Monday, May 23, 2016

Pacific Crossing Day Four

Bumpy Bump we charge through the seas all afternoon and into the evening. I had the midnight shift coming up when I heard a yell from the cockpit, "Holy Cow" (or some similar words)"We got a problem here." Scott Tobiason was on watch and yelled for crew to come up. Connie woke from a deep sleep and stumbled out of the quarter berth. I tried in vain to put on my harness and shoes.

In my head I'm thinking that I should grab the life raft like we discussed. Connie would grab the ditch bag and the EPIRB. But then again, we didn't know what the nature of the emergency was.

Finally Connie and I arrived on deck to find we were not sinking. The emergency was that the big genoa sail was lying alongside the boat, streaming in the water. S.T. was at the bow greatly relieved that the sail was still attached by head, tack, and clew. The foresail halyard had parted!

Hand over hand we pulled the big sail onto the side deck, like the sailors of old, feet on the bulwarks, braced against the cabin top. Hand over hand she came in like a big wet fishing net until we got the whole wad secured. At the furler hung a two foot section of half inch line, its end shredded.

We rigged one of the two extra halyards to the head of the sail. I winched her up as S.T. fed the sheet feeder and Connie managed the flapping port side sheet. Soon we had the sail hoisted and sheeted tight. My comment to S.T.: "The next time you want to get creative calling me up for my shift, try something a little less serious."

Thankfully the seas had gone down so we didn't get tossed overboard during our sail retrieval process. I settled down in the cockpit for my shift while Scott and Connie hit the sack.

I slept solidly from 03:00 til 09:00 and woke slowly realizing that my body was crammed into the corner between the mattress and the wall and that all my muscles on my left side were sore. Tea helped, as did the sunny disposition of the other crew.

Three big things today: We are out of Mexico waters, so down came the Mexico flag in all its tattered glory. We are at the longitude of Los Angeles, so I reset the clocks to Pacific Standard Time. We had our fastest 24 hour run thus far at 144 nautical miles. It's good to get miles under the keel but to do so quickly you have to move fast. To move fast you have to have a stiff breeze. If there is a stiff breeze then there are big seas and you are uncomfortable. I started wishing for low mileage days.

I'm told that sometime this evening we will be a fifth of the way to Hawaii. That, at least, is comforting.

With overcast skies the solar production has been down. Last night we measured 12.3 volts on the battery bank. So just now I hoisted out the little Honda 2000 generator and got her cranked up so that we could punch a good charge into the bank. Then we ran around the plunging cabin finding everything we could to plug into the 120 volt sockets for charging. Get it while you can cause electricity ain't free! Quick, where's my electric toothbrush.

Scott, Connie, and Scott

Absolutely no AIS targets visible for the last 40 hours. We are alone in a big ocean.

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  1. wow, alone in the big ocean ~ that's a mighty powerful statement. I'm thinking about you all and sending soft breezes your way!

  2. Wow! Stay safe and sane, you mighty adventurers! I look forward to the next installments and your safe arrival in Hawaii. ~Julie Z.