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Wednesday ....Calm sea under low overcast ... finally began to break

9 a.m. Still motoring, occasionally with help from sails overnight - but not now - no wind at all! Sea is so calm I spotted a moth on its surface as it passed us by. Very little swell either.

Hot and sunny, I hear, on land... but moist air here is being affected by the cool seawater - water temperature down to 16C now, compared with 23C air temperature. Visibility down - not quite foggy but nearly so.

Midday - 100 miles from San Diego making good speed in the flat conditions. Sun trying to get out from behind cloud layer - warming the air a little but no more...

Made radio contact with pilot friend heading from Austin to San Diego - aeronautical mobile talking to maritime mobile...!! Poor conditions initially, so couldn't chat properly but better contact was made once the plane was further W - at a better distance from "Nereida" for contact... By 1pm, I heard the other station well, but was very light still to him - eventually, at 2.30pm, we made good contact and chatted for quite a while - SSB/HF radio is great!

Sea is still as smooth as an oil slick... two small feathers on its surface... Tide must have turned and be ebbing now so body of water is moving S - our speed north over the ground has become less.

4.30pm What excitement! A fright had me jumping to the wheel to turn us away from what looked like a long fishing net across our path. I was on deck to check swell, wind, clouds & temp for my daily weather report when I spotted it... It turned out (I think!) just to be a long line of murrelets, or similar, but birds often rest on nets at the surface, so who knows...

As I got us back on course and up to speed, having cut the engine, just in case, I noticed other dark bodies surfacing at times - a group of dolphins. They came straight over to the boat, jumping out in pairs as they did so - I encouraged them to jump more....

Looking down into the calm sea from the bow, I could see them clearly as they dived and twisted, ready to leap out again- and they were looking right back up at me! Wonderful! Just to add to the good feelings, I could see some blue sky over where land is to starboard and a hazy sun was showing through the breaking cloud layer...

The other excitement is that of an imminent landfall. Much as I love being at sea, coming in to land is always exciting, with lots to prepare for but also to look forward to. Where & how will we dock? What is involved in the paperwork for coming into a new country? Friends to meet up with? Some shopping needed? And always the ongoing journey at the back of one's mind - any urgent jobs that need to be done ready for that?

I expect to check in at the harbour Police Dock tomorrow morning & I'm looking forward to being back in San Diego, even if only for a day or two before I move on north again.

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