VALIS – July 29

One day is pretty much like another here in VALIS. We continue to sail north, at about 6 knots (sometimes less, sometimes more), with 15-20 knot winds and 6-8 ft seas. Our current position, at 1:12 PM PDT, is latitude 30deg 10 min N, longitude 156deg 58min west. Now that we have made it north of 30 degrees latitude, we have about 600 nautical miles to go until latitude 40, where we stop heading north and turn right towards California.
It is starting to get a little cooler, but not much. We have seen no ships since we said goodbye to “Stray Cat Blues” after leaving Kaneohe Bay. The evenings bring squalls, with rain and wind, and we sailed through the night with a reefed main and staysail (a smaller sail than our big genoa), but today the genoa is back flying at the first reef. VALIS is getting regular salt-water rinses on deck as we push through the swells. Wew generally stand our watches tucked under the dodger, only venturing out into the cockpit (and invariably getting a drenching) when necessary. In between the squalls, the skies were clear and the stars bright. It was quite an experience to be sailing under the milky way, and directly towards the North Star, with spectacular meteorites leaving their glowing trails across the sky.
Our midnight radio schedule was an exercise in patience and frustration, as poor radio conditions and seemingly hundreds of Vietnamese fishing boats, all talking at once, made communications difficult. Often a boat’s position had to be relayed via two other boats before Kaneohe Base could hear the information it needed. As far as we could tell, no additional boats have had to turn back. Our midnight-to-midnight run was 146 nautical miles; our best yet on this return.
Attached: The Google Earth trackfile for our noon-to-noon run
Best Wishes,


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