Cruising along in peaceful solitude
The last watch in the night watch rotation is by far the best. You more or less get a full night's uninterrupted sleep plus you get the watch the sunrise in peaceful solitude. This was my second "Sunrise" watch of the trip....nice. The big story is our course change. We are now steering a course of 68 degrees magnetic. This points us more or less right at San Francisco, well to the right of the course that would take us directly home. Now Harold, if your reading this, no I haven't totally lost my marbles. The weather pattern in the NE Pacific has not yet settled down to the well known Pacific High yet. This may be good for us, but likely bad for the folks doing Vic Maui. The Weather "Grib" files (which PJ so kindly described to you earlier) have not had a whole lot of consistency from run to run. You could say they were FUBAR (for those of you who do not like vulgarity or for the young ones reading this please skip to the next paragraph. FUBAR means fucked up beyond all recognition.
OK, so the Gribs have been FUBAR but now a pattern has more or less settled in. If we were to continue the great circle route a developing low would pretty much pass right over us and then put us on the wrong side into pretty stiff headwinds for a day or so. The weather routing software I'm using, Deckman for Windows kept wanting us to sail just north of east for a day or two. According to the program that would keep us on the more favorable south and east side of the low, taking advantage of the pressure gradient between the low and the high, now pushed well SW of it's normal position. So, that's what we are doing. Hopefully it will work out. If the low pushes further west and south of last nights prediction we may still end up on the wrong side. Only time will tell.
For now, we are having a glorious sail after trying to use the symmetric spinnaker for a good part of the day yesterday, we switched back to the asymmetric spinnaker and headed up 30 degrees or so sometime around 3pm (6pm PDT). We reached through the night. I'm sure averaging over 8 knots. Right now, I suspect the average speed is more in the high 8's perhaps even 9 knots. Making good time! This is also a fairly comfortable point of sail. There is a little bouncing and juking around but overall very nice.
Sleeping on a boat makes for some strange dreams. I'm not even going to go into that. Sleep does come a bit more difficultly and you tend to wake up a lot more during the night then when sleeping on land. Wow, we just hit a 10.4 knot surge! Anyway, I think the reason the dreams are weird is that you remember more of them having rem sleep interrupted by a strange sound or the boat making a steeper than usual roll.
Last night we had fish taco's courtesy of fish slayer Eric. They were mighty tasty. Combine that with a Corona and a finished with a small glass of port wine and you have a perfect meal. After dinner, while I was pulling down weather files we all sat in the salon and swapped stories and generally had a nice moment. It's good bunch of guys.