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Rudy's Pacific Odyssey
Sail Changes
08/20/2010

Today has been a day of constant sail changes. The winds have lightened-up a little. First of all we took all the sail reefs out during the night Then we had the spinnaker up by 10:00 AM. The winds freshened so we took it down two hours later. We are on a port tack and the winds were backing on us to the point that we could not sail our proper course to Neaha Bay. So we have set the jib in a wing-on-wing position and that has worked fairly well. We are also "drying out" a little as there has been no rain for a couple days and the sun has been shining at least 50% of the time. We had a beautiful moonlight sail for a few hours last night as well.

Another problem with going downwind is that the wind generator puts out a lot less power. With the winds we have had to date, the wind generator and solar panel have provided all our power needs except for when we run the desalinator to fill the fresh water tanks. We have done that on only two occasions. So, we are really going green as they say. However, if the winds stay as they are we will probably have to run the diesel engine tomorrow to charge the batteries. The biggest power consumers are the fridge/freezer, HF radio, radar, lighting and navigation lights at night. We have used about 25% of our diesel fuel as we have only had to motor about 32 hours. Furthermore, despite all the cooking, we are still on the first propane tank. So, all-in-all our "carbon footprint" has been very low!

The other major change today was to reset the ships clock to Pacific Daylight Saving Time - what a shock that will be.. The treat tonight was a steak dinner with a special cauliflower preparation by the Captain. Another delight!

no ships seen and no fish caught today.

Hope to be in port by Saturday,
Rudy, Dave, Terry and Rob

Leg 12: Hawaii to Sequim
Lots of wind and waves
Crew
08/19/2010

Today was another day like the day before. Lots of wind and waves - just enough to make it uncomfortable in the cabin - and rather difficult cooking. But we are still eating well. Dave and Terry did the honors today with fish tortillas and other left-over's for lunch, and spaghetti with sausage meat sauce for dinner. To top that Rudy baked some bread and chocolate chip with raisin cookies-what a gourmet treat.

This evening on Dave's watch at the helm, Rod came up to take pictures of a Beautiful sunset through the reddish colored clouds, he looked to Port (left side of the boat) and shouted Whale, less than 100 feet from the boat. It was a very large dark grey colored whale much larger than the Orca Whales familiar to us in the San Juan Islands. We turned the boat away from him and a couple minutes later he surfaced again very close to the boat. This time Rod was able to photographs of the him.

We are now less than 300 nautical miles from the entrance to the Straits of Juan da Fuca and about 350 NM to Port Angeles our destination. All is well aboard Wind Child, we have a moonlight and starlight night to sail by in the early evening. We are looking forward to reaching our destination but have had a wonderful time.

Rudy, Terry, Rob and Dave

Leg 12: Hawaii to Sequim
ETA
Jean
08/18/2010

WindChild's crew is estimating an arrival in Port Angeles this weekend on Saturday around noon.
We will be planning a greeting party for them - details will be posted later...

(they're making pretty good time, but still 'rolling'...)

Leg 12: Hawaii to Sequim
500 Miles to go
Crew
08/18/2010

Wind Child is headed East. We are in 20 to 30 knots winds sailing at a course of 75 degrees true. The seas are about 6'. That means the height of the crest or top of the wave is 6' above the valley or bottom. When you are at the helm in the valley it is difficult to see over the crest of the wave. Steering is challenging but it is making better helmsman out of us. Rudy does it effortlessly and makes it look easy keeping on course. The crew is learning and doing better. Practice makes perfect and these conditions are ideal for improving our skills.

Last evening at dusk Rudy was at the helm, he shouted lights on the horizon. We checked the Radar and saw two blips. We adjusted course and sailed to the port of them - we kept them to our left. The crew waved on the first boat. We called them on our VHF radio and learned they are fishing for tuna and out of Westport WA. It is always great to see a friendly seaman on a passage. The night was black we could not see the moon. We are steering by compass and GPS to maintain our heading.

Rudy is making dinner for us. It includes sushi with wasabi as an appetizer during our happy hour with a beverage. Dinner is Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian dish including sausage, ham, rice, cabbage, carrots and oriental spices. Are you eating this well on the mainland at home? He takes care to make certain the crew's palette are met and exceeded. We are in a 5 star restaurant.

Today marked a full two-weeks at sea and we have about 500 NM left to go to Port Angeles. The winds and waves are challenging but manageable. Rudy states our passage has encountered wind and waves exceeding prior trips. We are making a fast passage and should be at port in good time, hopefully this weekend.

Rudy, Terry, Rob and Dave

Leg 12: Hawaii to Sequim
Weather Changes
Crew
08/17/2010

Distance traveled last 24 hours 129 NM

The weather sure can change quickly out here. Last evening we motored for 8 hours in the "lull between weather systems". Finally the winds veered to the north at 10:00 PM and by midnight we were struggling to reduce sail in 20-25 knot winds again. Shortly thereafter we encountered a number of commercial fishing vessels immediately ahead. We passed another couple fishing boats after daybreak. Then at 1100 this morning we passed another sailboat heading the opposite direction.

The weather forecast charts that we receive by email twice a day (Grib files) have been a great help to our navigation and route planning. We have found that the wind directions on these weather maps are very accurate, however in some cases like last night (and the first days out of Hawaii) the actual winds were much stronger than predicted. So, if the charts are good for the next few days, it looks like we will have a straight port tack all the way to the entry to the Straight of Juan de Fuca - in strong winds.

We are close-hauled, on a good heel and the boat is pounding a fair bit right now. We have had a double reef in most of the day. As Rudy says, the winds could drop a fair bit and we will still sail just as fast! However the crew is holding up well. It's a good thing we had the opportunity to eat three great weals yesterday - it's been back to cereal and sandwiches again today with roast beef and baked potatoes for supper.

The old salts,
Rudy, Dave, Terry and Rob

Leg 12: Hawaii to Sequim
Happy Campers
Crew
08/16/2010

Distance traveled last 24 hours 140 NM

We woke to foggy skies that partially burned off during the day. The sea is calm average wind 8 knots. We are flying the spinnaker sail and making about 5 knots.

For breakfast we had a Dutch Baby pancake made from scratch by Rudy "Delicious"!
For lunch fish taco's with Mahi Mahi that we caught yesterday by Rob. "Scrumptious"!
For dinner we just finished a "wonderful" meal of BBQ'd Mahi Mahi, 4 bean salad, rice and asparagus.
Rudy also made fresh bread which we will sample in the morning."Fresh Bread Aroma"
Rudy makes certain the crew eats well on Wind Child and we are happy campers.

Made fresh water from sea water today. The engine had to run for about 2 hours to make the water, the first time in 5 days for the engine to run. A side benefit is the engine heated water in a hot water tank to make fresh hot water This enabled us to take our lst hot showers. We smell better and are ready to go out out on the town.

Today we were surprised by a grey colored whale that surfaced for air about 200 feet form the boat. Rob was at the helm shouted whale of the starboard side which brought the crew from the cabin to the cockpit to watch for another whale surface. The whale came up to check us out, it was significantly longer than the boat.

All is well on Wind Child sailing toward Neah Bay and Port Angeles.

Rudy, Terry, Rob and Dave

Leg 12: Hawaii to Sequim

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