Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 15: Happy Crew, Happy Boat

August 25, 2010
15:51 HST (01:51 UTC August 26)
Lat: 47 29.6 North

Lon 127 44.5 West
Distance to go: 190 nautical miles, (132 miles to Cape Flattery)

We are all getting pretty excited about making landfall tomorrow and arriving in Victoria later in the day! For the first time in well . . . . 15 days we heard chatter on the VHF. Yes, we left the VHF radio on all the time. We heard a Canadian naval plane contacting vessels inbound to the strait of Juan de Fuca. That reminds me of a joke: Do you know how Canadians spell Canada? (for the answer go to the bottom of the email).

In any case, there have been other signs that we are nearing land. Clumps of kelp have started appearing in the water. I haven't seen that for a while. The water color has changed. It has more of a green tinge to it. I saw what looked like a seagull earlier this morning. We are getting close!

After motoring for what seemed like forever, we finally got the wind shift that I had been predicting. You see, a front was supposed to overtake us bringing a shift in the wind from the SW to the NW. It also was supposed to bring an increase in wind. Well, it didn't happen yesterday, and we started the watch schedule with the engine running. I had the last watch from 3:30am to 6am HST. Since we are still on Hawaiian Time and it really was 6:30am Pacific Daylight Time, the sky was already light. I poked my head out the hatch and it was misty and cold. The front was upon us. About 1/2 hour into my watch the wind abruptly shifted and started to build. Game on. I unrolled the headsail and waited for one of the crew to wake up about 1.5 hours later. Randy surfaced and we hoisted the main and turned off the engine. One thing I neglected to mention was that the boat speed was about 1 knot off of what we should have been doing with the engine RPM's we were running. Really there were only two likely causes. The first one that came to mind was that we had picked something up on the rudder or keel, like a net or a shark, something like that. The other option was that something was wrong with the prop itself. Anyway, we backed down the boat which took care of the problem. Thank goodess it wasn't the prop (touch wood).

Right now, it's blowing about 20 knots on the beam and we are making about 8 knots of boat speed. Making good time! By this time tomorrow we will be in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and in cell phone range. I guess it's back to civilization. Since April 1st of this year I have sailed about 8000 nautical miles at sea. I think that's enough for a while. Strangely I'm not really burnt out on the whole thing, it just isn't holding that magic for me that it used too. I never thought I'd say that, but there you have it.

Well it's getting to be that time where we all gather in the salon and watch a bit of TV and Randy cooks dinner, then I get on the SSB and talk to my friend on Mulan, we watch more TV, then hit the sack. Tonight we will reef the main and mizzen before it gets dark, so we don't have to do it in the dark of the night were it to get stinky. We are almost there!


C, eh, N, eh, D, eh
(joke courtesy of Dave)

That reminds me, Dave told me a little lymeric. Here's how it goes:

There once was a man from Nantucket, who's Di.........ok, maybe that one isn't appropriate.

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