Friday, July 20, 2012

Passage to Neah Bay: day 7

Date: July 19, 2012
33° 36' N 164° 25' W
Previous 24 hour run: 145
Water Temp: 76.1

Date: July 20, 2012, Time: noon PST
36° 00' N 164° 30' W
Wind speed: 11 / wind dir: 060 (ENE), Heading: 355, Speed: 6.1
Barometer: 1029, Water Temp: 75.2
Log: 6475.0
Previous 24 hour run: 145

I realized a day or so ago that my original plan to sail NNW from Hanalei to the edge of a nice well defined high and run with the weather clockwise up and around it ending up pointing back to the east isn't going to work out as planned. The high has been moving around and weakening and strengthening. Up until this point in my passage I've had good wind. There have only been short periods when I was left with so little wind that the sails would start slatting (banging back and forth as the waves and swell roll the boat.) If there is enough wind, you don't have slatting sails. I'm expecting that the wind is going to further die off between today and tomorrow, with luck I'll be able to keep making progress. It looks like I'm now sailing in-between what will be two high pressure systems, the stronger one to the east and the weaker one to the west. In-between is a saddle area with weak winds. The forecast is that a low will soon form in the area between the two highs, at which point the winds are forecast to increase and push me out of that area - if I'm still there. It'll be interesting (for me) to see if I'm able to keep moving over the next couple of days, or if I end up becalmed. Time will tell.

The sailing is still wonderful. The nights are starting to get cooler, as is the water. I haven't had to resort to more clothing so far, which is nice. There continue to be squalls which come by each day, delivering short bursts of stronger wind and rain. The wind increase so far hasn't been strong enough for me to worry about having to reef the sails, I am just running through the weather that comes without trying to maneuver out of the way.

Yesterday was the first day when I had my full set of 'white' sails up - full main, staysail and full genoa. After leaving Hanalei I had a reef in the main and a reef in my genoa and ran that way for the first 5 days making good speed the whole way. Yesterday the winds fell enough that I raised what I had. My non-white sail is my spinnaker which may be in use soon...

There still isn't much to see out here, depending on how you define a 'thing to see'. The number of sea birds has decreased dramatically. The only other ship I've seen (only on AIS) is still the one I saw three days ago. But the light, waves, clouds and just being out here is satisfying, I don't really feel the need to see other things. The nights have been mainly clear and the stars are just astounding.

Signing off for now.

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1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see Luckness under full sail. I'll bet its a pretty sight! And the stars with no light pollution! Tell me, how bright is it? enough to cast shadows? That's what the ancient peoples saw, like in Catla's world. Lucky you! Signing off. Love, Mum