Saturday 21st July 2012 (Day 9)
8:30am A light, misty, broken overcast -with light drizzle at times. Edge of the cloud clearly seen on W-NW horizon. Wind had veered after heavy raincloud earlier, but then backed slightly in the drizzle.. Then more drizzle and sky completely overcast. Wind was very light and rather variable yesterday, overnight & this morning - mainly NNE-NE, so we were struggling to maintain even a Northerly course.
Downloading weatherfaxes - present & forecast plus satpic - all very useful. Getting more complicated, now we're out of the NE Trades and close to the High pressure centre - which keeps moving around...
2pm - Sunny sky - clouds gone away - lovely sailing in SE wind and 1m seas. Looks as though we might have 'turned the corner' at last!! Fingers crossed....! Full canvas since late yesterday. A nice change after last night's and this morning's rainy/cloudy conditions ...
4pm When you see 7.2kt on the display (and that's SOG, with boat speed shown as more) and we're bouncing along under a blue sky so smoothly - you know things are going well!!!
A lot more plastic debris seen this afternoon- from tiny bits of polystyrene (I guess, from the way it floats so high in the water) to bottles and slightly larger pieces around 15cm square - but nothing very large so far, except for a bright yellow buoy seen from 1-2 miles away, a much smaller black buoy this evening with lots of growth below the water surface but shiny clean on top (I guess that's been floating around here for quite a time!) and, yesterday, the bottom part of a tree trunk - 4-5ft long.
I'm noting lat/long and time of sighting for the University of Hawaii who posted forms in Honolulu for that purpose to cruisers like myself making passage north through the area of the N.Pacific High.
Got a bit cloudy before sunset but it all cleared away again, leaving a slender, crescent moon shining brightly above the salmon-pink sky in the W. Still making 7.0kt SOG under full canvas in the relatively calm sea - waves and swell 1-1.5m maximum.
Seeing occasional ships on AIS - all well off - we're crossing major shipping routes to and from West Coast US ports to ports in Asia. One is crossing our path ahead now - but his closest approach will be over 8 ml in 45 minutes' time, my screen tells me... We 'passed' San Francisco yesterday and will shortly be 'passing' Cape Mendocino (at 40d 26'N) - both 1500 ml, or more, to our East!!
Time for food... and then a 'blitz' on emails - too many waiting to be written.... 'holiday' over....
DMG today: 124 n.ml - result of the variable wind under clouds, veering and backing, often dropping ..... and a very 'wobbly' path as a result, despite some good speeds at times!
Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca: 1491 n.ml.___________________________________________________________________
Link to NEREIDA's recent track: http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/ See 'Travels' page on website, also.