Sunday 28th November 2010 (Day 34)
11am Finishing leisurely b'fast! Checked into Amigo, Chubasco and Baja Nets earlier - all very friendly & caught up with a boatfriend for a chat as a result.
Looking over, & downloading, weatherfaxes and ordering more grib files for new sailing area ahead. Looking at Chile and NZ weatherfax schedules to become familiar with what's on offer and when. Presently using KVM70 in Honolulu for weatherfaxes, having used NMC at Pt Reyes when further north.
Sun getting out - light grey overcast giving way to well-broken white clouds - pleasant day. Cool enough (26C) to add another short-sleeved cotton top to my cotton vest. Batteries are right up with good wind and sun - just over 14 volts when fridge not running and 13.5V when it is - fantastic! Solar panels putting in 10-16A at present. (Later: Had to turn off the wind generator for a time - we were taking batteries up too high - amazing!)
Swell knocking us from time to time, heeling a bit , but nothing too bad! Speed (SOG) 5.5-6.3kt, wind has swung to ESE from SSE of earlier, so course is now 190T - we're under wind steering and closehauled, so as wind changes, so does our course but since that's becoming more S, that's fine. Still have two reefs in mains'l but full genoa and stays'l. Thinking about shaking out 2nd reef - maybe after coffee!
Up since 4am (for position/weather report), so will have a nap soon.
3.10pm Had a very good sleep - clearly needed it! Missed my usual 2230Z 'sked' on 14305 kHz! Checked in to M.M.Net on 14300 and moved to 14305 because of problems with noise... Randy, KH6RC, in Hawaii, helped Roy, KR6RG, take my info. Had three other stations contact me - from N. Carolina, USA, central Canada &
Baja, Mexico - a good thing, radio! Ended with a lovely long chat with 'Silas Crosby' - Canadian boat in Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
Decided to have an early meal so made a mug of tea and then cooked ham and eggs, potatoes, onions & tomato (fresh still - last big one!) - the food tasted good! While I was doing that, the wind got up a bit and stayed up - I was glad I'd left the 2nd reef in the mains'l....
Watched my last sunset in the northern hemisphere for several months as I began eating - next one will be next year as I head north from New Zealand - April next year, perhaps.
As I write this, our position is 01d 05'N, 118d 24'W - so we're just 65 miles north of the Equator. We picked up the Equatorial current around midday today. It's W-going here, so will take our course further W of S while it lasts and may help boost our SOG. Wind is from SE at around 14 kt, gusting to 16-18 kt or so, occasionally - the SE Trades! We're heeling somewhat and occasionally a wave sweeps the decks, but we're making good speed - 6.4 knots and more, unless we've been slowed by a wave hitting.
I'd hoped to have our usual Equator-crossing party in daylight - but with the good speed we're making now, it looks as though we'll cross over 'the line' to the South in darkness or around first light, just before dawn tomorrow... Could be good if not much cloud around - moon should still up as sun rises. We'll postpone celebrations to later in the day. Must decide what to offer Poseidon/Neptune....
24hr DMG to this morning was 135 n.ml - much more respectable! Reflects the better conditions with good wind, no tacking and not too much swell to crash into too often to slow us down. We're going to be close-hauled a lot of the way south, it seems, so any good-sized oncoming swell can easily affect our daily runs....
Interesting comment from Bob McD: "BTW you've now left behind the meteorological equator where the warmest ocean is located. La Nina is making the sea about and just south of the equator cooler that normal ."... So I looked back in my logbook, to coming N earlier this year: Sea was 30.2C on 28th June at 00 54'N, 155 00W. On 27Oct last year, as crossed Equator (at 028W) headed south in S.Atlantic, sea was 31C.... Here & now: at 00 52N 118 28W, sea is only 25.3C - that's way down!!