Monday, August 8, 2011

Honolulu to Port Angeles: Part 1 – June 29 – July 15: Two Weeks of Paradise

Midway through a hot and humid morning, we slipped out of the Ali Wai harbour in Honolulu to begin our long journey home. We were sorry to leave the Hawaii Yacht Club where we’d been treated so well.

Aloha HYC

Stashing the lines for a long passage - note Jordan drogue behind the helm

I felt like we had seen hardly anything of this beautiful city and island. I couldn’t imagine coming to Waikiki on a week’s vacation because, for us, two weeks was hardly enough time.

Passing through the channel - Waikiki in the background

Our 6 week visit just barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do in this intriguing place, so different from the rest of the United States. Barbara, off Sequoia, advised me to throw a lei into the water as we left – that way we would return. I didn’t have a lei to throw and wondered if we would ever be back.

Aloha Hawaii

The forecast was good. The trade winds were predicted to moderate - which would allow for a more comfortable transit away from the islands. We remembered our recent channel crossings and were not looking forward to a similar experience between Oahu and Kauai. As we passed the buoys we raised our sails and enjoyed a relaxed sail along the south shore, watching as the familiar landmarks slipped away.

Aloha Honolulu

Diamond Head slips away

As we rounded the south western point the wind freshened and then died before picking up again at the northwest end.  By sunset we had rounded Oahu and were maintaining a heading of 360 degrees, reefed down and close reaching, into 20 knots of wind. Our first night at sea was rough, almost as if the islands did not want us to go. As we left them in our wake, the seas became more regular and we were able to settle down into a routine. These various conditions in the first 24 hours were an excellent introduction to Ka’sala for Tony, as he began learning the ins and outs of sailing our little ship.

The remote western shore of Oahu
Despite the conditions, seasickness was not a problem for any of us. I was the only one who had medicated – I took dramamine for the first 48 hours – and all we suffered was a bit of queasiness and lack of appetite. I had planned bland and simple meals for the first few days out and we satisfied ourselves with lentils, rice, chicken and apples. My biggest worry was the fridge, which had begun acting up again. We realized the coolant was leaking, but by keeping the cooling plate frosty, the ice seemed to keep it sealed. I had frozen a large package of meat before we left and that seemed to give the fridge the cold boost it needed. Doug bought some automobile airconditioning coolant that he pumped in regularly and we were able to lump-de-dump it for the remainder of the voyage. Whew! How would we manage without cold beer?

The three of us discussed watch patterns and decided to try 4-4-4 during the night. I took the 4-8am shift so I could enjoy some night sailing and also watch the dawn. Doug and Tony decided to switch off each night between the 8-12 and the 12-4, which meant that every second night one of them could sleep through the night. During the day I looked after housekeeping and cooking while Doug and Tony kept a less regimented watch. Occasionally I would be on deck in the late afternoon while the two of them napped. It was not a rigourous arrangement, but it seemed to suit us all and we never felt too tired or fatigued as a result.

Life at sea is tough on the crew

We were a bit challenged by sleeping arrangements with this watch pattern. We have lee cloths on both the settees and we thought that would work – 2 off, one on – but with me in one of the bunks for the first 8 hours we ended up hotbunking. At the beginning, we tried having one person in the quarter berth, but they interfered with the person on watch who needed access to the navigation station. Besides, the berth was hot and stuffy and not very comfortable. Additionally, for the first half of the passage we were on a starboard tack which meant the bunk on the port side was comfortable, but the sleeper on the starboard side pressed up against the lee cloth. We came to the conclusion our lee cloths were really “toy” ones – too short and narrow to really do the trick. Eventually we figured out if we stuffed the cloth with cushions we could wedge ourselves in easily enough. Because I was the smallest I seemed to be more comfortable on the off side than the guys, so I took that one whenever I could, leaving the lee side to one of them. We tried personal pillows and sleeping bags as well, but that eventually broke down too. It didn’t take us long to realize that three people in a small space would have to sacrifice some of the niceties of land life in order to be comfortable at sea.

Messy cabin

We did 120 nautical miles on our first day. On my dawn watch I could just see the vague outline of Oahu far to the south and felt a pang of regret to leave this tropical paradise. I thought of the other boats which had chosen to lengthen their stay by heading to Hanalei Bay, (home of Puff the Magic Dragon) on Kauai, before jumping to North America, and kind of wished we had done the same. However, we were anxious to get home and knew that if we stopped there, we would not have been able to relax and enjoy it, so we continued on.

