Wade the Wizard
29 August 2013 | 38 50.3'N:144 27.3'W, 1021nm from Wa
Position and Weather Report Position: Lat: 38deg 50.3" Long: 144deg 27.3 " Predicted 24h position: Lat: 40deg 23.3" Long: 142deg 02.2" COG: 051deg SOG: 6.4kts Baro: 29.92 24h range: 29.72-29.92 Wind: NNW 7kts 24h range: 3-19kts N to NW Waves NNW 2M gentle swell Sails furled Paravanes in Present gph 2.4 Clouds:15% cumulus Summary: You called it Lee. Lovely conditions at latitude of San Francisco. Winds backed off and swell is gentle. How do patterns look for our 2nd half of the trip?
24h summary Fuel used:62g Gal/hr 2.6 Fuel at destination: 1060g Distance made good: 136nm Ave. Speed: 5.7kts MPG: 2.2 Fuel remaining: 1543g Max range: 3395nm Range to Destination: 1062 Reserve Range:2333
This is more like it. Wind light and variable. Gentle residual swells. Easy motion without items launching from countertops while cooking. (knife storage especially important) Much cooler than lower latitudes. Have started fishing again to see what lurks in these waters. Looking forward to catching an albacore in Pacific NW waters. Have never caught one before. Just hooked a small marlin which threw the hook on the first jump as Wade watched from the pilothouse roof.
On a technical note, Wade noticed decreasing power to the SSB (single side band radio) on his daily check in to the Pacific Seafarers net. The radio gets it power from the 12v genset start battery which was found to be near fully discharged. Chief engineer Biggs investigated the problem and discovered that the AC charger to the genset start battery was wired to an electrical bus which required either shore power or generator power to function. Since we have had neither source active on our trip so far, with use of the SSB, the battery ran out of juice. Wade found another bus which has 220V supplied by the Victron inverter/charger so we can now charge the genset start battery while underway from the house battery bank which is constantly charged from the large engine alternator. Dave Nagle will remember Ander's orange emergency power source used to start the genset on earlier trip for the same problem. Once the charge was sufficient, we started the genset which has its own alternator and will finish charging up its own battery! Now laundry is washing, water is heating, the SSB is functional and all is good on Shearwater. Wade pointed out that on NOAA ships the engineer is paid more than the captain. I immediately offered him all my pay and a promise to bake brownies this afternoon which seemed to keep him happy at least for a while.
On a progress note, we have crossed the half way mark. We hope that only good weather will follow us into Puget Sound. Last night we took sextant sights in 3-4M seas thinking that with this practice, sights in more quiet conditions will be a snap. Will do the calculations later this morning and see how we did. John uses the sextant like a concertmaster his Stradivarius. Mark is committed to repetition until we are competent navigators. Good duo to hang around with.
On an eating note, we cooked up a batch of lemon garlic shrimp pasta with grated parmesan and a cucumber vinaigrette salad. As before, we seem to have overstocked the boat, and I can hear my responsible shopping daughter, Eliza, scolding me as she has after any number of Costco impulsive shopping trips. On a historical maritime note, we discovered an unopened bag of red kidney beans from Western Family, when put into a bowl to soak, had more than expected movement even in these sea conditions. Closer inspection with reading glasses revealed a colony of weevils swimming among the beans. Brought to mind the "lesser of two weevils" joke in "Master and Commander". Survey of other unopened bags of beans was negative so beans and weevils were jettisoned overboard without ceremony but we remain on high alert, perhaps MARSEC level orange.
Daily 4 handed hearts game is now firmly established. The North Pacific Ocean environment has revealed the ruthless nature of certain crew members as their thin veneer of social decorum has been increasingly eroded by salt spray, incessant wind and constant pounding.