Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View
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Eric & Sherrell
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Posted on Thursday Apr 18, 2013
The wind is still blowing and the seas are a washing machine mix of NW and NE with some E and some SW just for fun. With a double reefed main and the staysail we are managing 5.5 knots through the slop. Last night Michael got doused by a wave that came into the cockpit. He was wearing waterproof gear fortunately but it's never fun taking a night time salt water shower.
We are closing in our half way point and currently we are west of the contential United States.
I made chili last night but not without some difficulty. Everything was rolling and bouncing around. My bowl full of dried beans took a tumble, sending beans everywhere inside the boat. I think we'll be finding them for months. Then as I was working on the seasoning, the entire bottle chili powder tipped over and dumped out. That was a huge mess. And if that's not enough, when I served my bowl, I turned to put the lid back on the pot as we rolled really hard the bowl which was on a non skid pad didn't slide, but rather just tipped over and dumped out my chili. Great. The chili turned out good and it's nice for this cold weather.
And it is cold. I'm wearing nylon layer with polor fleace and then full foul weather gear on top with a winter hat. I was finally able to do my night shift without shivering. There's been no sun for days making things cold, gloomy and damp.
Posted on Wednesday Apr 17, 2013
We did 130 miles in the last 24 hours and are on target to repeat that again. The down side it is very uncomfortable and COLD. Freezing cold. I'm in full foul weather gear and we had a light cold sprinkle to top off our 20-25 knots of NE wind.
It's a bumpy ride and we're hanging on tight.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 16, 2013
We've finally picked up some more wind and have been moving nicely for a while now. We are officially further west than Seattle now (a personal goal). In this trip though we still have many miles to go. In fact we are not even half way there yet. Theoretically the winds should be better and better as we get further out into the ocean. They are starting to turn NE slowly which is a good sign. The forecast shows 10-18 knots for the next couple of days. Hopefully we'll be able to settle in and make some miles.
We're experimenting with our watch schedule so we're doing something like a 8/8/4/4 for longer sleeping intervals. That is 7pm-3am, 3am-11am, 11am-3pm, 3pm-7pm. I've found that every boat does something different when it comes to watches because it all depends on the crew and often the conditions. We need a nother day or two to adjust to the new schedule to see how it goes.
So far the food is holding up well. We no longer have: bananas, grapefruit. Everything else is still fresh because the weather has been cold and cloudy. Mid day temperature is 71F...burr.
Posted on Monday Apr 15, 2013
The last couple of days the winds have been really light. I think we've only managed about 75 miles a day. However we got some wind last night and this afternoon so we are moving again. The forecast shows more wind tomorrow from the NE! This will be nice change from NW. When it does blow we've been walking on the walls due to the healing. No complaints though.
We've been completely becalmed several times to the point where the ocean turns glassy and that is worse than "climbing" round the bucking boat when it blows.
It really is hard to believe how much water is out here until you try crossing it at walking speed. It seems endless and the depth beneith us right now is about 13,952 feet.
Posted on Saturday Apr 13, 2013
We are manging to make at least about 100 miles a day even though the wind is terribly light. Right now we are doing only 2.8 to 3.3 knots. However at times the wind picks up and wisks us along at 5.1 knots like it is right at this instant.
We have our tow generator out, but it doesn't seem to be producing much power for some reason. It's a bit hard to separate because it is wired into the solar right now. It would be nice if we could produce some extra power during the night so we have extra to spare for watching movies, etc. I'll look at it closer once it is dark and the solar power isn't mixed in with the numbers.
Mostly we have been reading and playing a few games while we watch the endless ocean pass under us. The days are starting to blend together just like the view. I saw a massive meteor last night that lit up the sky and exploded into dust. It crossed most of the visable sky in less than 3 seconds so it must have been moving at an incredible speed, unlike us. One day at a time, right?
The ocean is beautiful and clear blue out here. Ocassionaly we see a bird or two and wonder what they are doing out here. It feels like the middle of the middle of nowhere, but then a ship shows up and tries to run us down. In fact just when I thought we had escaped most of civilization, the VHF crackled to life with "This is Vessel Assist. Are you in an emergency situation?" And the garbled answer followed. This could only have orginated from California which is about 800 miles north of us. A 25W signal going 800 miles is pretty impressive and rare. We haven't heard any other blips since that one.
Posted on Friday Apr 12, 2013
The winds continue to be light, but there has been enough for us to make about 108 miles in the last 24 hours. So we are doing ok. Right now we are going between 3 knots and 5 knots with the nylon drifter up in place of the genoa. The winds continue their pattern of surging and then abating just they are pretty week between 5knots and 9 or 10.
Fortunately we've been able to keep the boat moving without use of the engine. However the drifter is making a strange sound in the bow sprit which I've been unable to figure out. That always makes me a bit nervous. With about 2200 miles to go to Hilo we are slowly approaching the 1/3rd mark, perhaps tomorrow we'll hit it.
The forcast continues to be for light winds for several days :(
Posted on Thursday Apr 11, 2013
So what's the deal? 450 miles off shore and a ship comes from a bearing of 30 degrees off our stern and is crossing within 0.2 nm of our position. We haven't seen anything for almost 2 days and this guy shows up and tries to run us down. We tried hailing them (Northern Pola) on the radio with no response. Then we had to drive off course for about 2 miles before we were sure he would miss us. I thought we would be alone out here away from those guys.
On the plus side we have been making good progress and keeping good speed. However at about 4pm today we completely lost the wind and after flogging for some time I did a fuel count and decided we can still motor some more.
Nothings worse than when you are ripping along at 6+ knots and then the wind dies.
The winds have been quite weird. They seem to surge up and down rythmically. I started timing them and found a regular interval of 2.5 minutes weaker and 3.5 minutes stronger. This seems to be most dramatic at night. During the surges we hit 5.7 to 6.3 knots. The tempo changes throughout the day and night with the day getting longer weak times. Pretty odd.
Posted on Wednesday Apr 10, 2013
We broke through. It's been over 24 hours since we've had to use the engine. We have a nice N wind now at about 15 knots and we are soring (5+ kts). Last night Michael rode a sleigh ride over 6 knots for several hours before I got up and switched sails to slow us down. It sure beats the WNW and NW winds we've been experiencing.
Hopefully we'll stay in the grove now and keep moving along. I'm really tired because the wind was up and down from 10 knots to 20 knots all night long and I kept trying to switch sails. Finally I just gave up and we went with the 20 knot configuration and just slowed way down when it was only blowing 10.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 9, 2013
We have been struggling to get away from the Mexico coast. There isn't much wind and what wind we've had has been out of the West or North West, which makes going west difficult. So we've been going SW. After a lot of frustration we have finally started to get some wind. In fact we've been sailing since 7 am this morning and right now are doing 5.1 knots at 253 degrees true.
The wind has finally become more favorable, but is still quite variable. As we move further offshore we expect to see more consistant winds with some more northerly component.
Michael my crew mate has been doing a great job and his spirits are high -- a very key item. Jordan too is doing well. She sleeps with us on our off watch and she has even been playing a little.
Hopefully we are out of the worst part of the no wind zone. Best of all we are finally out of all the giant shipping vessels. Having AIS on board for the first time has taken the horror of dodging ships in the dark. It's something we should have splurged for long ago.
Posted on Saturday Apr 6, 2013
We are starting our multi-week trip to Hawaii today. Wish us fair winds and following seas. We'll try to report from time to time as we travel with our position. We will also be reporting into pacific seafarer's net as we head along.