I was worried about the fridge on the second day and was thinking of how I would have to rearrange my meal plans. Our new batteries were doing a valiant job of keeping the fridge going and I was monitoring it closely hoping it would cool right down. This time I had two crates of fresh provisions in the forepeak. One contained 40 humungous Gala apples from New Zealand – fresh and crisp, they lasted the entire voyage. In another crate I had 30 small tomatoes, 12 large naval oranges, a huge pineapple, 6 limes and lemons. I’d bought 12 peppers – 6 red and 6 green. In retrospect, I should have bought 12 green as the red ones wanted to spoil quickly and the green ones eventually turned red anyway. I had a big bag of carrots, 12 potatoes, 24 onions, a large stick of ginger and 4 garlic heads all stored in the old microwave cabinet. I had finally found the expensive green bags that are supposed to keep food for a long time, but they did not work as well as the perforated Ziploc vegetable bags. In order for the green bags to be effective the produce had to be absolutely dry. I found it impossible to keep up with the natural gassing off and sweating of the vegetables, despite wrapping them in paper towel in the bag. I won’t use them again. I bought most of the fresh produce from Chinatown in Honolulu (best quality and prices) and topped up the rest at Foodland.

In the fridge I had 2 heads of romaine, 4 blocks of cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, monteray jack), 4 pounds of bacon, 2 steaks, 3 packages of spicy sausages and 3 packages of black forest ham, as well as a big tub of cold chicken we had barbequed just before we left. I had two ½ gallons of fresh juice, a litre of fresh milk, 4 litres of yoghurt and 2 pounds of butter in 1 cup sticks. The rest of the cold space consisted of tins of beer and ginger ale, some white wine and boxed apple juice as well as perishable condiments and yeast. Keeping the fridge full meant keeping the fridge cool. As the passage wore on and I had more room, I added in the peppers, carrots and ginger.

In dry storage I had 4 dozen eggs, 10 pounds each of white and whole wheat flour. Five pounds of white sugar, 2 pounds of brown sugar, a large box of Bisquick (which was worth its weight in gold), oatmeal, granola, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla were stored along with a generous supply of walnuts, pecans, mixed nuts, cashews, pistachios, raisins, cranberries and coconut. Lots of rice, pasta, dried potatoes and couscous provided starch. I had my tin locker filled with things like baked beans, corned beef, roast beef, chicken breast, Spam, salmon, tuna, dried soup, olives, fruit (peaches, pineapple, fruit cocktail), tomatoes, UHT milk, curries, mixed vegetables, cream of mushroom soup, and chili. Extras were stored in plastic trays in the bilges (along with a couple cases of beer). Many of my dry and tinned provisions I had bought in Mexico, but topped up at Walmart and Costco in Honolulu where I found better prices than Safeway.

While we were underway I made bread every other day. At first I made the famous Ziploc bread, but we didn’t enjoy it as much as the good old fashioned kneaded bread, so I reverted to that, using whole wheat flour to keep it healthy. One day I even made cinnamon bread which was a great hit. On the days I wasn’t baking bread I tried to make sweet things. Muffins were appreciated, especially warm out of the oven, but also for night watches. I made apple pies with Bisquick and even a chocolate cake to satisfy Tony’s sweet tooth.

Monitoring the oven temperature

One of Doug’s requirements for meals was that they be served in a bowl for easier consumption. I was able to do this most of the time, though on the few quiet days we had we ate off plates. As a result, my menus reflected this challenge. Each day I tried to vary breakfast so we ate toast with marmalade and cheese, yoghurt with granola, porridge, scrambled eggs, fruit, juice and dark roast coffee. Lunches were usually more casual – ham sandwiches, soup when it got colder, grilled cheese, cheese and crackers and fruit. For dinner I would use my large flat bottomed wok to do stir fries or, more often, fry up some onions and peppers with dried spices and added tins of canned meat, curries, beans, and hash usually served over rice. However I also made pizza three times, made a couple ham & cheese quiches, pot pies, casseroles and, when it was really rough, even just opened a couple tins of chili and heated them up. My Force 10 oven is gimbaled and has clamps to hold pots. You can’t go to sea without these accessories.

