Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 8: Mexico to the Marquesas

March 11, 2012
0900UTC or 2AM boat time
Position at 0900UTC: 14°02'N 114°53'W

Day 8: Mexico to Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

Crew Andrew and Kelsey completed a major milestone today of 1000 nautical miles of sailing aboard LightSpeed.
Kathy also hit a huge milestone today of 30,000 nautical miles!
Dave now has 41,500 nautical miles since beginning this sailing adventure back in 2005 some 2418 days ago.

At this particular moment we are about 610nm SSW of Cabo San Lucas and we've been flying a spinnaker since 4PM on Day 6.

Around 10:30 Day 7 we gathered on the trampoline to do 'ab ripper X' which is 349 core exercises (i.e. sit-ups and crunches in many variations) which takes about 20 minutes. After the mini workout we planned to swap the medium sized spinnaker for the big one, so we took the opportunity to hove to for a swim. With the sails down we drifted slowly sideways and enjoyed the wonderful clear blue water you can only find far from shore. Back on board everyone was feeling great after a good swim, saltwater bath and freshwater rinse. We must be getting into a grove as it seemed everyone was up and about the entire day enjoying the beautiful sunshine and near perfect sailing conditions. It seems we've finally picked up the NE trades and the swell is shifting from the NW to the N making for a much smoother ride. The wind has filled in a bit and is now around 15+ making for good boat speeds in the mid 7's with a surf to 11 knots a few times. With intensifying sun overhead, today was the first day it started to feel hot, air temps around 85F with humidity levels on the rise and overnight lows around 75F. Sea water temperature is up to 79.7F.

Kathy ran the Pacific Puddle Jump (PPJ) net on the evening of Day 7 and due to a Radio Frequency conflict with our Autopilot and certain radio frequencies we had to hand steer for well over an hour. Kelsey and I took turns hand steering as dusk turned into dark and Andrew had the 9 to midnight watch and noted in the log book "Spinnaker flying great! Bioluminesence". We had a great dinner of Pasta, fish and broccoli prepared by Kathy. The net took over an hour and Kathy had to eat her amazing meal cold as she was too busy on the radio to eat at the same time. We'll act as PPJ net control again on the 17th and 24th at 0200UTC on 8A.

I ran the water maker for about 1.5 hours on Day 7 and the water is so clean the filters still looked like new, a far cry from the murky waters of mainland Mexico. Still no new clues on the fresh water we found in the bilge a few days ago. The bilge is back to it's normal 'bone dry'.

I would have thought I'd be less busy having crew aboard, but we still spend plenty of time on training/coaching each day and then my normal jobs of Captain, Navigator, Weather router, Communications tech, Engineer, Trouble shooter, Chief water maker, Energy monitor and Scribe. The crew are doing well and as the trip progresses I expect increasing return on the investment of all the countless hours of coaching. Soon we'll have a bunch of very competent and confident blue water sailors ready for any ocean. They are well on their way!

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