So close yet so far - Wind Controls Everything
04/16/2012, 12 06'S:122 25'W, 14th Day out of Galapagos - 2300 miles under our belt, 960 to go
So Lisa and I have been going round and round about how many days at sea so far. She likes to count starting with the 2nd and I look at a day as being a 24 hour period. Likewise she likes to think of the time as in local from sun-up to sun-down whereas I think of the time in terms of Universal Time Coordinated or UTC or what used to be known as Grenwich Mean Time and in military terms Zulu time. I still look at the day time as being sun-up to sun-down but my clock looks at it based on UTC. So as we move further and further West, sunrise and sunset slide a little further back on the UTC time. As we crossed the 120th West meridian we actually slid into the Pacific Time zone and so as it happens we are in the same time zone as everyone back home. Today we are at the 122nd meridian and just about due South of the Longitude of Home. For all you in that range, look due South over the horizon and wave at us because tomorrow we will be due South of Astoria or Neah Bay. Anywa y, Lisa finally conceeded to changing her daily clock to cooincide with a Longitudinal time zone. Now her shift is from 2100 to 0100 local, mine is from 0900 to 1300 utc and no, one of us is still on watch.
As you might be able to guess, things were very slow last night. During my shift, I never saw the wind above about 10 kts and for a couple of hours it was down to 6. Six knots of wind only pushes this heavy boat along at about 1.5-2 kts. That is slow. One good thing is we crossed the magic 1000 miles to go and as I write this we are down to 968. Our weather files indicate we have two days of very low winds. Might be lucky to peak out at 16kts for brief periods. So we decided to try one more sail configuration. Today we set the main full on the starboard tac and then deployed the asymetrical spinnaker tacked to the starboard bow and clewed to the port sheet. Wind has climbed up to about 16kts and we are sleigh riding the waves with the wind at our back at 8 kts over water pointed directly at Hiva Oa. A new gremlin popped up last night about dinner time. The inverter/charger would not invert and give us any 110vac to run the microwave. We had shut down the generator about a half hour before with the voltage showing 13.9 on the batteries but the charger section showed it was in fault. Well when we tried to invert the DC to AC, the panel showed the battery voltage down to 11.6volts. I suspect the unit went stupid for a brief time so I turned off all power to the inverter/charger including the battery connection as a means of hard resetting the unit. When I tuned it back on and set it to invert, yep it worked. I am going to spend some time this afternoon checking all the battery connection and make sure they are all tight. First thing first though, making bread. Brauts on the barby and need some buns. All for now. John & Lisa
No News is Good News!
04/15/2012, 11 49'S:120 07'W, 13th Day out of Galapagos - 2300 miles under our belt, 1100 to go
Not much to report today. Only had one squall come through last night, and that was on my watch - of course. But it was pretty mellow as it came overhead. I could see it building once it had passed on by though.
We did see another fishing boat this morning - again, probably from Japan or there abouts. They came within about 2 miles of us and had AIS. I tried hailing him on channel 16, but got no answer. I wanted to find out how their fishing was going - as we have not gotten squat.
There is a pretty strong breeze today - a steady 20 knots out of the east. We have the spinnaker flying, and a double reef in the main. We are starting to see a lot of wearing on one of our jury-rigged jib sheets. We need to take a closer look at all our lines and see if there are a some other spots having the same problem.
So it has been 11 days now without running the engines! I think that's pretty cool. Just running up the generator once or twice a day for awhile to keep the batteries charged.
Hope everyone is doing fine. We will check in again tomorrow!
Wind at our Back
04/14/2012, 11 51'S:117 19'W, 12th Day out of Galapagos - 2115 miles under our belt, 1262 to go
Yesterday was mostly an uneventful day. We had wind at our back about 10 degrees off dead astern and it allowed us to fly wing on wing with the Genoa on the port and the main on a port tac. Made some good time for 18 kts of wind. We were set basically directly at Hiva Oa and made just short of 156 miles in the previous 24 hours. We are pretty much out of anything fresh. Have large smoked turkey breast and some ham for sandwiches before we have to dig into the tinned stuff. Haven't had much luck catching any fish and what is happening is a big one must be striking and breaking the line because every once in a while we pull in the line and there is no lure left. One of these times we'll get one. I think most of the time we are going a little too fast for the fish. We have an apple and some limes along with a couple of tomatos, onions, potatos, garlic and a large head of cabbage. Even though we have meat for sandwiches we have no bread so it is bread making day. Ah and we did mention the bread maker quit so that means making the bread by hand.
