Friday, August 15, 2008


Position: lat N 37 40, long W 140 39
Heading (Course): 060
Winds: 18-19 out of the SE
Boat Speed: 7-8 kts
Water Temperature: 77.5 degrees (and dropping)
272 nm SE of AP5 where we will turn and head due East as we make our way back to San Francisco.

We Be Reachin'!

Our 04:00 – 08:00 night watch ended with a downpour of rain and winds blowing 20-25 kts. That crew came on deck to take the over then Matt went forward to reef the main while I worked the pit. Dropped dead in the quarterberth for a couple hours sleep then started reading about sail trim. So much to know.

Our current watch schedule has three 4-hour night watches (20:00 – 24:00, 24:00 – 04:00, and 04:00 – 08:00) and two 6-hour day watches (08:00 – 14:00 and 14:00 – 20:00). The schedule is on a 48-hour cycle so everyone pulls all the watches mentioned above in a two-day span of time.

I was somewhat dubious about the 6-hour watches when we exited the high sailing wing-on-wing on a broad reach. My wrists were sore from the wheel. Muscles strengthen, sails get reconfigured, and now we are reaching again which is a whole lot more comfortable. I started sailing by compass alone, gradually adding wind direction as I gained confidence at the wheel. Now I look straight ahead occasionally checking my heading and wind direction. My little trick is to find something in the sky (cloud, sun, or star cluster) to align with a fixed object on the boat. Things move so I check my heading from time to time then choose a new object. I try to avoid choosing birds.

Stuff I "get" now:
I hear a lot of phrases in the sailing community and like I wrote on the blog, I smile, nod my head, then shrug my shoulders. I mean, who is this Weather Helm anyway? Is she distantly related to Meredith Weathers? Here at UC Compromise, experience makes it real.

Weather Helm: I was at the helm on the 04:00 – 08:00 watch this morning. Rain kicks in big accompanied by winds blowing 20-25. The boat wants to round up to starboard so I plant my left foot as I EASE the wheel to port. Takes a lot of strength.

Round Up: see above. I always thought rounding up and down was just a bad thing that happened at a race.

Reef the Main: Relief crew came on deck. After turning over the helm, I assisted Matt from the pit while he went to the mast to take in a reef. So many lines (not rope, no sirree).

Shake out the Reef: No cannabis here. This is what relief crew hopes to do once the wind eases.

Reaching: That's my favorite!! No doubt about it, I'm an upwind driver. It helps that upwind driving is an easier more comfortable point of sail. Plus I get to do the "Compromise Curtsey" over the swells and that is fun stuff.

Sloop, Cutter, Ketch, Yawl, Schooner: Jeepers – I can tell the difference between these types of boats now. I still don't get the wishbone design. But I have time.

And so much more . . . .

For dinner last night, Matt barbequed hot links and hamburgers. I don't think we will be barbequing again soon as the seas kick up and a frontal system moves into place. Probably have some beef stew tonight. We moved all the food from the cold storage to the refrigerator. All dry ice is gone and the food has nothing more to do than defrost, warm up, then spoil. So now we charge the house batteries 3 times a day so we can run the fridge and keep the food cold. Our fuel management has been working out well so the 3X a day charge cycle should work out well.

We have all settled into the comfortable rhythm of life on board Compromise. Catching winks of sleep has not been a problem nor has it been a problem to keep track of time. I take medication nightly and do so before the 1st night watch – regardless of whether I am on or off. We are currently on Anchorage Standard Time. Sandy said we will shift to Pacific Daylight Time tomorrow which is a good thing – now all

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