Report from VALIS – Aug 29/30

Report from VALIS – Aug 29/30

As of 9:00 PM, PDT, VALIS is at lat 36deg 09min, lon 153deg 53min, sailing due north at 6 knots. Winds are from the southeast at 13 knots. Seas are from the southeast at 2 feet.

As the sun set last night, we were sailing very slowly towards the northwest, trying to get north into some more wind. The high pressure system to our east has been creeping towards us and giving us extremely light winds. After midnight, the wind died to the point where we decided to start the engine and head north under power, running at a low speed to maximize fuel efficiency. We motored most of the day, until, almost as if a switch had been pulled, the wind piped up from the southeast at 12 knots. Not wanting to tempt fate, we waited a few minutes, but finally set all sails and continued heading north, but under sail at 6+ knots. The conditions have been steady since then.

In spite of the light winds, yesterday was a beautiful day. Daniel had his best kite-flying episode yet, during a brief period of wind, with the kite flying high for about fifteen minutes. It was retrieved successfully without hitting the water. More about the dolphins we saw yesterday: Paul G. spotted about fifteen of them coming from several hundred yards off, and as they leapt from the water, it looked like they were going to accompany our boat for a while. But as soon as they came alongside, they veered off behind us and kept leaping from the water. It soon became apparent they they were actively herding a school of small fish, which they must have been eating. The dolphins were swimming in circles, and it appeared that they were working in perfect coordination as they splashed and turned. Quite a sight that we chanced to sail into!

As we watched the sun set over a mirror-smooth sea, we saw a double “green flash” when the swells lifted our boat into perfect position twice. The waxing crescent Moon set soon after the Sun, and then Mars dominated the evening sky, casting its reflection in the smooth water.

Breakfast today was a scrambled egg concoction, making use of last night’s leftover curry chicken. An unusual taste sensation, we all agreed. For dinner tonight we had salmon, salad, and rice, with chilled Zinfandel.

Until tomorrow (or the next day),
Best Wishes from the crew of the VALIS

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