Our current position is N32deg 25′ W149 03′. We’re skirting along the southern edge of the Pacific High that by any other name is called a huge, windless hole. We’ve had wonderful sailing today with a breeze in the 15s and flat seas. Last night was somewhat of a chinese fire drill as during my watch (of course) winds piped up from the steady 10 knot range to 20+ and then back to nothing … three times! During one of the dead air times, we decided to motor. Shortly after starting the motor, I heard hissing from under the bonnet! Apparently, the engine cooling problem we experienced earlier had not been solved. With steam filling the cabin, it sounded just like the pressure cooker that firstmate Mark used for dinner that night (Although I personally think the engine-generated steam was pretty wimpy compared to that pressure cooker…). While all this was going on, we were visited by a pod of dolphin! They stayed with us for the next half hour under a nearly full moon. It was kinda nice to know we weren’t all alone out there. Needless to say, we were all tired puppies by daybreak. With plenty of head scratching and a few choice words, we have renewed confidence in the reliability of the engine cooling system after repairs were made this morning. We’ll see tonight, probably during my watch.
Some of you may have noticed that our track across the Pacific looks like the profile of an alpine stage of the Tour de France. Well, most of that is intentional. Early on, it was apparent that the best we could do with our northerly heading was mostly north but also some west. Exactly opposite of the direction we want to go. The opposing tack wasn’t much better; mostly east but also south. So, working our way north east was going to be a series of tacks. I say “most” because there was a tack in there that the old hands call a “crash tack”. This was brought on by the keen eye of firstmate and wildlife biologist Mark of a whale dead ahead. Like 200′ dead ahead. Crash. Tack. Fortunately there was no crash for the whale.
Time to sign off. More to come …
Pam and Roger
BYW: If you havn’t already, check out our current position on the Pacific Cup Yacht Club website under “returning Pac Cup boats”