Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day Four

Day 4 down, 17 more to go. We had a good day today though this morning there was not much wind so our mainsail was just flopping around making a lot of noise. We decided to take it down and just sail with our screecher (big sail that is similar to an asymmetrical spinnaker). Though there was little wind we were still able to do about 3-4 knots. Later this afternoon however, we raised the main as the wind picked up. We started doing 7-8 knots and even a 9+ which was fun. All in all though this was our slowest day as we only made 144 nautical miles. We've been eating well at all meals and we've had stir fried veggies with beans and guacamole on tostadas for breakfast (we had this at the yoga retreat we were at), chicken stir fry and great salads -- need to use up all those veggies we have on board! Barb has done an excellent job organizing all the food and meal plans. Its a huge job.

Barb and I also did yoga today in the cockpit (or as I like to call it the Lido deck). Its a little tricky doing those balance exercises with the boat moving around as much as it does, but nonetheless, its a good exercise. We have also begun to get into a daily routine and ironically, there has been very little downtime. Mornings include organizing the boat, breakfast, home school, making water and charging batteries as well as checking into the morning Net on the single sideband radio and checking weather. Afternoons include finishing home school, reading up on where we are going, fishing, repairs to the boat that might be required and perhaps a project or two with the kids. Evenings include dinner and checking into the Net again. We actually have not had any time yet to do any of the projects or games Barb brought along. But.....there are 17 days to go.

Regarding boat repairs, prior to leaving La Cruz, I had installed some cables and a block and tackle system to take out the slack in the lazy shroud. (Shrouds are the part of the rigging that hold up the mast and the lazy one is the one on the opposite side of where the wind is coming from. It is lazy because it is not supporting the mast when the wind is coming from the other side as the one closer to the wind (the windward shroud) is doing that.) Anyhow, this set up, called a slack sucker, was to take out the slack from the lazy shroud because when we hit waves there is a lot of oscillation that runs up and down the shroud. This oscillation and slack is not great for the rig because it puts unnecessary stress on the connection points to the boat and mast. By the second day however, the cable that I had attached to the rig was not holding and came down (why, that's another story, but West Marine did not rig the cables the way I had asked and I could only work with what they made). So, I needed to figure out a jury rig. I grabbed some line (rope) and attached a rolling hitch knot(used when a sideways pull is required), but that only worked for a day. Then, using our handy dandy knot book and a recommendation from a friend on another boat, I tried a knot call the icicle hitch -- named for the fact that it apparently can hold to even a tapered icicle. That did the trick and it is still holding. Seems there is a knot for everything!

This evening as we were furling up the screecher it would not come in all the way so we ended up dropping the sail completely and storing it in our sail locker. Tomorrows project will be figuring out why it wont furl!

Fortunately, we have only had minor issues to deal with, such as the ones above, along the way. Two boats that had left La Cruz in the last four days have turned back. Seems one lost a propeller blade and the other was getting water into their oil in their diesel engine. Hopefully they will get those fixed quickly and be back on their way to the South Pacific.

Our Stats for the last 24 hours:
Day 4:
Distance: 144 miles; Total trip: 620 miles
Average Speed: 6 knots; Average overall speed: 6.46 knots
Sea Conditions: Gentle; 3-5 foot waves; overcast much of the day but some sun; NNE winds much lighter today with about 8-10 knots for most of the daylight hours, making us slow right down to about 3 knots for a portion of today. It felt like we were bobbing for much of it. Wind picked up in late afternoon to 15-20 knots and we had the boat doing 8+ knots.
Incident Report: Asymetrical sail tangled as we tried to pull it in this eve; will address it in the a.m. Other than that, nothing much to report.
Fish caught: zero.
Produce Inventory: We lost one tomato to spoilage.
Meals/Snacks: Breakfast was oatmeal with nuts, raisins, cranberries and goji berries with fresh blueberries on top. Morning snack was peaches, kiwis and watermelon (i.e. anything that is on the verge of going off). Lunch was turkey sandwiches with lettuce and peppers. Afternoon snack was carrots, jicama, cucumber and pretzels with hummous. Dinner was tuna croquettes (buns for some) with salad. Need to find more things to do with avocado as they are getting very overripe.
At 4/14/2011 06:30 (utc) our position was 15°47.05'N 115°13.43'W

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  1. Living vicariously through you and those who are in front and behind you. We'res still in the marina waiting for our storm sail and backstay rigging to be done. Then, up to Loretofest. Thinking of you all and you are in our hearts.
    s/v Hotspur

  2. Not too much time to relax and lots to take of - repairs, maintenance, being always alert, and so much more. Yoga and good meals are a great relief, so take advantage!