4pm Saturday - Think I deserve a nice cuppa! Might even treat myself to a gingernut biscuit or two. (Thanks, Coryn!). I was busy clearing up in the galley when the under-sink door came off its top hinge - presumably because it has been flying open with a bigger wave and banging hard every time I forgot to lock it shut.. Located one screw and washer inside the locker but not the other so I had to find spares. It was a relatively straightforward job to screw it back into place (with the aid of two broken bits of match-stick in the holes - 'Lion of Africa' the matchbox said. It must have come from Cape Town!). Only problem was it being around a corner - so I was feeling like a blind person... All done - so back to clearing up... I've put the kettle on!
We're sailing gently in bright sunshine and 17kt of NW wind - I had to put a reef in to prevent Fred from being over-powered - we were charging along but swinging around a lot. Our course is slightly better now things are under better control.
9am Sunday Reef came out before dark, in wind down to around 12kt. With wind backing to WNW well after sunset, we gybed around onto starboard tack to make a course of SSE rather than the ESE, threatening E, it had become.
Looking at the weather files (gribs), we can't afford to stay on this course for long, and the wind is due to veer back towards N later today and go very light. So I'll prepare the pole after my breakfast is finished and then gybe around in a few hours' time. Don't think I can avoid the expected really light air completely but we'll do our best!
Just dug out some fruit juice to have with my breakfast since the lovely fresh grapefruit juice I've enjoyed since leaving came to an end yesterday - but guava sounds good! Having half of the last fresh banana and blueberries with my cereal.
Sky has just a few fluffy white (cumulus) clouds and shreds of a thin layer - mostly a blue sky but air feels cool at just under 20C/68F. (Clouds built soon after, to become widespread.)
Had an excellent HF radio session around 4am on 7163 with Jim, WB2REM, in Florida, and lots of company - up and down US West coast and interior - spoke to Woody, WW1WW, up in New Hampshire, who I met there early in 2014 along with some other ham contacts I'd spoken to regularly who were living nearby, and even spoke to a familiar voice near Melbourne, Australia! Radio propagation on 40m is not too bad, even though we're near the bottom of an eleven-year sunspot cycle, but 20m is often not too good. Since I have no Internet access out here, Jim had fun setting up a page on QRZ.com for my new callsign (VE0JS) - sounds as though he's done well!
11.30am I keep studying the weather updates! Looks as though this course we're on now is possibly the best for wind (or lack of it) ahead but we'll definitely need to gybe at some point when the wind veers into the north again - possibly overnight. All a bit of an unknown. I feel I should try the asymmetric to see if it gives us more speed - after all, it's on board for use in light winds... but we're doing quite well just now. Just have to organise a few lines to be ready. Maybe after my midday position/weather report - coming soon.
1200 PDT - end of Day11. We made 116n.ml. (DMG) over the 24 hr period since yesterday - slowing down... but very pleasant sunny, if cloudy, conditions with mainly gentle rolling and only the occcasional bigger wave to knock us about.
Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after midday PDT (=1900 GMT):
TIME: 2018/10/14 19:00 GMT LATITUDE: 32-01.18N LONGITUDE: 125-10.60W COURSE: 130T SPEED: 4.7kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 1.5M CLOUDS: 60% BARO: 1016hPa TREND: 1
AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C COMMENT: 420ml W of Pta San Miguel, just north of Ensenada, Mexico