Tuesday, June 24, 2008

10:02am PDT 28 36.23N 158 13.45W 1945 miles to go to Neah Bay

IMPORTANT MESSAGE from Shoreside Support:
We have gotten the tracking working. Just go to http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=SVCAPAZ and you will find a map of where Capaz and her crew were at the time of the their last YOTREPS report. There is also a link on the side bar to the left side of this page under S/V Capaz Links. Crewmember Brian Trautman is doing his blogging on his website which also has a link.
From Captain Brad:
A quick synopsis of how the trip is going as far as making it home. The first two days our mileage was 160 miles on day one and 163 miles on day two. That's as the crow flies and is not all miles made towards home. Since we left Ko Olina at 12:53pm HST we do our 24 hour runs from 1pm to 1pm HST (4pm to 4pm PDT). The weather situation is fairly complex and changing. The "Pacific High" is setting up a bit to the north and well to the east of our location. Well north . . . . say a thousand miles there is a pretty good westerly to southwesterly push of wind. Directly north of us about 200 to 300 miles, is a zone of very light pressure gradient and thus very light wind. We are heading straight for that zone. "Why?" you may ask. Well, the weather maps show the high building and assuming kind of a oval shape extending from the SW to the NE. As it does this, we should be able to get on the NW side and ride west to SW pressure gradient on a course that points us more or less to where we want to go. This would be "turning the corner" early which can be a bit risky since it would take us through where the Pacific High normally sets up camp. For now, we will continue to go more or less north. I expect that in the next 24 hours (perhaps with in the next 6 hours), we may turn on the Iron Sail (the engine) and motor sail, blasting our way through the light zone.
The current conditions are as forecast. The wind has been continually decreasing and is now blowing about 8 knots. We are able to make 5 to 6 knots so I'm pretty darn happy with that.
Yesterday we changed from the new working jib to the older original genoa. This sail appears to be about a 130% genoa and it has certainly seen some miles. Remarkably, the sail shape is quite nice. The UV cover has seen better days though. To make the change, Kurt, Brian and I boldly went to the foredeck and muscled down the working jib and folded it up. Next we unrolled the genoa. Kurt and Brian hoisted her at the mast while I fed the sail into the groove. All the while, Eric stayed at the helm, beer in hand, driving the boat.
Capaz's "Back" Deck
Other highlights of the day: Eric and Brian set up camp on the "aft deck" lounging for hours aft deck soaking up rays and feeling no pain. The weather yesterday was as good as it gets. Bright sun, enough breeze to keep you cool and a wide expanse of that big blue thingy called the Pacific Ocean. God, it's beautiful out here! I decided to watch and episode one from Season #3 of "24". My plan is to watch an episode (perhaps two if it's really exciting) every day during the trip. We also watched most of Master and Commander last night before everyone conked out. The moon is rising later now which makes for good star gazing. I don't know if you city folk know this, but man, there are billions of stars out there and this milky white thing I'm told is called the milky way. There is ZERO light pollution out here.
I already sent a picture yesterday. But the biggest highlight of all was getting buzzed twice by a navy plane. We reached them on Channel 16. Turns out they were just out for a joy ride. They were all business. the conversation went something like this:

Brad: Navy plane at (insert Lat long position here), thanks for giving us a fly by
Navy Plane: sailboat at (insert lat long position here), we were trying to get your attention. State your heading, speed and intentions
Brad: Roger(then I gave them heading and speed but didn't hear the intentions part)
Navy Plane: Please tell us your intentions
Brad: I intend to sail to Seattle and have lots of fun doing it (OK so I didn't really say the have lots of fun part)
Navy Plane: Please be advised that in two days there will be a live missile exorcise near this vicinity and that for you own safety you should north and east would be a good direction to go.
Well, you get the idea. They asked for the name of the vessel to be spelled out and I actually remembered all the names for the letters of Capaz. (Charlie Alpha Papa Alpha Zulu)

That's it from the fine yacht, Capaz. I leave you with the current state of things. "Jorge" is doing the driving, Brian is snoozing in the cockpit, Eric is sleeping in the aft cabin and Kurt and I are typing away on the computer while the sun shines through the pilot house and the wind just now jumped up to 15 knots and the boat speed has now jumped to 7.5 knots. Life is good!
Q:Who is driving? A: Jorge!

From Kurt Hoehne:

The ocean, so far, is more empty than I thought it would be. No whales to greet.
But there were several momentous events that interrupted yesterday’s tranquility. There was the attack by the US Navy. Sure, they said they checking the area to make sure it was empty, but how do we KNOW that. Just because their guns jammed as they flew in a typical strafing approach. I figure they must have been after me, a known anti-Bushy.
In all seriousness, they were very polite and professional as they radioed us and other vessels. Brad posed an interesting questions, could they force us to leave? We were in international waters.
Eric revealed that he had had nightmares about killing fish. That may be one of the reasons he let the two small yellow fin tuna go.
Movie night on Capaz didn’t turn out quite the rousing success it might have. We had to watch it down below because we could hook it up to the stereo. I bailed early, having seen Master and Commander twice already. (I waited until they got around Cape Horn) The rest of the audience left before the end.
Wind just picked up (7 am on Tuesday) We might squeeze a few more miles out before we have to take to the engine.

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