Establishing a Routine (Day 4)
29 March 2011
John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: 16.22452 Longitude: -110.9875
Now that we are well into our fourth day at sea we seem to be settling into a bit of a routine. It also helps that we are getting used to our watch schedule. Basically everyone is up by around 9:00am. Bruce either makes breakfast for everyone, or sometimes each person gets his own breakfast. Today I made myself a nice bowl of oatmeal and raisins with sliced banana on top. After breakfast we have been doing boat projects and smallish tasks. Bruce worked on figuring out why the radar was working intermittently (turns out it needs a lot of power to operate, so when our batteries are a little low it cuts out) and I cleaned up the galley and dishes. Next comes lunch, usually prepared by Bruce (could be something like sandwiches, tacos, hot dogs, or hamburgers). After lunch is a good time to get some computer work done and get on the internet. Yesterday I answered a bunch of technical support emails and checked on a small bug in ReservationKey, in addition to updating the blog and checking weather.
By this time it is getting to be about 4 or 5pm which is a good time to take a shower. I have been pulling up buckets of salt water and dousing myself with that while sitting on the rail near the foredeck. Then I soap up and re-douse with salt water. The final step is a freshwater rinse with the shower nozzle on the swim step. I find it very refreshing to wash off after a day of being sticky and hot. Next up is dinner which we have been trying to get ready by 7:45p or so, just before the 8pm net. This timing also works well for me being able to get some solid sleep before my watch begins. Last night Bruce and I switched watches so that he is on watch from midnight to 3am and I am on watch from 3am to 6am. He prefers the midnight watch since he is a night owl and I found the 3am watch to be preferable as I was able to get almost seven hours of sleep before being on watch. Pascale and Francois have been covering 6p to midnight. Pascale comes up for watch again at 6am when I go off. Now repeat this schedule for about 20 more days and we will be there.
During my watch last night the autopilot went into standby due to low battery power. We ended up doing an accidental tack until I figured out what went on. To bring our batteries back up I ran the engine for about 30 minutes. I also hand steered for awhile just for the fun of it and to get better. It can be tough holding a course in the dark, relying primarily on the compass. There was a bright glow about 30 degrees to starboard and I was able to use that as a reference also. It looked surprisingly similar to what we previously though were the lights of Cabo San Lucas. After awhile the glow got stronger and I was easily able to make out the lights of what was probably a fishing boat. I tried raising them on the VHF radio, but no response. The boat passed us going the opposite direction on our starboard. The previous night what we thought were city lights probably actually were a fishing boat just over the horizon.
Our excitement for the afternoon was discovering some random wires sticking out of our mast. It turns out we found the rats nest of strings and cables that was giving us so much difficulty a few weeks ago when we were trying to run the cable for our mast head camera. I was able to pull out most of the string but discovered that the cable connected to our wind instruments was partially worn through, probably due to our struggle to run cables earlier. I taped it up with sail tape and hopefully the lines we have in there won't eat it up any further.
We continue to make good progress. The spinnaker helped keep our boat speed around 7 knots all day yesterday. Currently the wind is light and we are doing around 4 knots under main sail and full jib.