Report from VALIS – Aug 25

As of Aug 25, 7:00 PM PDT, we are at lat 30deg 46min north, lon 160deg 01min west, and are sailing north west at 5.5 kts. Winds are about 10 kts from the north east, and seas are 3 ft. Skys are partly cloudy. We are sailing with full jib and main.

Yesterday, Daniel flew another kite, for a while (about 45 seconds). It met the same fate as all of the others. Bad luck? Slow learner? You be the judge. Last night we all enjoyed a spectacular sunset, and we had a beautiful night sail, with Mars rising around sunset and the waning Moon rising just before sunrise. Through the night the wind was falling, and at one time we switched from the Monitor windvane to the B&G autopilot as the winds became too light for the Monitor to operate. The winds fluctuated until just after sunrise, when they dropped to about 2 kts, at which point we started up the diesel engine.

We motored and charged our batteries for several hours until the winds finally began to pick up and we set the sails again. Throughout the day the seas have been very calm, although we are now getting some swells from the north.

The day was spent in searching for wind, consulting the weather charts to work out our strategy, and discussing philosophy (no kidding!). We had better luck with the wind than with the philosophy.

Our fresh fruit continues to spoil faster than we can eat it, but we are working on it vigorously. This evening we had wine and crackers with cheese, anchovies and smoked oysters, and we plan to have chicken curry (for Andrew, that’s “Madras Your Ass”) over rice for dinner. In about an hour we will be participating in the ham radio Pacific Seafarer’s Net, and we are very eager to hear what weather is being reported in front of us.

Best Wishes,
Dan, Jim, Paul, and Paul.

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