Sunday, July 6, 2008

1:30pm PDT 48 09.4N, 125 23.3W 29.8 Nautical Miles from Neah Bay

Shoreside report:
As Capaz nears the coast, we are springing into action. The women whose men are on Capaz and the crew members' sons are embarking on their own little adventure which should intersect with the path of Capaz somewhere in Port Townsend. We are setting out this afternoon over to Marrowstone Island to occupy the forward base camp (so graciously provided by Brad's mom and her husband) at Deer Meadow. We plan to have some dinner there and try to get a little rest before rendez-vousing with Capaz sometime tonight or early Monday morning. We will then all spend the last few hours of the boat's delivery getting reacquainted with our sailor men before reaching the dock at Shilshole (slip F-23) sometime Monday morning. I will try to at least email out a more precise landing time for Shilshole when we know it. Otherwise, we will see how the inevitable cleaning up goes and let everyone know when we will have our "Open Boat" party!

From Captain Brad:
Aloha! Getting close now. We should enter the Strait at about 5:30pm today. As we approach the coast, several things started to change. For one thing, we started to hear chatter over the VHF, mostly Coast Guard making broadcasts. We have a lot more commercial traffic showing up on AIS. Right now, I have three bogeys: one at 1 O'Clock, another at 4 O'Clock and a third at 11O'Clock. The one at 11 may pass fairly close. The AIS says our TCPA (target closest point of approach or something like that) is showing as about 1 mile in about 45 minutes. The waves are different as well. They are "feeling" land as the swell that is almost too subtle to tell is even there starts to lift. Right now, there is a long period, maybe 20 seconds between peaks with maybe only 6 or 7' seas, but with a long valley in between. It's almost like the rolling hills of a prairie. The albatross is still with us. In fact I'm going to go outside and attempt to get a picture of her/him, hold on, be right back..........OK, so I was gone longer then expected. I went up to snap a photo. During that time breakfast was finished, bacon and eggs thanks to Kurt's culinary skills. Next the wind shifted enough to precipitate taking down the spinnaker. So I've been gone for a good half an hour.
Here is the recap of events. A good part of yesterday was spent motoring. It's not that there was no wind (it was blowing perhaps 10 to 12 knots) It's just the wind was from dead aft, which would have made things painfully slow and we are getting so close. One of the biggest highlights was the arrival and accompaniment of a pod of dolphins. We had perhaps a dozen or so stick with us for a good 45 minutes. It's amazing how the creatures on the open ocean use the kinetic energy of the waves to propel themselves. The albatross uses the wave troughs to make flight upwind easier and must get a boost as the wave rises under it. The dolphins surf on the waves and when they get a particularly large wave will come fully airborne while going down the face of the wave. They also use the bow wave of the boat to help push themselves along. Watching the dolphins I can't help but think that they are as interested about us as we are of them. I sent photos of these guys yesterday. Later in the day, we were visited by a pair of Dahl's porpoises which hung out for 15 minutes or so. I am disappointed that we have not seen any whales. I guess it was not to be on this trip. Maybe, we will luck out and see some Orca in the Sound.
It's getting crowded out here. I just noticed a blip on the radar that was not on AIS. It's a fishing boat about 3 miles off the starboard bow.
I keep getting distracted with commercial traffic and talking with the boys. I'll keep things short. We motored most the day yesterday. I grew bored with 24 and ended up watching a couple episodes of the Simpsons. Later on we played another game of Hearts. The victorious crew member was Eric Rone with 49 points. I had 51. We shall play again! Dinner was spaghetti with a meat sauce and assorted steamed vegetables from Chef Brad. The movie of the evening was Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Last night, was spent motor sailing half the time and sailing. The weather yesterday was quite pleasant. The sun shown through the ocean misty haze.
That's it for now from the good ship Capaz. Once in cell phone internet range we will send a lot more photos. Until then Cheers!

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