Wed 11Aug.... lots of dolphins and porpoises come and play...

We had our first rainshower for a time on Monday night - but not much. Coincided with veering of the light wind from E to S-SSW ... had to furl in headsails with such light wind - we'd been motor-sailing, as usual. But very soon after, the wind backed again to SE so seems it was just a cloud effect.... Unfurled stays'l yet again. Pity - I'd been hoping it was the West winds I want setting in.... but from the weatherfaxes and gribs, the High is set to move north with us for the next several days - bad news since it means we'll have to get much further North before we dare turn East, or we'll end up being headed - seems likely to me that will happen for a short time anyway if I don't want to end up in Alaska!

Tuesday was generally fairly calm, with continued light SSE-S wind. I decided it was time to chop up the four butternut squash still on board from S.Africa and cook them (they make a lovely soup) - they've lasted the five months since leaving Cape Town remarkably well! Definitely good for long-term provisioning! I was pleased the other day when the butane gas to the stove ran out in calm conditions as I was about to make tea ... It's such a pain changing the European-style butane cylinders under any circumstances but I've been very lucky since N.Z. - this is the second time it's happened in calm seas so the change-over was not too bad, except for the totally rusted tanks being nasty to handle. I much prefer the highly practical US propane system which has a very simple, easy-to-operate, pipe/tank connection. And at least the aluminium tanks I installed don't go rusty. (I was amazed to learn that it's against regulations in the EC to fill tanks made of Al! I couldn't get the new US tanks filled until I got to S. Africa... In the US, they have to be tested every so often to ensure they're safe, rather like dive-tanks, but there's no provision for that in the EC regulations.)

A few small birds (possibly the Leach's petrels seen before) were flying around with lots of twittering again overnight - they seem to be attracted by the navigation lights. Every time I came up on deck, I could see and hear them - I wondered if they ever rest!

Wednesday ... What a lovely day today!! The wind strengthened early morning, so the motor is finally off and we're now having a lovely sail in relatively smooth seas - we're actually making over 6 knots regularly under sail, which is so nice to see!! The sun is managing to get out from the light cloud cover, added to which, a large, mixed group of dolphins and Dall's porpoises came by this morning and played around for quite a time, some around our bow and others jumping straight up into the air before falling back in - just like schoolkids released on holiday! A lovely sight!

I spent a time today looking over my major (nonstop) passages since leaving Guernsey last September ..... and doing some calculations!

5-16 Sept '09: Guernsey to Lanzarote ................ 1484 ml...... 11.5 days
10 Oct - 9 Dec '09: Lanzarote to Cape Town .................. 6298 ml .... 61 days
9 Mar - 10 May '10: Cape Town to Nelson, N.Z. .................. 7575 ml..... 62 days
3 June - 10 July '10: Pt Underwood, N.Z. to Oahu, Hawaii .... 4590 ml .... 35 days
29 July - ?? Aug '10: Nawiliwili, Kauai to Pt Townsend ......... 1562 ml .... 13 days...and still counting! Distance to finish: 1136 ml... ETA: 19/20 Aug

24 hr (noon-to-noon PDT) DMG: Tuesday 10 Aug: 113 (heading N then NE effectively reduced overall distance made good)
Wednesday 11 Aug: 138 (all in a more-or-less straight line! ... and with better wind this morning.)

Written by : Mike

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