VALIS – August 6

Greetings! We have been making good time since yesterday, and are sailing at 7.5 knots under asymmetrical spinnaker on a course of 120 deg true (this is more south than we would prefer, but we will make up for it later). Our current position, as of 3:30 PM PDT, is latitude 40deg 18min, longitude 145deg 59min. See the attached Google Earth trackfile for our recent wanderings.
Yesterday we launched a bottle, containing our “halfway home” message. We wonder if it will ever be found.
The big event yesterday was splitting the light-air asymmetrical spinnaker (sob!). This trusty sail had served us well, but in the afternoon we hooked a fish (a small tuna), and we decided to slow down the boat to help in bringing our catch aboard. The spinnaker started to flog violently, and it ripped in a complicated vertical tear, much larger than we can patch with the repair kit we have aboard. Oh yes, the fish slipped off the hook.
Fortunately, we still have the heavier symmetrical spinnaker, so we hoisted that and since the winds have picked up it is flying well.
Dinner was a spicy “Blackened Mahi-mahi” over rice, followed by an after-sunset screening (with popcorn!) of John Carpenter’s “They Live”. This may very well be the world’s first viewing of this film 1100 miles west of Mendocino. As the sun was going down, Phil spotted a sail in the west. We turned on the VHF radio and had a nice chat with “Patience”, a Westsail 32, 14 days out of Hanele Bay,and heading for Oregon. Her crew was one man and his dog.
During his 1:00 – 4:00AM watch, Paul spotted a light on the horizon, heading west. We could never see more than the single light, and could not raise the vessel on the radio.
Today the skies are overcast and there is an occasional drizzle. The wind is 15 knots from the west, and the swells are larger — about three or four feet. The Monitor windvane doesn’t like to steer in these downwind conditions, so we are either using the B&G electronic/hydraulic autopilot (this does a little better), or hand-steering.
Until tomorrow,


Leave a Reply »