Sunday, July 27, 2014

Underway Day 32 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

July 27, 2014 @ Noon boat time GMT -8 (UTC July 23 @ 2000)

Day 32 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

Day 19 at sea since our last anchorage at Bikar atoll, Marshall Islands.

Underway position: 49 30 N 175 41 W

179nm day/3078nm trip total

Course 345T
Speed 7.5

Wind 19 @ 120T
100 % Cloud cover
1021 mbar
Air temp 55F
Sea temp 54F

Kathy and I have been jokingly asking each other 'Are we there yet?' since about Midway Island about 10 days ago, with less than 24 hours to go it sure feels like only minutes remain.

We plan to arrive at Adak's Kagalaska pass at noon tomorrow and ride the north setting flood tide through the pass. From there, it's only a few hours more to the main settlement of ~100 people at Sweeper Cove. It be a few days until the current SE weather system blows through, so we're looking forward to meeting the locals, hiking and salmon fishing for a few days.

We're on pace to arrive earlier than necessary, so I just dropped the main and we're sluicing downwind with 2.5 meter following seas under jib alone. This sail plan affords an occasional surf into the low teens (just had one to 13.7), but not nearly as frequent or fast as a few surfs we had last night with the double reef main and full jib when we hit 16.8 knots. And 16.8 knots is based on a 10 second average, so our peak speed was probably a few knots faster. All good fun during daytime, but a little too much excitement for middle of the night in thick fog, so I reefed the jib which slowed our base boat speed by about a knot and greatly diminished our surfing frequency. Average speed the last 48 hours 7.4 knots and the best 12 hour average was 8.4 knots, not bad for a reach with true wind speeds between 13 and just recently 19.

Sea birds are becoming a common sight, I can see 2 albatross out the window now. One is resting on the water and the other is swooping between wave crests. Foggy today, but less so than before with 2 mile visibility, but NOAA is predicting more thick fog over the next few days and slightly stronger winds to 25 knots for our arrival tomorrow.

That's it for now.

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