A gentle heel

Most days we had happy hour and enjoyed a beer and/or a glass of wine with dinner. I wanted to make sure we were all comfortable and I think I probably succeeded. It may sound onerous, but I really took great pleasure doing all the planning, provisioning, cooking and eating. It’s kind of like a very challenging game and I took immense satisfaction in organizing it and seeing it all through successfully. However, I think our waistlines might have suffered! So much for the Pacific diet!

This entry from my journal pretty well describes what the sailing was like for our first week out of Hawaii:

“Yesterday was nice again – sunny and warm and on a close reach to a beat, trying to maintain our heading of 360 degrees in steady 15 knot winds with higher gusts. The sea state is comfortable at 2 to 4 feet, so taking it on the beam isn’t too tough. The variation on this leg is the squalls. We got our first one yesterday afternoon. You can see them coming in the distance, generally from the east. Their black underbellies drape with rain and we watch closely for thunder and lightning, but have seen none. However, as we approach each one, the winds gust up, sometimes as high as 25 knots, and vary direction so, depending on the size of the squall, we can be running around reefing down, letting out and changing our point of sail to try to keep our heading. The seas kick up as well. These squalls don’t sleep, so when they happen at night, life can be a little more exciting. We’ve figured out a way to make reefing the headsail easier by wrapping the furling line on one of the interior winches. It’s nice to get the rain in the squall because it washes the sticky salt residue off the boat and keeps us cool.”

Squall at sunset

Eventually, rather than reefing each time we entered a squall, we learned to ease the sheets and make the most of the increased wind to increase our mileage. This became more important as we went along because the regular wind decreased and we had to work harder to maintain 4 knots of speed. From my journal:

“Since leaving Hawaii, we seem to encounter squalls in the evening/night and morning. Most are benign bringing a few minutes of quickening wind and sometimes a shower. Occasionally they reach gusts of 25+ knots and, when the rain comes, it pounds on the decks. Initially we would start to reef when we saw/felt them coming, but lately we’ve been holding fast and easing the sheets to fall off the wind – a lot less work. The boat will pitch and pound and it feels like we are roaring along, but because we are beating/close hauled we rarely do more than 5.5 knots.”

Double rainbow after a squall - we saw many of them on this part of the trip

For the first two weeks our mileage hovered around 100 nautical miles a day and we averaged 3 to 5 knots under full sail on a close reach in 2 foot seas. Our best day was 130 miles and our slowest was 75. Sometimes we were in complete calm and motored for a couple hours, primarily to charge our batteries and make hot water for washing. Each day we awoke to a magnificent sunrise and went to bed after a spectacular sunset. On some days we would see puffy cloud formations scudding by developing into fantastic shapes. We amused ourselves by pointing out their animal-like characteristics.

Squall coming!

In the first week, the daytime temperatures were over 30 degrees Celsius and the sea temperatures rose to a high of 31 degrees celcius under the endless blue and sunny skies! The ocean was an incredible sapphire blue, shot through with pillars of white light from the sun that seemed to go on forever. On some days there were no clouds whatsoever and it felt like being in an endless blue landscape. On other days we could see the tops of clouds over the horizon miles in the distance. While on our passage from Mexico to Hawaii I had felt like a little speck in a vast sea, however, these conditions made me feel at home and at peace. In my whole life I have never experienced anything like it and finally, through all our adventure, I understood what drives a sailor, for there is nothing remotely like this vista anywhere on land. I felt hugely blessed and privileged to experience these days – perhaps my reward for overcoming the fears and anxieties that almost prevented me from being there.

Sunset, July 4, 2011

We didn’t see an excessive amount of wildlife in our first two weeks. From my journal:

“Tony and I were talking in the cockpit after dinner when I heard a great flapping noise. I thought the sails were luffing, but instead, a 10 inch flying fish had grounded in the scuppers behind my head. It was a gorgeous iridescent blueish coloured fish with large round eyes and enormous fins that (yes) look just like featherless wings. I managed to get it back into the sea, but I know of others who would have kept it for the frying pan!”

On occasion we would see a dorsal fin gliding out of the water in the distance – perhaps a whale? A dolphin? A porpoise? A Shark? When the water was at its hottest we noticed we had a little convoy of 6 inch fish – blue with yellow stripes – swimming busily in formation in the shadow of the stern, playing in our wake.


