Date: Aug 2, 2012
48° 29' N 132° 08' W
Previous 24 hour run: 131
Water Temp: 56.3
Date: Aug 3, 2012, Time: noon PST
48° 30' N 128° 29' W
Wind speed: 20-27 / wind dir: 330 (NNW), Heading: 105, Speed: 6.9
Barometer: 1024, Water Temp: 57.2
Previous 24 hour run: 146
I'm now prepared to make a prediction on when I'll be arriving in Neah Bay: tomorrow! As I write this, there are 98nm left to Neah Bay. I expect the winds to slowly die down, and at some point I'll start up my motor and finish this passage. I'm determined to be finished one way or another tomorrow.
The winds were stronger today than I expected three days ago when I was planning ahead on how to approach the straights. The weather update showed stronger winds in this area. The text update was:
SYNOPSIS VALID 0000 UTC AUG 02.
24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 0000 UTC AUG 03.
48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 0000 UTC AUG 04.
SYNOPSIS AND FORECAST.
FROM 36N TO 43N BETWEEN 124W AND 128W N TO NW WINDS 20 TO 30
KT. SEAS TO 10 FT.
24 HOUR FORECAST FROM 35N TO 45N BETWEEN 124W AND 128W N TO NW
WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 11 FT.
48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 34N TO 50N E OF 131W N TO NW WINDS 20 TO
30 KT. SEAS TO 11 FT.
Clear as day, right!?
I had originally been expecting a weak NW wind in the area I traversed today (48N, 130-127W) so I was heading south of the entrance so that I could come upwind in the light air to approach the entrance to the straights. However, as the wind was now expected to be in the 20-30 knot range, I didn't want to be beating into it and so I changed my approach. I changed my heading to 060T (NE) in order to get north of the entrance. I was hoping this would give me a better angle across the stronger wind area. This worked out really well - I have been sailing with the wind aft of my beam all day today with a pretty comfortable ride. Having access to weather information at sea is such a bonus.
As a result of all this north/south movement, the 24 hour run ending today is lower than it should be - it doesn't account for all the north then south travel - I was just flying all during this 24 hour period, with speeds rarely dipping below 6.5 and often into the high 7 knot range. It was both fun and extremely annoying. Fun for a short period of time, but annoying having to live on a boat that is actively moving around in such unpredictable ways.
I'm currently sailing in blue skies, the sun has just set. It was nice to feel the sun on my face today, I realized that it actually is summer up here and that I haven't left all the heat back in Hawaii. I expect that once I get off the water onto land that it will warm up considerably.
This, my last night on this passage is shaping up to be somewhat challenging. There is a traffic separation scheme in use in the straights, and I'm just south of the approach to the eastbound lane. I've been seeing a lot of freighter traffic on my AIS, and have even seen a few of them visually. I'm also close enough to land now that fishing vessels start to enter the picture - I came across my first vessel that was not broadcasting AIS today, a fishing boat which crossed a few miles in front of me, northbound. I'll need to be alert to these things tonight. I'll probably end up more tired tomorrow than normal, but look forward to a full nights sleep tomorrow night - without my alarm going off every 20 minutes! That'll be so nice.
I'll send an update when I arrive, and then probably not send much out for a while.
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