Thursday, Aug 14 – Day 8

Today we sailed and sailed and sailed. There weren’t any big events to note, but a few small ones:
* Our midnight-to-midnight run was 167 nm, our second-fastest of this trip.
* At 2:30AM our AIS receiver detected a ship, details unknown, about 10 miles off. We were unable to see it due to distance and waves, but there was no collision danger and this is the first ship we have passes since Aug 9.
* At 6:40AM our AIS receiver detected another ship, this one we could eventually see as we were on a close crossing path. We altered course slightly and passed behind her stern at a distance of about two miles. Her name was “Setsu”, she was a small freighter heading towards Kobe, Japan.
* We watched several albatross (albatrosses?) fly gracefully near our boat. These large dark birds effortlessly glide inches over the waves, and other times soar high overhead.
* We accidentally dropped one of our floating emergency strobelights over the side, so we used the opportunity to perform a Man Overboard drill. We did manage to reover the blinking strobe, and it only took a few minutes. Still, none of us are volunteering to be the next recovery victim.
*Paul E. (me) spent a couple of hours repairing the lufftape at the top of the mainsail (where it attaches to the mast). I wasn’t at the top of the mast though, we had the sail furled and on the boom when the repairs were being made.The repair may hold, or it may not. We don’t intend to test it in high winds, and most of our remaining sailing can be done with headsails alone (as we have been doing for the last 24-hours).
Our current position (as of 6:15 PM PDT) is lat 36deg 03min N, lon 148deg 45min W. This puts us about 1000 miles north of Oahu, and about 1300 miles west of Lopez Point (north of San Simeon). We are sailing at about 6-1/2 kts on a course of 50 deg magnetic. This course has us pointing at Gold Beach, Oregon, but we intend to turn south at about the latitude of Mendocino. The seas are moderate and the winds are about 20 kts from the south.
We haven’t had any major feasts in the last few days; just lazy I guess.

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