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Day 8 towards Cape Horn - ETA SF Bay Wed/Thurs, depending on wind

Monday 29th October 2012

Some brief notes on today....

Foggy overnight, early morning and again tonight as dusk fell... dripping wet eveywhere on deck now.

Very light wind most of day - forcing us towards land so eventually tacked around in S-SSE wind to head more offshore - expecting stronger S-SSW winds soon, so don't want to get too close in yet. Under full sail now.

DMG today: 107 n.ml. We've passed Cape Mendocino now and would be making a direct line for the Bay entrance if winds weren't so unhelpful and forecast to be more of same...

Busy with emails and phone calls, sorting out liferaft replacement...logistics and timing were clearly a problem, reducing choices... Discussed options with Sal who recommended Viking liferaft. Spoke to their Sales person (at Ft Lauderdale Boat Show) who said a 4-man raft was available at Long Beach, L.A., and could be delivered Wednesday if ordered Tuesday (she'd cover the freight, as a goodwill gesture). Her best price was the Boatshow price on offer - still a lot!! Sal has doubts about my present cradle - still under discussion... He's sending me more info on their cradle but basically it'll be the Viking, with extra food, water etc to be put in a Grab Bag in view of my ocean passagemaking.

Weather not being helpful ... Expecting heavy rain with Front over Wednesday & into Thursday with strong winds, maybe, ahead of Front and in the rain... Had several emails suggesting alternatives to busy SF Bay for stopping to get liferaft- but all involve anchoring in places exposed to S-SW wind and I feel more comfortable picking up a buoy rather than finding I can't easily set my anchor under sail and then being on a lee shore in strong winds....

Daylight flood tide through Golden Gate is 9am - 2.30pm on Wed and half-an-hour later on Thursday ... Strong ebb must be avoided - up to 4 knots or more ... a lot of water escaping through a small gap! Amazing that Drake sailed past here several times and never once suspected the enormous Bay that was hidden from view!!

A misty full moon tonight- fog is patchy... Now heading SW, making 3-4 kt, looking at Thursday for more realistic landfall.

Changed the autopilot's rudder reference unit over in the calmer seas of today- had to make sure it was centred properly, when screwed into place, to avoid the wheel appearing to be way off to one side when actually centred ... All done and working, so now the AP should behave fine - I wanted it particularly for the Golden Gate entry - but, for the last week, the windsteering (Fred) has coped perfectly well, even in today's light conditions

Enjoyed a thick bean, chick pea and lentil soup with chunks of ham added - ideal for this cold, dripping, foggy weather! Must get some rest now .... Goodnight!

Written by : Mike

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