Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Noon position: 07 44' N, 115 52' W, SOG 6kts, COG 120, days run 95nm.
Ahh, the joys of weather - had a very frustrating day of squalls
yesterday - ended up hand steering for a lot of the afternoon, and
raised and lowered the main more than once. There were great, looming
rain squalls slowly drifting across the sea - each one brought for the
1/4 mile or so around it, then proceeded to suck all the wind, joy, and
life out of everything else. We'd hook into one squall, sail at 5 or 6
knots in a direction - sometimes S, sometimes SW, frequently due West,
(not at all the way to go, but it was easier on the boat to be moving
than not) for about 30 minutes while getting rained on, then go back to
rolling around on Hurricane Kenneth's swell moving across the glassy
waters. I've been watching Kenneth for about 5 days now, from the first
projections of it being a small tropical depression blowing 25 or 30
knots and going straight across my path to a major hurricane blowing
90-100... Very glad that Kenneth turned further north than they
originally thought, and that I made all the Southing that I needed to to
clear it - while I'm sailing to Cape Horn, hurricanes are certainly not
something anyone in their right mind wound want to get anywhere near.
It looks like Kenneth has disrupted the ITCZ (doldrums) enough that the
weather I had yesterday was my crossing of it - now, of course, it's
blowing 20 to 25kts from due South, with an accompanying 6-8 foot sea.
We're throttled back quite a bit, more close reaching than anything,
just to save the slamming of dropping of an 8 foot wave at 6 kts every
30 seconds or so - now we just drop off a 4 footer at 6 kts every 5 or
10 minutes. Much better! The leaks which I strove to defeat after the
last weather we had are back. I won one victory in that there is no
longer a steady stream of water dripping onto the GPS and the chart
table, but most of the rest seem unaffected - maybe a bit slower, but
not much. I think the biggest one is from where the traveller is
through bolted - it's bedded pretty poorly - there are gaps I could
stick a butter knife into, so that's up next on my list of leak
fighting. Unfortunately, the leaks have won the fight with the stereo -
watched "Around Cape Horn" by Irving Johnson last night with the sound
on the stereo, turned it off to go to bed, and this morning discovered a
long stream of dribbles down the wood and into the stereo, which of
course would not turn on. so now it's recuperating in a bag of rice,
hopefully to return to life, although I'm not particularly hopeful.
I've got headphones and the speakers on my ipod, but having real
speakers was a nice little luxury that I'm going to miss.

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