Friday, November 18, 2011


Noon Position: 17 30' N, 117 45' W, SOG 5.8kts, COG 155 - I got this
position off a running fix from 2 sun sights this morning + a noon sight
- was within about 5 miles of the GPS position! Definitely heartening
to realize that I still remember how to take a sun sight. Today I can
tell we're fully in the tropics - it's been a hot, glorious tropical
day, with a brilliant blue sky and puffy white trade wind clouds, and
just enough breeze to keep us moving happily. This afternoon, in honor
of the weather (and in respect to the heat) I decided to give myself a
haircut and a take a bucket bath in the cockpit. I learned a few things
- namely, that a #1 length trim guard on the electric buzzer can't get
through my hair, That a #3 can in fact buzz my hair, and that on the #1
(reallly short) setting, the buzzer could in fact trim about a 4 inch
long stripe right down the middle of my head before choking on my
hair... Now I look a bit like a badger with a reverse mohawk.
Fortunately, theres no one out here to laugh at it but the dolphins, and
they're always up to no good anyway, so all is well. All is not well,
however, with the inverter that I was powering my buzzer with - I
switched the clippers off and on again fairly quickly, and apparently
this was too much for the inverter to handle - now it just beeps and
blinks a red light and turns itself on and off. Kind of a real setback,
actually, since I rely on the inverter to power my laptop for weather
and email access as well, but luckily the vacuum packed spare works. I
now just have to be super careful with the inverter and hope it holds
out - no more electric buzz hair cuts for me for damn sure. One thing
about this trip is that I certainly don't want to proceed into the
southern Ocean without weather knowledge - I wish I had the boat and the
balls to keep pushing on if I were to lose weather, but sailing a 35
year old boat, even one that's been extensively refit, behooves me to
minimize the wear and tear I put on her, namely through avoiding storms
as much as possible. Last night we passed near the Shamad seamount -
the chart says it has a depth of only 28m, but I didn't want to cut
between the two big fishing boats on it, so the depth sounder never saw
bottom. It was a bit weird seeing the bright lights of fishing boats
out here in the middle of nowhere, but there clearly are fish there, so
I guess it makes sense. Either they didn't speak English or weren't
monitoring their radios - no one responded when I tried calling them up
to ask how the fishing was.

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