26 May 2012 | Halfway between Hawaii and SF
We're just about halfway home. Our trusty motor has been very helpful. We still don't believe the propeller is pitched right, but at least we're plugging away at 4+ knots through the water. We are very close to our originally planned courseline. The high seems to be moving south; we seem to be crossing the high now. That means really calm seas (no wind waves, just perhaps 2 feet of swell) and this looks very odd for the middle of the ocean. We are seeing quite a few floating trap balls of various colors: some white, some black, some orange. Probably these are from crab or lobster traps that broke off and are now just spinning around the gyre. Sean tried to pick one up but it was too heavy. He kept saying something or other about a treasure, but I couldn't understand him.
Any moment we are waiting for the wind to pick up. We aren't watching the weather very closely any more because we aren't likely to change course based on the weather. Sean says the only rule on the boat is to not wish for more wind. So Scott and I are hoping for more wind. Yes, it's a technicality, but we're engineers!
Some of you have asked why we are heading so far north. There are two reasons: First, the "great circle" route, the shortest distance between two points, is, in the Northern Hemisphere, going to take you a bit north. Second, the "pacific high", a summertime stationary high pressure system, rotates clockwise. We want to get over that to give us winds that are favorable. We have a lot of fuel, but not enough to motor the whole way, so we rely on average winds this month. Usually, where we are right now, there are winds from the east. We'll be heading northeast for another few days before we make our final turn toward SF.
Movie night is still our most talked about subject. The good news is that we are all getting along really well. The weather is just starting to turn cooler. Sean has the whole cockpit enclosed with canvas and screen. The air is about 60 degrees but it's a toasty 72 or so in the cockpit, and with the engine running it's still in the upper 70s down below.