A very feisty zebra striped fish, about 6 inches long, played tag with our bow wake, swimming like mad to get up on the crest, then cruising down it like a miniature surfer. Deeper down we could see schools of larger fish – possibly tuna – that roiled about, causing our little surface friends to press close to the hull. One day we saw a school of tuna leaping out of the water – all about two feet long, flying across the waves. We didn’t see what was chasing them, but we noted the irony of eating canned tuna as we watched them!

Yes, the water really was this colour!

We did try to fish on this passage. Buoyed by the success of the other boats in the “So Long Hawaii” Net, we read our Dashew and Pardey, tried to remember everything we had been told and cast out a line with a weight and a squiggly blue/green squid-like lure. We had no response the first couple days and on the third day caught a small tuna which we promptly lost as we reeled it in. Robert, aboard Freedom, gave us further advise and we changed lures and tactics. However, as we made the adjustments, we brought the lure to the attention of a big honking bird who tried to pick it up. Tony reeled in as fast as he could and I shouted and waved my arms, but this was one determined bird! We drew the lure right behind the windvane and tried to sort out the now tangled line. Didn’t the creature continue going for it? At one point, it literally ran across the water, feet and wings flapping. It managed to get the hook in its beak, but luckily spit it out. We continued to try to catch fish for another week with no success – not even a bite. Canned tuna would rule the day!

After a while, it became apparent to us we were being followed by two very large dun and white coloured birds with long bills who we assumed were albatross, but might have been gooney birds. We’d see them in the morning and the evening as they circled around Ka’sala on their huge wings, then rested in the sea while we passed by, before catching up with us again. For a while we had a small flock of little brown birds that made a cheerful little twittering sound when they zoomed around our sails and wind generator. Freedom reported the same little flock. Unfortunately one of those birds met a sticky end in their wind generator!

Each day we checked in to the Pacific Seafarer’s Net. It was great hearing the Toms, Randy and Jane again, as well as all the other faithful volunteers who provide a safety net and make it possible for friends and loved ones to follow our passage. We also discovered that the route from Hawaii to North America is a highway in the summer. In Honolulu, Robert, from Freedom, told us about several other yachts making the same passage who wanted to keep in touch along the way through an informal net. We called it “So Long Hawaii”. Although we left earlier than most of them, by the third day out we had established an 8:30 am contact time. Each morning we checked in with Freedom (to San Pedro), Bianca (to San Francisco), Alabar (to Port Angeles), Kialani (to Port Angeles), Quest (to Seattle), Ikia (to Bellingham), Trial Run (to San Francisco), and Sequoia (to Portland). We also followed several other yachts on the PSN such as Camdebou and Commotion who were heading to Victoria. (Our friends on Witte Raaf had arrived in Sitka, Alaska a few days after we began our journey and 20 days after they began theirs. We realized that Alaska is actually closer to Hawaii than Neah Bay!)

Evening on Ka'sala - navigator on the net, cook in the galley

The major discussion topic on our informal net concerned the weather and strategizing our course home around the Pacific high. One of the reasons so many boats make the passage from Hawaii to NA at this time of the year is because the high moves north, blocking out the lows that regularly move across the north Pacific, making the chance of encountering a gale during the summer months fairly remote. The Pacific High moves slowly east and west, north and south and can intensify or lighten up. It’s like a living thing and, whatever its mood, depends on how we will fare.

I took this weather fax from the internet - it shows SV Telltales strategy, but it gives you an idea of what concerned us.

Whatever the location of the Pacific High, the profile for this passage is to sail directly north until you get above it. Because the high rotates in a clockwise direction, the winds change direction, as they rotate around it. Below the high, they tend to come from the east/northeast/north. Above the high they move west/northwest. The wind intensifies depending on how close the isobars are that surround it. The strategy is to figure out how to stay out of the middle where there is no wind. You have to make sure you are above the high before you can begin to head east, otherwise you could get caught with no wind and not enough fuel to motor through. In our case, the high was gigantic and deep, reaching 1038 milibars and sitting farther north than usual. Some sailors are lucky enough to begin their easting at 38 degrees. Many can begin the turn at 40. We had to climb to 44+ to get there – far higher than usual. For those of you who followed our course on Yotreps, that is why we went so far north and then made a 90 degree turn. Luckily we only had to motor for 30 hours to transit the high before we started picking up the westerly winds that would bring us home.

