The Low that would not go.
02 September 2013 | 42 18.2'N:132 43.2'W, 498nm from Wa
Position and Weather Report
Position: Lat: 42deg 18.2" Long: 132deg 43.2 "
Predicted 24h position: Lat: 44deg 04.3 " Long: 130deg 34.4"
COG: 035deg SOG: 5.3kts
Baro: 1007mb 24h range:1005-1007 Wind: W 22kts 24h range:17-32kts Waves: W 2-3M Sails furled Present gph 2.5
Summary: Conditions improving. Wind shifting to W from WNW. Able to maintain course RL to Neah Bay since this morning. 498 nm to waypoint.
24h summary as of 18:00 utc Fuel used:60g Gal/hr 2.5 Fuel at destination:1088g Distance made good:145nm Ave. Speed:6.0 kts MPG:2.4 Fuel remaining:1308 Max range:3139nm Range to Destination:528nm Reserve Range:2611
Lee wrote this morning and confirmed that the low pressure system is hanging out just to the NE of us, being held in place by low pressure at high altitudes and surrounding high pressure. If we wanted a better ride, we could continue E and sneak up the low's Eastern skirts which, because of counter clockwise air movement, would give us Southerly winds pushing Shearwaters ample behind up the coast. (sorry for mixing any number of metaphors and images) I asked Lee, and he confirmed, that the hypotenuse route directly to Neah Bay would be OK as the low continues to weaken, but we will have winds and seas on our beam, no worse than what we have already experienced. Yesterday afternoon and last night were the most impressive sea state of our trip so far. Waves just aft of our beam varied in size and shape but many were higher than the pilothouse roof and caused a fair amount of rolling despite the excellent paravane function. We ended up falling off 10 to 15 degrees to get the weather behind us a bit, giving us a way more comfortable ride, especially in the dark when you are blind to what is coming.
Dinner was big succulent Idaho baked potatoes with chili, cheese, onions, salsa, and greek yogurt in the absence of sour cream. As always, we ate out of big bowls and timed our forkfuls to get the "plane in the hangar" so to speak. Cerebellar dysfunction and poor hand-eye (or hand-mouth) coordination could lead to malnutrition on this trip so far. Everyone agreed that it was the perfect solution to heavy weather eating for which the benefit of a hot comforting meal cannot be understated. Wade has also perfected the hot cocoa on watch routine. He found Nestle Rich Hot Chocolate in Costco sized containers and two heaping tablespoonfulls will make for easy sipping during our 3 hour watch. The only question is if it should be prescribed q3h for the watch duration or q1h as part of the engine room check protocol. Judging from the rate of depletion of huge tin #2, I suspect the latter.
Birds continue to be our company. The albatross I mentioned was a gorgeous flier and this morning a shearwater came flying by and actually hovered over MV Shearwater and was giving us what I assumed to be an admiring once over. John who has seen many, many shearwaters in his long history of open ocean travel was surprised as he has never seen this type of behavior. Makes perfect sense to me as this is a fine looking member of the seagoing clan. Maybe he was confused by a duck masquerading as a shearwater.