Report from Sailing Vessel VALIS, Noon July 23 to Noon July 24

Report from Sailing Vessel VALIS
Noon July 23 to Noon July 24

Current position: Lat 21deg 06.00min, Lon 156deg 38.19min Heading 255 deg magnetic, speed 6 knots under spinnaker (6+ knots through the water). Distance run Noon to Noon: 163 nautical miles over the ground — significantly faster than yesterday’s run.

Since Noon yesterday, we have had the spinnaker flying. Yesterday the chute was out to starboard, now we have it flying on the port side. We have been running with the B&G autopilot, as it does a better job than the Monitor windvane.

This morning at first light, we furled the spinnaker, and re-set it to port. We are not running directly downwind, but keeping the wind on the quarter, giving us a faster and more comfortable ride. Even so, the motion of the swells occasionally swings the wins around from side to side. The spinnaker seems to be handling the conditions well. As we were having breakfast, a rain squall caught up to us, and the wind abruptly went from an easy 15 knots to 30-knot gusts. Our granola went flying all over the cabin, and Jim hand-steered us until the squall had passed. Since then, more rain has passed through, but no winds as violent as those this morning.

Chicken chili over rice, and salad were our dinner last night. The evening’s film was “O Brother Where Art Thou”, while Paul had the first watch. As the sun was setting, Paul saw our first bird in many days; a dark seagull-shaped creature who circled the boat for several minutes. This morning we had two more feathered visitors pay us a visit, as well as the ever-present flying fish.

Still no other boats sighted. We all are losing track of time (have to look at our log to decide what day it is), and we have the feeling that we are in a completely self-contained universe, about 20 miles in diameter. While we ponder the meaning of our tiny universe, we do manage to find time to work on our tans.

The weather charts are continuing to tell us that we are moving into an area of light and variable winds. With the spinnaker up we continue to do well, but our daily run will probably be reduced as we approach Maui, which is about 329 miles away now.

Best Wishes,
Andrew, Daniel, Jim, Paul

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