Friday, July 25, 2014

Northward Bound

Although I am not typically a superstitious person, I hesitate to comment about our progress.  Each time I did so on the way across the situation would change drastically within hours!  Oh, well, here we go.

We are 430 nautical miles out of Kauai and just beginning our fourth day of sailing.  Our progress is much faster than our speed of 120nm/day from Mexico, currently averaging 150nm/day on this leg.  We are aiming for a way point at 40 degrees north, where we will finally turn east towards Seattle.  Hopefully, the North Pacific High will stay out of our way and we wont have to motor like many of the other boats we have heard from making the same journey.  We are carrying enough diesel to motor close to 100 hours, but motoring on a sailboat can be very miserable because the boat is much less stable and the engine is so loud!

During the first two days of the trip I think that everything on board got wet.  Luckily, since leaving Santa Barbara last fall, most of our electronics are stored in ziploc bags and before leaving Hawaii we wrapped up all of our books in garbage bags anticipating a wet sail.  We were drenched for a few reasons.  First of all we were beating north (sailing close to the direction the wind and waves come from) and there was a lot of salt water coming over the bow and spraying whomever was on deck.  Also, for a large portion of those first two days it was raining, a parting gift from tropical storm Wali.  We also saw some lightening, but none close enough that we could hear the thunder.  Lastly, this one our own fault, in an attempt to cool down the cabin we left a port light open and got hit with a wave just right to get, what seemed like, the maximum amount of water that could possibly fit through such a tiny opening.  Things have dried out somewhat in the last 24 hours but there is still this damp, clammy feeling about everything.  Surprisingly, the weather here is much warmer than it was on our way to Hawaii, so we haven't yet suffered being wet and cold at the same time.

In addition to sailing up wind getting us very wet, it has also resulted in more bruises than I have ever had at one time.  Andrew, our crew member, actually bounced out of his bunk and onto the cabin floor, clearing the lee cloth rigged to keep him from doing just that!  Luckily, he was not injured.  I on the other hand received the most serious injury so far when I was cooking.  I had reached over the stove to grab a plate from the cabinet and suddenly the boat moved.  The gimbaled stove, excellent for keeping food in the pot while it is cooking, tilted in such a way that the top of the hot pressure cooker caught the underside of my forearm while I was desperately trying to figure out how to stay upright.  The burn, about 3''x1'', blistered immediately and is definitely the worst one I have ever had.  Luckily, we have a very extensive first aid kit and plenty of antibiotics on board if it comes to that.  Hopefully, when we make our turn towards Seattle in a few days things will calm down again and just living will not be such a challenge.

Miles traveled: 430
Fish count: 2 (Mahi Mahi)
Days until the big right turn: Hopefully less than 5!