Report from VALIS – Sept 1/2

Report from VALIS – Sept 1/2 (our last report was Aug 30/31)

As of Sept 2, 6:30 PM PDT, our position was latitude 39 deg 44 min north, longitude 147 deg 24 min west. Our course is north east, and our speed is about 7 knots. The wind is from the south west, at about 13 knots, and we are running with our spinnaker and main.

We are approaching 40 degrees latitude, where we will turn due east to head for home (at least as close to due east as we can comfortably sail). The weather is good, and the reports indicate that we will have favorable winds for quite a while. It continues to get cooler, but it is still much warmer than it would be on the California coast (we are almost to the latitude of Cape Mendocino now), since the winds and currents are coming from the south. As we get closer to the coast, we will be sailing into much colder weather.

Yesterday we put up the spinnaker for the first time since leaving Kauai. The winds have been steady and favorable, and the spinnaker gives us a faster and more comfortable ride. We have seen more albatrosses, and other smaller birds, and yesterday we saw a very large school of dolphins herding their dinner. These dolphins never got as close to us as did the previous school, but it was still a thrill to watch the two dozen or more of them leap out of the water again and again.

After yesterday’s Pacific Seafarer’s Net, we spoke with the sailboat “Trig”, who left Hanelei Bay two days before us, heading for Portland. We are about 60 miles behind them — too far to use the VHF radio, so we used our single-sideband radio. It was nice to share experiences and strategy with them.

Last night as it was getting dark, it seemed that the wind was picking up, so we doused the spinnaker to be safe. Of course, the wind promptly calmed down for the rest of the night. This morning we hoisted the spinnaker again, and we have been flying it since then.

Dinner last night was blackened mahi-mahi with wild rice, and for lunch today we had cheese and chicken quesedillas (sp?). Dinner tonight is anybody’s guess.

Once we raised the spinnaker this morning, it has been a very peaceful day spent reading books, listening to music, and napping. Pretty nice!

Best wishes from the crew of the VALIS,
Daniel, Jim, Paul, Paul

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