June 28, 2011
The following are a series of entries based on e-mail received from TouchRain to Jan Wilson here in Olympia—the two days not appearing in the series are posted as separate blogs:
Winds have lightened to about 6-8 knots and we are gliding along at about 5 knots. The sun is trying to poke through the clouds and fog for the first time in days. That would be uplifting and a boost to the old battery banks.
P.S. Wind back up and we are sailing at more than six knots.
RE: GPS Failure We have multiple back ups, on laptop, two handhelds, old chartplotter, and even Brendan’s Iphone. Not a problem now, but we’ll want it when we explore the nooks and crannies of Alaska.
I baked chicken and potatoes for the boys last night. Good meal for a cold gray evening. Thanks.
Wind is picking up and we appear to reaching the westerlies, above the high. We are just north of SF, just over 1,000 miles from Hawaii. So we have a bit less than 1,500 left to go. We did actually gain on our companion boat, witte raaf, which surprises me. We are about 200 miles ahead of them but left about 20 hours before them.
Chartplotter GPS is not working and I cannot diagnose. Basically makes Chartplotter useless. If you can find an email address for Raymarine technical support, that would be helpful. I need to know if there is any reason the unit (Raystar 125) could be getting power (I tested at the head) but not have any lights blinking, other than a defective unit
Every night we look for the green flash, but we have not seen it yet.
Winds lightened up again to about 6 knots, but we are still sailing. Have used about 10 gallons of fuel. Tank holds 50 and we have 20 in jugs.
We’ve had a very nice sailing day, capped off by some watermelon! Thanks. The boys salute you.
We motored part of the night but the winds came back up a bit. We are gliding along at 5 knots under sunny skies. Main and headsail. Seas pretty calm. What a change.
Light winds and slow moving, but we have engine off, the spinnaker up, and just had a visit from several dozen dolphins.
No wind. We must have hit the first high. Will motor for a while, then it’s drift, drift, drift. Will send more later.
Ben made some great Mexican hotdogs for lunch. Failing to find the ketchup, we used picante salsa. Was great.
We’ll, at least today we have the glorious sailing we’ve been waiting for. Blue skies, flatter seas (rolling) and 7 knots of boatspeed.
We have some taken some measures to deal with the bilge water issue that should hold us until Alaska. Glad I brought spares of a lot of stuff. Sailng has been very fine, if a bit rocky and bumpy on this close reach course. When we get near the high, it should be more downwind and a bit more comfortable. We’ve had a few other small hardware failures, but nothing significant. Monti is doing well.
We have been a bit preoccupied. Think Barra squared. There appears to be a design deficiency in the boat. The anchor below deck locker bilge pump is tied into the hose that drains the above deck anchor compartment. At a deep heel, the above deck does not drain overboard, but rather flows back into the anchor locker below deck. With all the green water we’ve been taking, that has meant many, many gallons of water flowing downward into the boat. They overwhelmed the new bilge pump in the below deck anchor locker and burnt it up. We are testing various alternatives now. With the forward cabin stripped — taking over the main cabin — and water being ferried through by the bucket load — some spillage in these seas — and you can imagine the living conditions. To top it off, on my 4 am watch, a “rogue” wave deposited 15 gallons down the companion way. We now keep the top closed.
the crew — remain in great spirits — Brendan summed it up as we were eating curried chicken last night. He said, “And why couldn’t we bring Jan along?”
We left yesterday, Wednesday, at about 1600. We have covered nearly 150 miles in less than a day, so the sailing has been fast. I have two young sailors with me, thank goodness, Brendan and Ben. We are all doing well. You can see our daily position reports on Yotreps. Just google it. We are Wdf3813. That is our ships call sign. We have slowed a bit, giving me a chance to write. We hope to be in Sitka in abo three weeks.