Report from VALIS – Sept 6

Report from VALIS – Sept 6

At 5:30 PM, Saturday, Sept 6, VALIS is at latitude 39 deg 26 min north, longitude 133 min 26 min north. We are sailing due east at a speed of 6.6 knots over the ground. The wind is from the north west at 16 knots, and the seas are relatively calm. We are about 520 nautical miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since yesterday we have had the wind shift that we were waiting for, and as it swung from the southwest to the northwest there were many periods of light and confused winds. We spent much of the night motorsailing, because the constant slatting of the sails in the light airs and 3-foot swells was an invitation to gear chafe and failure. Still, there has been a lot of sail furling and unfurling and adjustment. At least our batteries are now fully charged! At this point have enough fuel to just motor home, but we much prefer sailing — it’s faster (when we have wind), quieter, and more fun.

Yesterday and today a cold front has been passing us from the north east, and we have had many showers and a few downpours. It’s nice to get the boat rinsed off with fresh water. We have finally brought the foul weather gear out of mothballs, and it is keeping us fairly warm and dry. We are also starting to wear shoes again — some of us have been barefoot since we left Kauai. We have had many sunny moments too, and the weather continues to be beautiful.

Dinner last night was spaghetti with sausages added to the sauce. After dinner we watched the first half of “Longitude”, the A&E production starring Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon. Last night we shifted our three-hour watches to start at 8:00 PM, which better suits the local sunrise and sunset. As always, the person on first watch only gets to see the evening movie in bits and pieces.

We have finally used up our fresh food, and are eating from cans. Jim has this to say about that:
We’ve run out of fresh food except for grapes, and a few apples and oranges. So, our current bill of faire come from packages or cans. At first I thought I had over provisioned for this trip but it may be pretty close. Not that I think we will miss any meals. Far from it as we still have our pupus (Hawaiian for snacks) and drinks in the afternoons. Although some of us may have overdosed on canned chicken by the time we arrive in SF as it seems to be disguised in every dinner entree, chicken stew, chicken curry, chicken tacos, chicken chili con carne and beans, chicken spaghetti, etc.

Today we solved a problem with our radio email. We have been able to send, but for three days we hadn’t received any mail, including some weather information that should have been arriving daily. It turns out that the “SailMail” station in Palo Alto, which we have been using lately, wasn’t sending us our incoming mail. When we switched over to another station (San Luis Obispo), we suddenly received three days worth of email.

Best wishes from the crew of the VALIS –
Dan, Jim, Paul, Paul

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