Report from Sailing Vessel VALIS, Noon July 22 to Noon July 23

Report from Sailing Vessel VALIS
Noon July 22 to Noon July 23

Current position: Lat 22deg 54.13min, Lon 147deg 52.02min
Heading 239 deg magnetic, speed 7 knots under spinnaker (7+ knots through the water). Distance run since Noon yesterday: 124 nautical miles, which is our shortest run yet.

Since Noon yesterday, we have sailed with the jib poled-out, with main, and with main furled, and under spinnaker. We had a good spinnaker run through sunset, then we dropped the kite and poled out the jib for the evening. At midnight, wind and boat speed were down so far that we decided to put up a full main and sail a broad reach. Even if this took us somewhat off course, the additional speed more than made up for it, and the boat’s motion was much more comfortable.

We divide the evening, into four watches. Last night, Jim had the 9:00PM-12:00 watch, then Paul had Midnight-3:00AM, followed by Andrew from 3:00-6:00, and finally Daniel from 6:00-9:00AM. Every day we rotate watches, so tomorrow Paul will have the first watch. The boat is still on Pacific Daylight Time, so this close to Hawaii the local time is two hours later (Hawaii doesn’t have daylight savings time). In effect, we are standing watch from 7:00PM to 7:00AM, local time. Last night, we had patchy clouds, with many bright stars. Every so often, a dark cloud would pass over, bringing light rain and stronger winds. As it moved on, the winds would drop again. Even under the clouds, the
temperature was comfortable enough to let us stand watch in shorts and short-sleeve shirts, and the ever-present lifejacket/harness. When on-deck, all crew are connected to the boat with a short tether — one end snapped to the harness, and the other snapped to a strong point on the deck.

This morning at first light, we furled the main and jib, and hoisted the spinnaker to starboard. We are making decent speed and course in this configuration, and may run all night under spinnaker if it looks like we can get away with it. We are using the Monitor wind-vane auto-pilot to steer the boat, and running under spinnaker is not something it likes to do very much. We get better performance by using the electrical/hydraulic B&G autopilot, but this consumes a lot of power (and the Monitor uses only the wind and sea for power). So far, the Monitor is doing the job well-enough, but it calls for careful
monitoring (no pun intended).

Spaghetti with chicken sauce and salad were served for dinner. Because of some late sail changes, we decided to skip the evening’s movie presentation, so Daniel gets to pick one tonight. Breakfast this morning, breakfast was buffet-style (translation: grab whatever you can find).

We are seeing more and more schools of flying fish, and we had two unlucky ones on deck this morning, The display of luminescence continues to enthrall the night watch. We really wonder about the basketball-size creature that lights up like a flashbulb deep under our rudder. A jellyfish, perhaps? Sometimes we see these a hundred feet astern,
suddenly lighting up as if a depth-charge were going off.

Best Wishes,
Andrew, Daniel, Jim, Paul

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