Monday, November 14, 2011


Noon Position: 25 24.4' N 117 55.5' W, SOG 6.5K, COG 180T, 130 NM days
Well, since the last post a lot has changed - the big storm that rolled
through (at least I assume it did) California also rolled through me on
Friday - luckily we were far enough west that we got mostly SW'ly
breeze, which slowly built from Friday through to Saturday Afternoon,
ending up with beating into 25-30kts of wind under triple reefed main
and staysail - The seas were big and from a few different directions, so
there were frequently waves breaking over the deck from the beam as we
dropped off waves from the bow - I kept from pointing too high so that
we wouldn't slam off the waves too hard, but with the multiple
directions there was still a bit of pounding. Everything was creaking
and groaning, and there was one particular creak that drove me nuts -
every time the boat rolled, it sounded like soumething was about to rip
out of the boat. Well, clearly this was not a good sound, particularly
while trying to sleep, so after much creeping around, hanging onto all
the handholds available with my ear to various parts, I was relieved
when it turned out to be the stove - apparently the gimbals on it need
some grease. One can of WD-40 later and I was happily able to get to
sleep. I spent a lot of the day in bed reading - I'd go on deck to
adjust the windvane or the sails, then crawl back into bed and try to
ignore the slow drip that was leaking onto my right shoulder. After a
night of taking a beating, I awoke this morning to moderating wind
(15-20kts) from the W, and brilliant clear skies, so we're back up to a
single reef in the main to help the windvane steer and full genoa,
rocking along straight south - You have no idea how wonderful it is to
be moving faster than 3 knots, and in the right direction! If I had
ended up drifting around off Mexico for another week I think I woul'dve
just called it a day and motored into the nearest resort to wait for
wind. The electric autopilot came off today - he decided to fall apart
twice in the space of about 20 minutes, so I just pulled it off and
chucked it in the V-berth - no need for it anyway with the windvane.
The boat actually steers a lot more cleanly now without the drag of the
wheel pilot as well. Anyway, Here's hoping for a few good 140 or 150
mile days in the next few days to make some good time to the equator.

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