Monday, July 12, 2010

June 20, 2010, 09:36 PDT

N 43°38’, W 127°19’

It’s been a couple of days since I last made an entry here and that’s for several reasons. First, nothing much is happening at this point. We’ve been on the same course, give or take 5 degrees, for the past three or four days. We haven’t been able to see land since our first overnight so there are no distinguishing features out here to comment on aside from the fact that the Pacific Ocean is an amazing shade of blue out here. I have to look up what cerulean blue looks like because that name keeps popping into my head.

Secondly, it’s been a very bumpy ride. We‘ve had a western swell for pretty much the entire time we’ve been out here and at times additional swells from different directions have joined in, making the ride even less comfortable. Given that, the last thing I’ve wanted to do was sit down and make a journal entry.

Lastly, all it seems I do want to do is eat and sleep. After each three hour watch, I usually crawl into bed and try to get as much sleep in as possible. During my watches, I find myself snacking constantly on nuts, trail mix, granola bars and chocolate and drinking copious amounts of water. The latter is a double edged sword in that I need the water to stay hydrated and fight off fatigue; however it comes at a cost of having to strip down every time I need to use the head. Sailing attire, at least during this portion of the journey where we haven’t hit the trade winds and the tropical weather yet, is much like snowboarding attire and requires forethought.

We’ve seen a couple of sea lions out here which is weird considering how far offshore we are. The fact that there are sea lions out here would suggest that there might be fish out here as well but I haven’t had any luck in that department. To be honest, I haven’t made any concerted effort to fish yet; all I’ve done thus far is throw the line out with a lead minnow hook attached and hoped for the best. And the best has resulted in a twisted mess on the baler. That looks like a project for this afternoon!

We’ve also seen some porpoises. They seem to arrive just when the worst wind and wave combinations present themselves to us and so I view their arrival as sort of a comical relief to the otherwise stressful situation at hand. You gotta keep your glass half full at all times in this environment, otherwise you might lose it.

Richard might have seen a whale, but I cannot confirm this as I didn’t see anything.

The cloudy skies are beginning to break apart and it looks like we might see some sun in a few hours. This will not only serve to brighten our spirits, but it will also give the solar panels a chance to do their thing and top off the batteries. We’ve had to run the engine for a bit over the past few days in order to keep the batteries charged since we haven’t had many hours of sunlight available.

Speaking of running the engine…we have only run the engine during that one overnight discussed previously and for a few random hours here and there when it was prudent to do so in order to make headway during a particularly rough patch of water. Otherwise, we have been quite lucky in that the winds have become not only predictable, but also favorable. Right now we have 12-15 knots of wind from the northwest which is allowing us to cruise along at 5.6-6.2 knots on course.

The sun has definitely broken through the clouds and I think I’m going to take this opportunity to refuel my batteries.

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