Report from VALIS – Aug 24

Since we didn’t send out a report yesterday, this one will cover the last two days.

We are all doing fine, and the boat is sailing well. As of Aug 24, 10:40 AM PDT, we are at lat 28deg 24min north, lon 159deg 34min west, and are sailing due north at 5.7 kts. Winds are about 8 kts from the north east, and seas are 3 ft. Skys are mostly clear. It is a beautiful morning. We are sailing with full jib, stays’l, and main.

Friday evening, just before dinner, the “oar” assembly on the Monitor windvane autopilot broke. This is a stainless steel oar, or rudder, that sits in the water and pulls on the lines that turn the boat’s wheel. The oar assembly broke at a stainless tube that is supposed to break away in case the oar hits something. As far as we could tell, we hadn’t hit anything, but in any case we were carrying a spare tube, and the safety lines on the oar prevented us from losing it. It was getting dark, so we decided to eat dinner (crab-stuffed salmon on rice) and make the repair the next morning. We sailed that night on the B&G autopilot.

Saturday morning, we were able to put together the oar and re-attach it to the Monitor, while breakfast was being prepared. Paul Grossman had to make breakfast twice, because the first batch of scrambled eggs got loose before it could be cooked. The second batch was very good, though, with onions and sausage pieces mixed in.

The rest of the day we sailed and enjoyed the weather. The wind has been gradually falling, so by the end of the day we had unfurled all our primary sails to maintain boatspeed. Saturday evening was mostly clear, with the boat pointing towards the North Star, and a brilliant red Mars keeping us company.

Sunday morning has just started for us here. Before we left Kauai, we made a trip to a used bookstore and brought back several bags of books. Today we will continue to work on them. We have been tracking the boats ahead of us, and their weather reports are encouraging. Still, we will sail in the weather we get. Today’s looks great.

Dan, Jim, Paul, and Paul.

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