Saturday, July 12, 2014

Underway Day 17 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

July 13, 2014 @ Noon local or (UTC July 13 @ 0000)

Day 17 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

Underway position: 19 25N 170 12E

159nm day/812nm trip total

Dave since August 2005: 57,317nm
Kathy since April 2007: 45,810nm
Combined total: 103,127nm or 118,596 statue miles or 190,939 kilometers

Course 000
Speed avg ~5.6

Wind 14 @ 083T
20 % Cloud cover
1012 mbar
Air temp 86
Sea temp 85.5

We're starting to settle into an underway rhythm and slowly becoming desensitized to the constant motion and crashing about that come with beam seas on a catamaran. Honestly, I'd rather be sailing a monohull in these conditions, beam seas are simply ruthless on a catamaran. Each passing wave has a chance to slam into the windward hull then a second chance to hit the windward side of the leeward hull. I'm not talking about underdeck slamming, that is very uncommon with LightSpeed's high bridge deck and long bows, just the hull slapping of beam seas. It would happen on a mono, but with a monos rounded bilges, heavy displacement and slower period of roll it's not as much of an issue.

Off the wind LightSpeed is bliss. Thinking about lazing along with these swells on the stern Kathy and I had a legitimate discussion about sailing to Japan and maybe making the North Pacific loop through the Aleutians next year. However, crossing over to Japan would put us at a great risk of encountering a Typhoon this time of year, so we nixed the idea after downloading a GRIB and looking at the weather situation between here and Japan.

So we continue to pound north more or less driving up 170E and hoping for something other than ENE winds and their attendant forward of the beam seas.

Highlights from yesterday.

Most of the afternoon was quite pleasant with little spray coming off the bows so we had the front door open most of the day with no spray flying into the cabin and a nice breeze.

A beautiful sunset and a solid green flash lasting a few seconds.

Kathy prepared beef burritos for dinner topped with cabbage. The use of cabbage signals that nearly all other fresh items are now exhausted. We've been eating well to this point with tons of spinach and broccoli. I think all we have left now is apples and oranges, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions, garlic and I noticed Kathy was starting a tray of broccoli sprouts. Sprouting is a life saver once all the fresh produce is consumed.

Our sea going kitty 'Shell' gave us a scare when she fell of the desk while trying to extract a bird feather from the drawer, she let out a scream when her paw got caught giving us all a fright. Shell limped around for a while, but seems fine now.

Overnight I spotted our first ship of the voyage or at least spotted it on AIS, but never made a visual. As we move further north I expect we'll be seeing plenty more ships as we cross the great circle routes between Asia and Panama canal and Asia and major ports in the US.

Wake Island lies immediately to our west at 200nm, we considered a stop a few days ago, but didn't want to give up 200 miles of easting, unless we were heading to Japan! So next stop is either Dutch Harbor 2400nm, Kodiak 2900nm, Sitka 3400nm or maybe Prince Rupert, BC, Tofino, BC, or Astoria, Oregon. Our landfall will depend on the weather we encounter en route, how we play the systems and some luck. Given an August arrival, we'll have precious little time to explore Alaska. From Dutch Harbor it's still ~2600nm to San Francisco or around 5000nm remaining in our planned voyage. I seriously doubt we'll make San Francisco before the north pacific high collapses in early fall and thus our southerly voyage down the west coast promises more headwinds, but that's ok as there are plenty of nice harbors to visit along the way.

That's it for now.

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