How did we know how to plot our course? Doug made good use of the SSB to download weather faxes from the weather stations in Hawaii and Point Reyes. These faxes were updated each day and showed the projected movement of the high over a 72 hour period. He was also able to get information on projected wind speed and direction, as well as wave height. He would analyze all this information and Tony and I would crowd around him to get our daily weather brief. Doug was able to share his ideas with the others on the informal net who were using grib files from Passage Weather. It was a good feeling to see these projections and make sense of the decision making.

We saw only one other boat as we left Hawaii. It looked to be some kind of fish boat but we weren’t sure. Our AIS picked up a couple of freighters in the distance as we headed north and sometimes we could see them far away. When we were motoring through the high a freighter bore down on us, so we contacted him by VHF. He turned out to be a Norwegian vessel and we had a pleasant conversation before heading off in our prospective directions. However, we made up for the lack of sightings later, when we approached the North American coast.

July 11, 2011 - after 12 days at sea

During our first two weeks at sea we were overwhelmed by the stupendous star cover at night. We began the passage with no moon, so the firmament was ablaze with light when there was no other interference. The Milky Way was a deep white ribbon of river across the sky. The stars seemed close enough to touch and the panorama extended right down to the water. I’m afraid I don’t really know my constellations, but it didn’t really matter to me, as I was able to pick out shapes and clusters and enjoy the panoply as if it were a large, pale starlit flower garden. We all got cricks in our necks at night. It was so clear that we could easily see squalls as they approached.

Milky Way

From my journal on Day 5:

“The crew are doing very well – lots to talk about and very companionable. What a difference having a third person aboard makes! Tony seems to be happy and enjoying himself. His wonderful seamanship and support by far out weighs any inconvenience or cramping below decks. He is extremely sensitive about our personal space and accommodating.”


We all read a lot of books. Doug blasted through most of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series (there are 21 of them!) on his Kindle and Nook, Tony read a variety of books including Two Years Before the Mast, and I read an eclectic mix of British mysteries and American literature. I read on my Kindle (which I love) and the few paperbacks I had picked up along the way.

By the end of the first week we were in a comfortable routine and getting along together well. From my journal:

“Tony is proving to be a great intellectual companion. In addition to getting to know him better, we’ve been conversing politics, religion, philosophy, and so on, all with good nature. He wants to know everything about the boat and sailing. He loves being in the cockpit and helms the boat for most of the day. None of us are napping as the watch pattern seems to keep us all alert – though if the weather was more difficult that might be a different story. Nevertheless, we have to do a lot of hand steering as the monitor does not track well in these light winds. The days and nights are very hot and we welcome the squalls when they come our way. It’s getting too hot to cook!

Doug and Tony repair a tear in our ancient dodger

We’ve been seeing more flotsam – large bundles of knotted line and netting with all kinds of stuff like plastic crates and Styrofoam mixed in – yuck! Every two or three minutes a lone piece of plastic floats by – could be a bottle cap, a water bottle, a float, a cooler, a fender or just a shard of white something.”

One of many plastic floats we saw along the way

Actually, we had been quite concerned by the tales we had heard of a great garbage dump floating around in the Pacific High. We didn’t see any such thing, just a continuous stream of the plastic objects which was unpleasant enough. However, at 33 and 34 degrees north we did find two glass Japanese fish floats – both green and about 18” across. Both had an entire culture of mussels, crabs and other crustaceous creatures attached to them. We cut these away and kept the balls, but later we discovered that other cruisers actually ate this little ecosystem!

This ball is similar to what we found
From my journal on Day 8:

“We’ve noted that every few minutes a piece of garbage floats by – mostly bits and pieces of plastic and fishing debris. This morning I saw a plastic barrel the size of an oil drum. All this debris seems to have a garden of barnacles or mussels on it and I imagine there are crabs too – adaptable eco systems”

This morning the dawn watch was magnificent. No moon and the MilkyWay stretched across the sky to the south. I saw numerous falling stars – what a canopy! Dawn graduated into a fiery sunrise. Soon after our albatross showed up again, soaring close to the boat. What a magnificent bird.”

Wandering albatross

“The ocean undulates today. The wind comes in puffs like a great giant breathing in and out. The ocean is like a vast animal and right now it is sleeping peacefully. What will it be like a week from now?”

“We picked up an oil tanker on the AIS. We can actually see it 10 miles to the west, so the visibility is truly astonishing now that we can measure it against an inanimate object.”

