Friday, August 13 – Motoring

We have run out of wind. Just as predicted, after an evening of generally good sailing, this morning at 10:00AM the wind stopped. Our boat speed dropped under four knots, and it was impossible to steer a useful direction in the leftover swells. So, also as predicted, we started up the diesel and are now steaming towards San Francisco at about six knots. The main and genoa are furled to protect them and the rigging from the slatting, and the staysail is up, sheeted hard amidships to reduce the rolling and perhaps coax a fraction of a knot from the residual wind.
Under these conditions the Monitor self-steering windvane is useless, and we have determined that the autopilot is indeed broken, so we are hand-steering. This is more tiring than you might guess, and after an hour of staring at the compass the helmsman can become quite fatigued and even hallucinate. The sky is a uniform grey so there are no landmarks to steer by, only the small spinning compass dial. This evening instead of the three-hour watches we have been standing we will try two-hour watches. The trick is to balance on-watch time and off-watch sleeping time. We think the 2-on, 6-off schedule will work well enough.
We are still working on that tuna, and last night we had a great meal with stir-fried rice, and baked tuna with a home-made teriyaki sauce (Mae Ploy chili sauce with soy saucce mixed in).
Arrival at the Golden Gate bridge will likely be in the early AM hours on Sunday morning. This will depend on how much motoring we do and how much sailing.
Paul / VALIS

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