Aug 10 – Northerlies Found!

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we were sailing gently downwind, waiting for the wind to swing around and come from the north. Well, in the afternoon it started to swing and within a couple of hours we had our full-blown northerlies. We started with all plain sails flying (main, staysail, genoa), and as the wind started to increase from 12 knots, 15, 20, 25, and last night gusting to 30 knots, we gradually reduced sail. First we furled the staysail, then put the first reef in ther main, then first-reefed reefed the genoa, second-reefed the main, second-reefed the genoa, and finally furled the genoa and re-set the staysail. We sped through the night, with the larger swells from the north mixing with the smaller ones from the west, and have been making good time towards San Francisco.
It is cooler now, with occasional drizzle rinsing off the salt-spray from the random waves that slap the side of the hull with a bang — VALIS shudders slightly, then regains her speed. Since we jibed yesterday, we have had to get used to everything now sliding to starboard, and have had to find new favorite spots for stashing a mug of tea.
We haven’t seen any ships for several days now, but yesterday we were visited by several large albatrosses, as they flew by VALIS to see what was going on. They didn’t stay long, but was a treat to watch these fellow long-distance travellers soar and glide, often only inches from the water’s surface.
Our midnight-to-midnight run was 158 NM, our best so far on the return. Currently (Aug 10, 1:30 PM PDT) we are at latitude 39deg 30min N, longitude 133deg 22min W, sailing 100 deg true at 6 knots. The wind is around 20 knots.
Attached is ourmost recent trackfile


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