By Day 10 (37 N/ 156 W) we were starting to notice changes. From my journal:

“Yesterday was overcast with showers for most of the day with 15 knot winds and a 4 foot wind chop with white caps. It was a bumpy ride with the boat pitching up and down. The water is getting cooler – down to 73 degrees (from 88 two days before) and we are wearing sweaters for our night watches. Because the wind is directly from the north, we find ourselves struggling to keep even 320 degrees, adding more westing than we want.

Just at sunset we saw at least one huge whale breach in the distance. We held our breath, hoping the pod would move away from us. The last thing we wanted was a close encounter with a whale this far out in the Pacific. We didn’t see them again, though Tony swore he could hear air from blowholes during the night.

A slight weariness has caught up with me and despite a very strong cup of coffee, I fell fast asleep after breakfast and slept like the dead for a couple of hours. I try very, very hard to be patient and enjoy living in the moment, by trying to recognize that this is an experience I may never have again. I’m drinking it up, but I’m still thinking of what lies ahead and wondering how I’ll ever manage. Doug’s support is to say: “Don’t worry. Let’s refit in Port Townsend and head back to Mexico this fall.” OR “Why don’t we just turn south and head back to San Francisco?” OR “We could turn around and sail right back to Hawaii and continue on to the South Pacific in the fall.” It’s tempting."

On Day 11 (38N/156W):

“The day remained warm and sunny; the sky so clear and cloudless it was impossible to take it all in. I have never seen such clarity and such distance. I thought the prairies were big sky! This is amazing and impossible to capture on film. We sailed all day in 10 knot winds and gentle seas at 4 knots. I tried to imprint the whole day on my brain but already I feel it slipping away. The feeling is totally different from the trip to Hawaii where I felt we were a tiny speck. I still feel small, but in an expansive way – perhaps this experience is impossible to describe at all. I had a taste of McCallum on the foredeck at sunset. In future, when I have a scotch, I’ll remember. It’s hard to believe we are at the same latitude as San Francisco.”

Beating along on a starboard tack

On Day 13 (42N/156W) from my journal:

"Are we ever going to get home? I know we are and suspect we are more than halfway already, but going straight north (and sometimes a little west) can be quite demoralizing. And, it looks like it will continue for at least another day as the high continues to build and move north. Our barometer is now 1034 and the high is supposed to go to 1038. Even though we aren’t actually heading to our destination, we are making good as the distance between lines of longitude decrease the farther we move north. At least we are in favourable conditions. Now, however, we are truly out of the tropics. The water temperature has dropped to 17 degrees Celcius and the skies are totally overcast. Although it hasn’t rained, we can feel the humidity. The cabin temperature was 21 degrees this morning compared to 31 a week ago. We’re now wearing our long underwear for our night watches.”

The highest we have seen on a barometer and it continued to rise to 1038

From my journal on Day 14 (43N/156W), our last day heading north:

"Today we are traversing the centre of the Pacific High. As I write this I can look all around and see a flat, slowly undulating sea stretching impossible distances 360 degrees around Ka’sala. Not a cloud in the sky. The sea blue is more turquoise now than sapphire. The light doesn’t penetrate through the water the way it did before and it looks dark and unfathomable. Nevertheless, there is life here. A school of small porpoises (dolphins?) surrounded us at dawn leaping all around the boat and playing in the bow wake. I ran for my camera, but they must have guessed it for, en masse, they veered off to the west.”

We have brilliant sunshine, but the puffs of wind are cool and we seek the sun to sit in, rather than avoiding it, as we did further south. I’ve aired all the bedding, tidied, swept and washed the floors. I feel it’s important to keep things as clean and dry as possible and cut down on the smells and mustiness. We are motoring along at 4.5 knots to try to get to the northeast side of the Pacific High. The wind died about 3am and we’ve been motoring with the main up and the engine at 2000 rpm. Doug added the extra jerry cans of diesel to the fuel tank, taking advantage of the flat conditions. He figures we may find wind tomorrow and says we can motor for up to 48 hours. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. We want to make sure we have fuel reserves as we get closer to the coast and the shipping lanes. In a satellite photo Doug got from the SSB it shows clear, sunny skies all the way to NA. The weather faxes tell us we should pick up NW winds at 20 knots on the other side of the High. If this is the case, we should speed home with the wind on our quarter. Doug says I worry too much about everything: fuel, water, food, wind, waves, work, etc…. “

Picture from our chart plotter - why is the little green boat pointing to Japan?

Doug’s planning and predictions all worked out to be exactly right. What a guy!

Sunset in the Pacific High

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