Saturday, July 19, 2014

Underway Day 24 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

July 19, 2014 @ Noon boat time (UTC July 20 @ 0000)

Day 24 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

Day 11 at sea since our last anchorage at Bikar atoll, Marshall Islands.

Underway position: 29 46N 177 32W

150nm day/1844nm trip total

Course 045
Speed 6

Wind 9 @ 166T
20 % Cloud cover
1020 mbar
Air temp 81F
Sea temp 83F

Light winds since noon yesterday topping out at 13 knots and as I write the last 2 hours the maximum has been 9 knots. We're running in wind mode at 80 apparent on starboard which is yielding a course of 045T which is keeping the boat moving, but 20 degrees east of our desired course. The calm conditions inspired lots of activity this morning. Blueberry muffins and sausage for breakfast followed by lots of boat chores. Kathy swept the floors and Dave mopped all the floors and wiped down the walls. Bed sheets changed, bathrooms were cleaned and the water maker was run for a few hours. After our chores we dropped all sail and had a nice swim giving the bottom of the boat a quick once over to ensure marine growth wasn't going to slow us down. Surprisingly the bottom was near perfect with zero goose neck barnacles and only some light slime above the normal waterline and the propellers were still perfectly clean.

It's a little spooky swimming in 5386 meters of water, more than once I glanced into the deep blue hoping I wouldn't find a curious or worse, hungry oceanic shark looking back at me. The water was superbly clear with only the occasional small jelly and a great treat after a busy morning.

We're now running the full main and full jib, but the light wind combined with some SE swell is backing the main every other wave. A slatting sail and trembling rig as the sail resets is not anywhere close to ideal, especially with the compromised lower shroud with the jury rigged toggle. However, we need to keep moving and I'd rather a slatting sail now than more exposure to passing low pressure systems by going slower.

Lots more sea birds today. We happen to have onboard an old National Geographic Magazine with a feature on Albatrosses whom breed and nest in great number at nearby Midway Island, thus our numerous sightings of as many as 3 at once.

That's it for now.

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