Report 7 on final leg of RTW - Nth to Juan de Fuca...... Bright sun and little w

Monday/Tuesday 23rd/24th July 2012 (Days 11/12)

Amazing how just a little bit of 'tweaking' can increase boat speed by over half a knot... Wind is from SSW --> SW slowly, but varies at times, and with the true wind being very light and from well abaft the beam, the 'iron sail' is gently providing apparent wind from more forward than otherwise, so it's worth keeping a good eye on the sails and wind direction to make the best speed possible.... i want to get in a.s.a.p. but I'm keeping a careful eye on fuel, to make sure consumption is minimal, as expected!!

My 'smiley' chart plotter keeps tellling me my ETA is 1st August - but only if I can keep up an average speed of 6 kt or more... We're very close to the centre of the High - but that's moving off slightly to the SW and a small Low is forecast to come by to our N soon - giving increased wind for a day but, in general, winds are expected to be light for several days, so we'll be motor-sailing for a bit yet. That's not someting I'll have the luxury of being able to do next time I come this way (hopefully!) since then it'll be a case of 'Sails alone all the way' with no use of motor except out of gear for charging, if needed. If that were the case this time around, I'd either have gone further N, hoping to keep stronger wind, or I'd have just accepted that I'd be sailing a lot more slowly but keeping position in relation to the High's centre, to avoid the wind from heading us ....

I can't get used to this gentle sailing in bright sunshine under full canvas in minimal swell .... very pleasant! I'm so used to being reefed down in big swell - having difficulty moving about down below due to being heeled over and lurching around a lot... Life is very easy just now!

Tsunami debris - very little seen, although I did rush up on deck early yesterday evening after hearing a big 'clonk' on the hull - saw something floating away astern but couldn't see what it was... could well have been a log, ... but who knows?

Cresent moon is waxing nicely now - weird effect early last night when it suddenly appeared, partly hidden, from behind broken clouds low in the W...

Spending a lot of time thinking ahead to work needed and making arrangements in general for after landfall (emails galore!) - thinking in particular about rigging, batteries and a lot of other small but important jobs I want to get done. My whiteboard above the chart table is so full of notes to myself, I've run out of space!

it's nice to have a couple of friends helping me from onshore - I have no Internet or telephone directories here, so I appreciate that a lot. I've even started organizing fresh, free-range, unchilled eggs for October, already! A Winlink sysop got into contact with me via my website (Jean Claude, VE7AXY) and it turned out that he and his wife have laying hens on their small farm between Comox and Campbell River - not enough to supply all my needs but they have a friend....!! (I fried two of my Tasmanian eggs last night - still OK from last week of April - go figure!)

I'm also delighted that Thora Brooks, of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, has managed to find me a berth on Ship Pt for 1-3 August, despite the busy weekend - thanks for that, Thora! It's nice to know I'll have somewhere to tie up to on arrival... I'm thinking of getting out all my code flags, burgees and courtesy flags from all over the world - so I can 'dress overall' on arrival - might not be the right flags in the proper order (yes - there's a 'proper', traditional way of ordering just the code flags!) - but it would be a fun way to celebrate my completion on arrival!! I hope I don't arrive in the dark of night....

DMG Monday: 141 n.ml. Tuesday: 133 n.ml. - helped by calm seas and 'iron sail'.

Distance to Tatoosh Island Tues 2pm LT: 1065 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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