Report from VALIS – Sept 9

Report from VALIS – Sept 9

At 4:00 PM, PDT, VALIS is at latitude 38 deg 11 min north, longitude 124 degrees 36 minutes west — about 100 nautical miles from San Francisco.

We are sailing west-southwest at a speed of just under seven knots. Winds are from the north at 17 knots. At this speed, we should be in Sausalito by mid-day tomorrow.

Yesterday it was almost warm, and we had some nice winds. We ran under spinnaker most of the day, changing from one tack to another as the wind shifted around 11:00 PM. Around 3:00 AM this morning, the windspeed was exceeding the comfort level for the spinnaker, so we doused it and set the jib instead. During this operation, we were escorted by a school of dolphins, who swam and lept alongside, illuminated by the moon and our spreader lights. Around noon today the wind had shifted again, so we jibed the jib and set the whisker pole to keep it full as we ran downwind towards the Golden Gate. Later, the wind shifted again, and increased in speed, and we took down the pole and set the staysail in addition to the spinnaker.

Today we were sitting in the cockpit after the latest sail change, sharing what we had learned and experienced during this voyage. We were watching the flocks of birds — both shorebirds and high-seas birds — when we saw a whale spout about a quarter mile away. Although we searched intently, there were no more opportunities to shout “Thar she blows!”

We will try to send a report out once we arrive in port. In any case, please accept our thanks for your interest and enthusiasm in our voyage — this report has been a welcome contact with our friends back home.

The crew of the VALIS,
Dan, Jim, Paul, Paul

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