there just really isn't anything to see out here to help you track your progress and my 'gut' doesn't seem to understand latitude/longitude. When moving south from Seattle I could at least track the stars shifting as I made progress - the north star is now lower to the horizon that it was when I started for example. However going west there are no landmarks to follow. I think there is a part of me which is in denial! I can look out and see something like 4nm visually in all directions, so there is a patch of 50 square miles of ocean I can look at from my cockpit. But one patch of ocean is much like the next or last. I remember on my trip from Neah bay to Drakes bay just north of San Francisco, I was offshore the whole way and only saw land as I left and arrived. In a way that trip didn't become 'real' to me until I saw land again - the time inbetween is spent in some sort of limbo where you know time is passing, things are happening, progress is being made, but in some way its artificial until you can see a different piece of land again which makes it all concrete.

Anyway. I'm looking forward to shouting "land ho!" and seeing the island of Hawaii come into view sometime in the next week or so.

Everything is going well here. Thanks for reading!

Later eh.


March 27.  24 hour surface
March 27.  48 hour surface
March 27.  72 hour surface
March 28.  24 hour surface
March 28.  48 hour surface
March 28.  72 hour surface

1 comment:

  1. Craig, I don't know how you're doing it! I would go nuts seeing no landmarks for weeks at a time. And these constant alarm buzzers would drive me mad. I'm very impressed. Good luck for the remaining week or so! :)