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Days 17&18 from Hawaii ... Grey, murky, COLD! Good wind, making for excellent s

Sun 15th Aug

I've been sitting watching the wind display, in patchy fog, with the sun struggling to get out, waiting for the wind to pick up from its present 3-5 knots...! But at least it's from the West now - a major change, so that's good news for heading east to B.C. and Washington! Trying not to run the engine too hard, to conserve fuel.

Earlier, I managed to free the first reef line from the boom end where it has been stuck fast for a time - so now the main can be fully hoisted - for when we get wind enough to sail properly! I also took the opportunity to mark the lines near the jammers - always useful.

By evening, we got sailing, at last! I'd turned off everything - autopilot, motor, instruments, etc - as usual, so I could hear on the Pacific Seafarers' Net - and despite making only 4 knots SOG, left the motor off, hoping it would get better.... which it has. The wind has very slowly increased so we're now beam-reaching at about 4.5-6 knots - great!

Fog looks set to come down again overnight.

Mon 16th Aug Seeing ships quite often on AIS - but well clear.

Grey, murky sky - but boisterous, fast sailing!! Occasional glimpse of a hint of blue in the afternoon, with a weak sun struggling to show itself for a short while.... but no fog...

By early morning, the wind had increased to NNW 4-5 , at around 16 knots, so I tied the first reef in the mains'l and furled in the genoa a touch also - we were still making over 7 knots! Seas have increased to just over 2 m with the constant good wind, but that's not too bad. I've switched my berth to the starboard side now, being on port tack, since we're heeling more and getting occasionally knocked about in the bigger waves.

I've been spending a lot of time recently, 'talking' by email to various people about my RF interference problems on the radio and how to solve them. With help from several quarters, and in particular from Jerry, KL7EDK, a Winlink sysop who has been particularly helpful with lots of emails to & fro, I now have a clear idea of why I've the problems - and, most importantly, what I need to do in Port Townsend to improve the situation. I just need time and patience to sort it all out. My transmissions have never been a problem because of the excellent, dedicated radio 'ground' I insisted on Najad installing - glassing in a large copper sheet on the inside of the hull and connecting it to a large sintered bronze ground-plate on the outside of the hull, all then connected to the tuner directly beneath the backstay antenna with a wide copper strap.. The problem has been with terrible, noisy reception - but, hopefully, not for much longer....!

Time for the Pacific Seafarers Net check-in at 2025PDT (0325 GMT).... The two other boats ahead of me that I know have now made landfall ('Khulula' on Vancouver Island and 'Marcy' in Sitka) - but I still have several days to go.... Maybe the 20th, all being well. (Actually very late for Net check-in - had to take in 2nd reef in mains'l plus furled in genoa some more but still making 6.5 - 7 knots - wind and seas have definitely increased - and night will be falling shortly...!!)

DMG: Sun 15 Aug: 104 n.ml. Mon 16 Aug: 128 n.ml

Distance to Pt Townsend at noon PDT todaty: 525 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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