Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8/20/08 200 Nautical Miles from the Gate

The winds died down last night about sunset, to 8 –10 kts. Still in rolling seas with the wind right behind us, a terrible angle to sail as the speed drops to 3 knots and the boat rocks unCompromisingly back and forth, shaking the rigging as the sail hits the stops to starboard and port over and over and over…. Start up the diesel, drop the sails, and we are motoring until the winds kick in again. We are about 160 nm W of the Farallon Islands which we may pass tomorrow around noon. Sandy went over the grib file with me which show we need to motor another 140 nm before we get winds blowing 15 knts out of the N/NW putting us on a broad reach. That should happen sometime this evening. Sandy uses a divider, a compass-like tool, to measure distance on the chart. A degree of latitude equals 60 miles (anywhere on the globe) and a degree of longitude at our current latitude is ~ 65 nm. Our estimated time of arrival at Emery Cove is sometime in the afternoon Thursday, August 21st!

Today feels a little like Christmas Eve given the anticipation of arrival. Plans for a last dinner meal are being made and final messages being written. For the past 2300 miles, we have been sailing in the wide open waters of the Pacific noting only two ships in the distance. Now as we close in on the shipping lanes, we have to be extra aware of the large cargo/container ships traveling at 30 knts and looming large – kind of like entering Boston after a pleasant drive in the country.

~11 gallons of diesel pumped into the fuel port leaving us with 2 more 5-gallon jerry cans which we will pump tomorrow morning before entering the Bay.

With HAL doing the driving, we have time for on-deck chores. Matt has already sewn nets into the bottom of the cup holders at the binnacle which will now be able to hold a bottle of ESB. He's also whipping the ends of the lines which prevents them from becoming frayed. And in Matt's words, "It looks pretty." An aesthete as well.

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