Friday, August 9, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Day 10 Wednesday July 24, 1800 hours The one that got away
N 34°08 W 149°34 24 hour run 127 miles
As the sky lightened, pale blue and calm I tied a purple sparkly cedar plug to the fishing line, checked the action and set it out trailing behind the boat. I went belowdecks, and stated our morning routine. A kiss, coffee on the stove, check the mileage. Once Cristina rolled out of the bunk we went topsides to look around, and the fishing line was pulling down and to starboard. A fish! I scrambled to the back, crouching under the solar panel and began to haul in the line. There it was, shining and shimmering down deep, surging to the starboard with strength. A dorado? I pulled it higher. No, it was torpedo shaped. I got it up along side where it turned on its side and glided along beside us, we'd hooked a tuna. It had long pectoral fins, we imagined it was an albacore, and oh did it look delicious. The cockpit was a mess, I didn't have my knife or gaff or bonker out, so I tied off the line, figuring the fish would drag along at 5 knots for a while and tire himself out. We stowed all the cushions and got our gear ready. Just as I was crawling back to the cleat I saw the fish surge, splash and with a flip of his body, he spit the lure out and swam away. There I was with an empty line in my hand, and a dull ache in my stomach.
Day 11 Thursday July 25, 1800 hours Half Way
N 35°34 W 147°44 24 hour run 124 miles
We're now in the middle, 1150 miles from San Francisco, 1100 miles from Hanalei. It feels like Hawaii is far, far behind us, but in reality it would be easier to turn around and downwind there. But we're suffering from the grass is greener syndrome. We've got our sights on the Bay. We're reminiscing about the time we spent there, and the friends we'll see again soon. We left Hawaii at just the right time, just when things were getting comfortable, when friendships were being cemented, but everything was still fresh and new and exciting. The Golden Days at Ala Wai, is what we refer to it now. Waking up early to surf, biking to work, working on kayaks, biking home just in time for the sunset and a beer. Good friends and sharing good food and stories. Stories of travel, dreams of the world.
The hardest thing about life is connecting with great people and then sailing on. Now we're here in the middle, sailing by the stars, sailing by the sun. We experience each day as it comes, each squall and wind shift, every mile to the east, every mile to the north. We're focused on the here, on the now of sail trim, watches and meal preparation. The days have blended into one and the trip has taken on a dreamlike haze, a timeless repetition of waves and sunsets and wind. We approach the Golden Gate with both dread and excitement. We're afraid to wake up and find that this has all been a dream. We're anxious to feel the continent under our feet, to plant and build and work again.
We've had good wind for several days now. We're fast approaching the high. It appears to stretch across our path for several hundred miles from north to south. We've picked a point above San Francisco to aim for. We're hoping the high will shift below us, but if not, we're preparing to hit it like the A-Team, powering up the motor and hanging on we'll bust through. Then we'll find the NW winds that run down the continent. Once we reach those it'll be a straight shot for the Golden Gate. But first, to reach the high, and cross it. We're downloading weather data again now as we search for the way through.
Current Position 7/26 1000 hours N 36°21 W 146°33
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Day 7 Sunday July 21, 1800 hours Becalmed
N 31°10 W 155°04 24 hour run 90 miles
In the night the wind threw in the towel and quit on us. We dropped the sails and motored, slowly, all night and all day. We headed east searching for the corridor of wind the GRIBs (weather data files) promise lies between the low NW of us and the high to the NE.
We sat on the bow, dipping our feet into the still warm water as we motored along. The water is clear, a bottomless blue that absorbs the shaft of sunlight refracted by the surface disappearing below us. Jelly fish, plankton, little flappy animals, mosslike algae all float by. Small pieces of trash have been increasingly evident, fishing floats, rope covered with marine growth, pieces of bottles and broken plastic. Nothing big so far.
Glassy waves stretched out into the distance. From the south, gliding easily along the tops of the waves approached an albatross. He circled twice, rose up and then came down off the bow with a splashy landing. He sat there watching as we puttered past. Then, he unfolded his huge wings, at least 4 feet across, flapped them awkwardly against the water, paddling the surface with his feet as well as he pushed himself out of the water and back into the air. Airborne his grace returned and he glided up and down over the waves off into the distance. Goodbye big guy.
Day 8 Monday July 22, 1800 hours Rotten Potatoes
N 31°10 W 153°23 24 hour run 90 miles
As the sun crawled up over the ring of clouds on the horizon, a breath of wind stirred us from our motor induced lethargy. We pulled all the sails up, engaged the windvane, shut down the engine and stowed the autopilot. Then, a towering cloud built ahead of us, rising like the deathstar to block out the sun. We tried to turn but he'd engaged his tractor beam, and, unable to resist the power of the dark squall, we were sucked right into the evil mass. We were left with sails flapping again, as rain dribbled down over us.
Below decks things were no better, a smell was wafting around the cabin. Cris tracked it to the vegetable bin tied beneath the table. A couple of potatoes rotted from the inside and burst, oozing foul smelling puss all over. We cleaned the mess, and motored on into the afternoon waiting for our luck to change.
As the sun got low in the horizon a switch was turned on. The wind sputtered, gusted then filled to a steady 12-15knots from the SW. We set the jib on a stick, its foot held out by the spinnaker pole, and pulled the main out far over the side with the preventer and fell off, on a broad reach. We flew along doing 6+ knots. We've found the corridor of wind we were looking for. We're going to stay in it for as long as it lasts, hopefully 700 miles until we reach N40 W140 when we can turn for the Golden Gate.
Day 9 Tuesday July 23, 1800 hours Magic Carpet Ride
N 32°39 W 151°22 24 hour run 135 miles
We found it! As you can see from our days run we're sailing again. Bamboleiro has the wind she likes and we're cruising along on course to the NE. The wind is steady, there aren't too many squalls so we're just holding on as Bamboleiro blasts along. We partied today. Canned spinach scramble for lunch, then salami and artichoke pizza for dinner. We finished the beer.
We're not quite half way with miles, but hopefully we're more than half way with days. We're downloading more weather data, hoping it will show us a way to keep on sailing east towards San Francisco.
Thank you to everyone following along at home wishing us well.
Current position 7/24 1100 hours
N 33°41 W 150°07
All daily position reports and 24 hour runs documented at 1800 Hawaii time for those of you plotting our position along at home
Friday, July 19, 2013
Current position N 31° 29' W 158° 04'
Day 4: Putting on the brakes
N 30° 30' W 158° 22' 24 hour run 106 miles
After a pretty fast 146 miles run on day 3, we looked at the grib files and we saw that there will be a low crossing our path at about 35 N in a couple of days so we decided to slow down, and head up to see if we can go below it. So now we are heading NNE at 15°. On Saturday we plan on tacking when the winds change with the approaching low and we will try to do some easting.
Other than that, it's been a really pleasant day, with clear skies, light winds (10 knots + or -) warm weather, flat seas and a super comfortable ride even if we were beating. We made our first real meal; toss green salad with lettuce, pasta, avocados, tuna and cranberries. We were starving after 3 days of not much eating!