Tuesday -Thursday 17-19th July 2012 (Days 5-7)
Busy trying to orgainize things for landfall and after - all meaning lots of emails dealing with possible berthing & work on board - rigging, computer system, sails, batteries, leaks, watermaker, instruments ...and lots more... all taking up a lot of time - so log reports have got slightly behind!
All that in between trying to keep up a decent speed and course - keeping an eye on weather and the position of the Pacific High via weatherfaxes and gribs to help decide which way to head. Actually fairly easy just now since wind is sending us a bit to W of our N-NNE course so it's simply a matter of making the best close-hauled course possible to make the best of the situation until we get to just W of the High's centre at which point we can start heading for the Strait of J de F more directly... The only 'minor' complication in all that being that the High's centre is never stationary - it keeps moving so it becomes a bit of a guessing game in trying to sail around it!
Tuesday started out cloudy but by midday we were sailing in pleasant sunny conditions and making very good speed at times - and over Wednesday also. Lovely sailing under mainly blue skies... so pleasant in fact that I decided at one point to relax and picked up Barbara McDougall's "The Rum 'uns" to read some more Tasmanian light-hearted tales . The occasional large cloud mass caused the increasing wind to veer, with accompanying heeling and acceleration ...and then often the wind finally died right away..... NO! Don't unfurl more or shake out a reef !... Patience... ! The wind always came back up again!! Today has been grey and gusty with frequent wind shifts - not a fast day, being slightly more close-hauled this afternoon so as not to be pushed too far off course by the NE wind.
Dawn - a bright Venus, still in company with Jupiter (and Aldebaran still close by as well, I think).
I finally tied in the 2nd reef on Wednesday night..... we were heeling way too much and life was getting decidedly uncomfortable... but then I just had to stop in the cockpit to enjoy the amazingly bright stars and Milky Way ... Leo was prancing away low in the W...a low-orbiting satellite (communications?) passed N to S overhead... and then a flash and streak of light as a meteorite ended its days by burning up.
A Sooty Shearwater has come by over the last two days - a large dark bird. They migrate north for the summer here but breed on the islands of the southern hemisphere - where I last saw one.
I found a good-sized flying fish in the cockpit this morning - such a sacrifice was not to be ignored, so I had a nice lunch -fried in green olive oil after de-scaling, cleaning and rinsing it in seawater - lots of fine bones to be careful of, but very tasty!
DMG: Tues: 136 n.ml. ; Wed: 148 n.ml. ; Thurs: 138 n.ml. Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance (N of Tatoosh Island) on Thursday: 1655 n.ml.
Sea Temp is down to 28C from the 30's of recent times and air is around 25C. With the overcast skies, I finally covered my arms and legs today ... it's feeling cooler!