Saturday, July 28, 2012

Passage to Neah Bay: day 15

Date: July 27, 2012
46° 31' N 152° 37' W
Previous 24 hour run: 121
Water Temp: 55.4

Date: July 28, 2012, Time: noon PST
46° 59' N 148° 55' W
Wind speed: 13 / wind dir: ? (NW), Heading: 070, Speed: 6.5
Barometer: 1025, Water Temp: 52.7
Log: 7325.5
Previous 24 hour run: 155

Approximate destination lat/lon: 48° 30' N 128° 50' W

Yesterday I had a really good run in the afternoon and overnight. The boat was often moving at speeds in the 7 knot range as Luckness would move through the building waves. There was some sacrifice for comfort in the interests of speed, but as the wind was blowing in a favorable direction I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make the most of it. (Well, by 'most' I mean my conservative version - no spinnaker or anything crazy, I still had a reef in the main.) However the wind started to die off in the early morning and my noon to noon run which was looking like it was going to be very good, suffered a little.

Neah Bay is 943 miles away as I write this, which may mean there are around 7 days left in this passage. However, the wind has been light today and its looking like my noon to noon run today is going to be something like 120nm, less than I need to arrive in 7 days.

If I average 5 knots all day, then over 24 hours I make 120 miles. 6 knots would be 144 miles. 7 knots is 168 miles. My greatest distance day so far is 165nm, a few days ago. So if I average 6 knots for the rest of the trip, there are 6 and a half days left. If I average 120nm per day, there are almost 8 days left. Time will tell how it turns out.

I have been a little surprised by the weather systems that are in the North Pacific right now. I was expecting the strong high that was present when I left to last longer than it did. At the moment the mixture of highs and lows look a little chaotic and I'm sure the forecasts are having some fun trying to figure out what things will look like in 4 days time. For now my wind is lightish and tomorrow is expected to be similar. The current weather model shows Monday as having stronger south winds influenced by a low which is coming into the picture for my area.

The other aspect to the weather is the temperature. Its freezing! This morning the cabin temperature was 54 degrees, around the same as the water temperature. I'm not turning my boat heat on as the companionway is open all day and I don't want to use up the power or the diesel. I'm sleeping fully clothed on top of my duvet to make it easier to get up every 20 minutes. I've added another layer or two to what I'm wearing. When I left Hawaii I was wearing a t-shirt and short pants, day and night - it was beautiful. Right now I'm wearing: wool socks, foul weather boots, wool long underwear, foul weather pants, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, fleece, prima-loft insulation layer, foul weather coat, neck gaitor (neck warmer), windproof toque. Its July 28th! The middle of summer!

Its totally overcast here and I'm completely surrounded by grey clouds - but for now it hasn't rained at all and the fog has gone away for the last few days. I'm hoping the rain can hold off for another week or so. Right now the relative humidity here is just under 80%, so once something is wet it stays wet. Rain would be a little miserable...

Nothing much to report here. The passage is going smoothly.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:


  1. Holy Cow! That is cold! and damp! Good gracious you'll be happy to have some sun. Hope it breaks through and the rain stays away! You are making good time. 7 - 8 days! Cool! xo Mum

  2. Hey Craig,
    Go ahead, rub it in. We are experiencing 100 degree weather in Turkey. We have to jump into the pool almost every hour. Great to hear all is well. Keep up the good work. Hopefully you can use your spinnaker as you head toward and into the strait. It should warm up as you get closer. Joe Cabral

    1. Well, yeah, that does sound like a real hardship having to jump in the pool every hour. You're leading a tough life, for sure :-)

      In the end, I only had the spinnaker up once on this passage. It seems that Luckness sails well enough in light wind that I'm normally satisfied. Once I'm zooming along at 3 or 4 knots, I stop thinking about the spinnaker and just enjoy the easy ride! It was nice to have it when I put it up though - its a pretty sail and being able to make way in very light wind is so nice. It sure beats bobbing around listening to the sails bang back and forth!

  3. Forgot to tell you, I look forward to learning your position as I lay it over NOAA satellite of the Pacific to see how you are positioned against the H or L. Cool stuff. Later. Joe