Moving Right Along (Day 5)
30 March 2011
John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: 14.9382 Longitude: -112.26482
Here are a few photos of the day. Things are pretty much the same today. We are enjoying the warm seas sailing under spinnaker, moving along at around seven knots. The day started out cloudy but we out sailed the clouds after a few hours.
Last night we had very little wind and unfortunately did not have the spinnaker up so we averaged probably around two knots over the course of 12 hours. We raised the spinnaker first thing in the morning which really increased our speed. Besides not making good progress when going slowly, the boat also rocks back and forth like crazy which makes for uncomfortable sleeping conditions. It is always a risk running the spinnaker at night because if the wind gets too strong we have to go onto the foredeck to bring it down, and in the dark, and with a big spinnaker blowing all over, that is easier said than done. If conditions remain as mild as they are right now, however, we probably will take the gamble and keep the spinnaker up tonight. Sometimes steering by hand, instead of using the autopilot can make for a smoother ride, so I hand steered most of my watch last night. It also helps pass the time and builds skill at holding a course by following the compass heading. Our batteries have been running down faster than expected at night, so hand steering also helps conserve some battery power. When our batteries get too low we run the generator or engine for awhile. The last couple of nights we have had to run one or the other for about one or two hours in order to keep the batteries topped off.
Bruce continues working on diagnosing why the radar seems to operate intermittently. Today he called the company that made the radar unit, Raymarine, with the satellite phone. He said the phone connection was perfect with no delay and great audio quality. We also tried using our other satellite system, our Iridium 9555 phone, but every time we try to call it says the phone can only be used for emergency calls. We have emailed our satellite support team for help with that issue. Since the Inmarsat is working so well we don't need the Iridium right now, but it will be good to have it operational as a backup system. It is preferable to call with the Inmarsat anyway since we pay $1 per minute versus $2 per minute with the Iridium phone.
I've set up a fishing pole and have a nice pink squid lure on the line. We are hoping for a nice sushi dinner tonight. We just finished a nice lunch of avocado and crab salad, and radishes with butter and salt, followed by tangerines. Our fresh produce is quickly becoming not so fresh so we are starting to consumer it at a faster rate. So far one cantaloupe melon and several oranges have spoiled.
Now, I'm off to work. Hopefully the technical support load is light today.