VALIS July 20 Evening

We’ve been blasting along under spinnaker, and making good time for Hawaii. We’re aiming a little south to try and avoid the forecast lightening air to the north, but it’s not much of a detour. The wind is on the beam, and our spinnaker isn’t really cut for this job, but it’s doing fine. If the wind picks up we may go back to “white sails” (genoa and possibly staysail).
Today was generally overcast, and we are again running the engine to charge the batteries. Sun on the solar panels would be nice, but we have more than enough fuel to for charging.
Today we had a nice VHF radio chat with our friend David on Temerity. David and his daughter Annika are doublehanding in the race and are in good spirits. Today they caught a tuna and were enjoying sashimi in the cockpit. You may remember David from the 2010 Pac Cup, where he was crew on VALIS.
We’ve been seeing debris, probably more than usual for this area. These seem to be mostly large floats or ship-fenders, and of course the always present styrofoam bits. For a while we were seeing something every fifteen minutes or so. We haven’t passed close enough to the bigger items for any detailed identification. We had been asked by some researchers to collect a seawater sample when we crossed 35 degrees latitude, so I did that (a bit south of the line, but I hope close enough).
We’ve also seen several ships on our AIS, and one was near enough to see visually. We hailed it to confirm a safe passing — she passed us at about four miles distance, heading for Japan.
Dinner tonight was salad, and chicken on brown rice. We used a little salsa to add some spice to the rice, and it was most satisfying. Thanks to Phil and Dick for the great meal preparation, and to Michael for the chicken.
Our position at 8:43 PM PDT is 34deg 35min N, 129 deg 50min W. Speed 6.2 kts, course 255 deg true.
I’m off-watch and heading for the bunk! Paul / VALIS

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