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Monday, July 21, 2014

Underway Day 26 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

July 21, 2014 @ Noon boat time (UTC July 22 @ 0000)

Day 26 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

Day 13 at sea since our last anchorage at Bikar atoll, Marshall Islands.


Underway position: 34 08 N 175 18 W

Distance:
140nm day/2143nm trip total

Course 000T
Speed 5.5

Weather:
Wind 6 @ 135T
100 % Cloud cover
1020 mbar
Air temp 81F
Sea temp 76F

We ran out of wind yesterday and stated motor sailing and then dropped all sail when the wind went to 3 knots true and stayed that way overnight. An overnight squall brought welcome rain to rinse off the salty decks and we only saw one ship in the last 24 hours.

An east setting current has us steering 345T for a course made good of due north. This further sullies our ability to harness the light winds as they're too far aft to build any apparent wind. Yes, we could be sailing, but with enough fuel aboard for 3 days of discretionary motoring at 5 knots with a 1 day reserve we choose to keep moving. I'm hopeful we'll find some wind soon as it's much more pleasant to sail than listen to the motor humm.

Since Midway island we've been in the constant company of Albatrosses. Usually pairs swooping and gliding close to the swells working the ground effect for lift, always on the lookout for their next meal. Albatross, while rearing a new chick, might forage for weeks before returning to feed the chick a liquid meal of predigested biofuel like fish oil. At any given moment a quick scan of the horizon will reveal at least one albatross. I have a theory that sail boats aggregate birds as the white sail can be seen for miles and the birds fly over to investigate under the presumption that the sail is a mass of feeding birds. Based on the many hundreds of birds we see each day, it unlikely that we're observing the average density per mile.

The water temperature has dropped degrees since noon yesterday and the air temperature as well. Kathy broke out a fleece blanket as overnight temperatures in the cabin dropped to a chilly 78F! We're definitely in for a shock when it really starts getting cold! After spending two summers in the equatorial tropical heat and humidity, it's an unusual sensation to feel cool or to have non-sweaty skin. Kathy remarked yesterday that she was enjoying a great hair day as her hair wasn't frizzy with humidity for the first time in nearly 3 years, but instead enjoyed a curl and bounce that was long forgotten in the absence of drier air.

This morning I made a hearty potato, sausage, cheese omelet to help us ward of the chill morning air. LOL

We had a big fish strike that took a bit of line or at least we hooked something that took a bunch of line. We've seen more trash on this trip than any other, maybe the plastic trash gyre is for real, but I think it unlikely that we'll run into an island of trash. So far a 12" plastic fishing float, a 5 gallon bucket, a 12 oz plastic bottle, a plastic milk crate, a plastic bag, a few bits of Styrofoam, a 2'x3' green plastic tote and a few other tiny bits. After the strike I deployed a second fishing line hoping to catch some dinner and we even circled back to fish a 3 degree thermocline, but no luck yet.

The ever generous Dave Bechtel of Seattle based *Bluefin Marine* offered to mail us some warm clothes and possibly track down a toggle for our broken rigging. Thanks Dave!

We're still looking for the toggle, so Dave Bechtel if you can help us out with this that would be awesome. Clothes wise I think we'll survive, but thanks for the offer again. If you don't find us a toggle, that's ok too, so far our jury rig is holding up, but has yet to be tested by any real weather.

Toggle dimensions: 1-1/4" wide X 1-3/4" tall x 1/8" thick. The hole for the 1/2" pin looks to be 17/32" in diameter and the slot at the top is 7/16" wide. The toggle is a 'U' shaped and typical of what one would find on a standard 1/2" 'Gibb' turnbuckle.

It would need to ship USPS priority mail to:
David Kane
General Delivery
Main Post Office
Dutch Harbor, AK
ZIP CODE UNKNOWN


Tonight, it's pepperoni, sausage, onion, garlic and black olive pizza with a side of canned asparagus.

Adak in the mid-Aleutians is looking like the most likely landfall.

That's it for now.

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