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The Adventures of SV Mulan
one last bash
Andrew
11/09/2010, 145 miles from Cape Flattery

the weather is having the last laugh - we are bashing away as a low passes over us, and green water washes over us! Not too bad - about 25 knots on the beam, but the swells have built. Also raining . Welcome back to the pacific northwest. The gribs tell us it will dissolve into nothingness in the next few hours, which is too bad as we are making good speed today! cheers, team mulan

windless, again
Andrew
10/09/2010

no recent blog postings as hf propagation has been very poor. we have been having good winds for the past couple of days, buit our luck just abandoned us, 340 miles off the washington coast. that's why I'm on the computer in the dead of night - trying to get a connection to pull down weather gribs. we got excited a couple of days ago - believing our gps was lying - when we spotted a good ol' Georgia Strait type log and a seal. not sure what they were doing 600 miles out to sea, but we were on the high alert for land, just in case. cheers, team mulan

progress
Andrew
06/09/2010

We have finally ended up in the right place relative to a high pressure system, and have been trucking along downwind on the lay-line for Cape Flattery. Yesterday's 131 miles DMG (distance made good - i.e. actual progress to where you want to be, and often very different than boat speed) was the best of the passage so far. Wind has now veered slightly to the west, so we have picked up some extra speed. yay. Fresh tuna with rice & black beans. Yeesh, we are suffering on the food front. In the dead of night last night another giant freighter passed by - 0.18nm long! We are definitely in the shipping lane, as 6 out of 8 have passed within 2 miles of us. Keeps us alert! Cheers, Team Mulan.

AIS revisited & other stuff
Andrew
04/09/2010

My enthusiasm for using AIS as a defence strategy are previously reported, but today, a big honking container ship was coming right at us. We initially slowed down to let him pass ahead by more than the 0.2 miles the AIS indicated, even though he was still over the horizon. But then a funny thing happened - he changed course. Wow, someone on their bridge was watching out, and saw little ol' Mulan up ahead before they had a visual. Cool. Yesterday, a freighter passed us that listed its length in mile terms - 0.179nm. It was like watching a small mountainous nation stated slide by. Today we are motoring NNE again in search of wind. Stay tuned. The GRIBs indicate that is where it will be later today. Paul caught a fish this morning - we think it is an albacore tuna, but it doesn't show in Grant's Guide. Maybe Aussies don't do albacore.

stuck
Andrew
03/09/2010

stuck...in the middle of the north pacific, as we get sucked into the next big high. On the bright side, we have finally seen some ships - three freighters, two of which came within 1.2 miles. The 2nd we changed course for, as he was 884 ft longer than us! And finally, after hurting my eyes looking at every sunset for the past year, the other night I saw the green flash. cool. Last night we blew out the genoa halyard (why does stuff always happen at 3am!). As the spare halyard is not configured the same way. we don't want to run the risk of the big sail getting wrapped in the furler, so we have hoisted the smaller heavy weather jib. and you guessed it, we are now in light winds and could really use the big sail. maybe time to try the iron jib and head north, again. Finally (to get all the bad news out), the giant bag of peanut m&ms has run out. Another crisis to deal with. cheers, Team Mulan.

high, what high
Andrew
01/09/2010

The high that has been camped out causing us to struggle towards its northern frontier in order to sail east, decided to head out of town just as we scented victory. Chased out by a mean old low and associated front, that had us doing some interesting middle of the night gybes to cope with its associated wind shifts. We are now headed east, but will gain some more northing as soon as winds permit. Getting cool - have cracked out the winter woolies and sleeping bags. Cheers, Team Mulan

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