VALIS Report – July 18-19

Report from Sailing Vessel VALIS, Noon July 18 to Noon July 19

Current position: Lat 24deg 51.67min, Lon 137deg 03.13min
Heading 253 deg magnetic, speed 7 knots (8 knots through the water).
Distance run since Noon yesterday: 160 nautical miles

As promised, yesterday afternoon we jibed over towards Maui. We ran all night with a reefed main, and a full jib, both on the port side. Our heading is almost exactly along the great circle route to Maui, which according to the weather predictions (and current conditions) will keep us in 15-20 knot winds. This morning we put out the pole to help keep the jib full, as the swells cause us to slew around enough to occasionally let the main blanket the jib. With the pole, the jib stays (mostly) full, giving us more speed, less noise, and less wear and tear. We are making good speed, and the wind is strong, so the spinnaker will remain safely below-decks for now.

The flying fish we mentioned yesterday may have actually been squid. Yesterday we found several of these inky creatures on deck, each about six inches with tentacles stretched out. No more stowaways found this morning though.

Yesterday, Daniel has his rematch with the sea. The first kite had an appropriate skull and crossbones motif, and things looked good for a moment. Then, as we watched in horror, the kite spun around and plunged into the drink. The string was no match for the pull of the submerged kite, and the score was now The Sea: 3, Daniel: 0. Undaunted, Daniel tried once again, this time with a jaunty eagle design. Alas, the end result was the same.

Last night, another block (pully) self-destructed, briefly disabling the Monitor windvane. We switched over to the B&G electronic auto-pilot while we lashed together a temporary (?) repair the the windvane. Once that was again operational, we reefed the main, which, honestly, had been a bit much for the conditions.

The skies have been completely overcast for the past 24 hours, but the air has been pleasant. The moon shining through the clouds is bright enough for good visibility at night, but not so bright that we can’t watch the phosphorescence, with hundreds of tiny creatures glowing blue-green like stars in our wake.

For dinner last night, we decided to use some of our spaghetti, with a salad on the side. Breakfast was fresh fruit (we have to eat it before it goes bad — had to jettison the grapes yesterday), yogurt, and granola.

We are now approximately halfway to Maui, and seven days out from San Francisco. It looks like we will probably make up for the delayed departure, if we can keep going like we have been.

Best Wishes,
Andrew, Daniel, Jim, Paul

Leave a Reply »