Thursday 2:00PM PDT, July 17

July 17, 2:00PM Lat 29d 11m N, Lon 148d 10m W Speed 7.5 kts, Course 240 deg mag
It’s a sunny day out here in the Pacific. The crew is in a great mood, or asleep (even better!). It’s been a busy 24 hours, with two different spinnaker “events”, caused by a slipping guy — the last time it happened, Paul C saw it slip while fully on the winch. Slippery line, or sunscreen smeared on the winch drum? Hard to say, and this is a new problem, but from now on we will double-windlass the guy.
We hadn’t quite given up on the spinnakers, but winds and seas were just too heavy this morning for us to keep the larger kite under control, so we dropped it after about an hour and returned to the wing-and-wing configuration. We give up a little speed in theory, but in practice (crashing is slow) we might be better off. In a couple of days the wind may be lighter so perhaps we haven’t seen the last of the kites.
Yesterday afternoon we had switched to the third (and last) water tank, so I decided to use the watermaker to replenish our supply. We had enough to get to Hawaii, but it’s nice to not have to watch every drop. The watermaker wouldn’t start! The fancy controller appeared to have stopped working, and no amount of banging and wiggling of cables could coax it back to life. Fortunately the watermaker has a “manual” mode, so we dug into the instructions and eventually figured it out (with a little satphone help from the good people at Spectra). This required that I re-route some hoses (which required major shifting of heavy parts and strange contortions), and in the process I unknowingly lost a tiny O-ring gasket. The missing gasket caused most of the watermaker output to end up in the bilge. Not good!
As a by-product of the plumbing changes I did have a spare hose-end, from which I stole an identical O-ring, and with this we had a leak-free watermaker. The forward tank is now almost full and this should last us to Hawaii. If necessary, the watermaker can deliver more. Job done with 30 seconds to spare before our afternoon radio net.
Dinner was spaghetti and salad, with a great chicken sauce prepared by Phil.
Then the satphone rang with the news of Tiburon losing her rudder. Much of the night was spent trying to coordinate assistance (although the truly useful part ended up not involving us at all). It was all pretty fatiguing, and I went into my 1:30AM watch with a serious sleep-deficit. Halfway through it I was practically hallucinating and Rich volunteered to take the remainder of my watch. Thanks Rich! I’m much better now!
Crew Profile: John

John and Paul(L-R: Paul, John)

John is a long-time friend and crew on VALIS. I knew him from work, and he first helped deliver VALIS back home after the 2006 Pac Cup. This is John’s third Pac Cup with VALIS.

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