There seems to be a small role reversal. The old saying the male is the hunter, gatherer, fixer and the female's role is cleaning, cooking and sewing. Well Lisa has a gatherer role in she is trying to start some alfalfa sprouts and I am taking the cooking role as I will be making the bread. I guess roles were for the olden days.
So as I say every day is a new and different adventure although confined to those things on the boat. Lisa just finished a load of wash but the washing machine didn't want to stop. It took on a mind of it's own and the dial just kept spinning and spinning and would't unlock the door. I fixed it. Turned off the breaker then back on so she was able get her clothes out and hang them to dry. (Lisa's comment back: "That's not fixing it - it's still possessed!!")
The closer we get to our destination the more predictable the date will be. We have just a little over 1250 miles to go as the crow flies and we are averaging about 7.4 kts per hour (VMG) over ground as the crow would fly. Well that leaves us short of 7 1/2 days to Hiva Oa. Now one can look at the chart plotter one minute and the VMG (Velocity Made Good - to the destination) is 7.9 the next it might be 8.2 and the next it might be 6.5. So 7 1/2 may be 9 or it may be 7. Only time will tell.
Finally, I think in the beginning of this trip leaving the Galapagos, I had mentioned that when you comment on the blog it isn't something we can see until we have an internet connection. We also cannot get to our Orcinius.com account without internet. So when we post the blog it is a blind email being sent to a special email address that then replies back to me saying whether the update was posted. So hopefully when we get the internet connection in 7,8 or 9 days we will have a laugh and be able to respond.
John & Lisa
Wing On Wing
04/13/2012, 11 58'S:115 00'W, 11th Day out of Galapagos - 1965 miles under our belt, 1399 to go
We are definitely half way there, regardless of how you look at it - yahoo!! Counting down the miles now. We are sailing down wind, wing on wing, headed straight for Hiva Oa.
Last night was a great night - no squalls, and nice steady wind to move us along. We doused the spinnaker just before sunsent last night, but it gave us a bit of a fit first. The sock at the top of the sail was twisted around and woudln't slide down over the spinnaker. So we managed to pass the sock line back around the spinnaker a few times (not an easy feat!), but we got it done and it worked! If it hadn't worked, we weren't sure how we were going to get it down with out making a big mess and half of it going in the water. It is a big sail, so you can't just grab and stash it - especially in 18 knots of wind.
So not much else new around here. Just checkin in to let everyone know all is well.
Zipidy Do Dah
04/12/2012, 11 29'S:112 02'W, 9th Day out of Galapagos - 1763 miles under our belt, 1570 to go
So I hope Lisa has been taking care of all of you on the blog the last couple of day.
It seems like when it is time to do the blog I am up to my fanny in the swamp and the aligators are nipping at it. So the freezer gave up the ghost completely. Turned it off, cleaned it and have it cracked open to stay fresh. Any of the goodies that were in it have been moved to the main refrigerator or the outside refrigerator. Connected the outside refrigerator up to the DC circiut the boat was designed with but someone decided to disconnect in the breaker panel. Stays cold all the time now. Also have some gremlins in the inverter/charger system and the main DC power leads from the batteries to the mains panel. Dropping over 1/2 volts in about 8 feet of 0000 wire. Inverter/charger keeps going into overheat. Pulled the berth apart and uncovered the inverter to see if it needed more air. Seems to work today as it hasn't gone into overheat. Also recycled the main power switches off and on several times in case there was some corrosion on the contacts. Didn't help s o maybe we are loading it more than I thought.
We are finally really moving again. Looks like we can catch back up with those turtles that passed us in the last three days. New sail configuration dictated by the wind direction out of about 120 today. Got the main at double reef and are flying the heavier asymetrical spinnaker. With 17kts of wind we are moving right along at about 10kts over water. Speed over ground is a different story as the currents are not necessarily in our favor so it ends up leaving us with about 7.5-8 kts per hour towards Hiva Oa.
We have an emergency broadcast alarm on our boat to stir all hands on deck. At 0300 this morning when it was time for me to go on shift, Lisa decided to test the system to see if it works. Well the system works fine the net results were rather dissapointing, I didn't loose a wink. My swamp dream was disturbed by Lisa tugging on my leg to wake me and I thought it was the gremlin in the swamp.
So when I finally am awake and coming on shift, Lisa briefs me on the squals that had been running over the top of us. She said there hadn't been much rain and only a slight shift in the wind. Lucky me, it was my turn, the next squal lasted for about 1hr 45minutes, rained like the devil, packed some 30kts winds, and forced me to turn due south. It really was my turn because most of these go through in early to late night and usually on her shift. She isn't happy when they do.
So that is all the excitement for now and tomorrow will bring another day and with new and different challenges.