Thursday, 5 May 2016

At Sea

We are now three days out of Victoria bound towards Townsville, Australia - a mind boggling 7000 or so nautical miles ahead of us.

To anyone who wanted to see us off at the dock, we apologize for our sneaky departure. We wanted to time things so we would have an east wind in Juan de Fuca followed immediately on our exit by a northwest wind at sea. Because weather forecasters feel free to alter their opinions many times a day, we wanted to feel equally free to change our departure time.

The gentle motoring out the Strait - the east wind was not brisk - was followed by the not so gentle motion at sea. After half a day in the open, the northwesterly arrived and has now ramped itself up to a 30 knot northerly. The sea is running over 3 meters but is all glittery white and blue in the sunshine. We don't expect any relief from the awful motion - or from the excellent progress - for at least another four days.

Of excitement, there has been little:

Mary Anne saw a solitary dolphin while outside on "log watch" in Juan de Fuca.

A small black land-bird tried to join our crew. It even made two forays below decks to inspect the accommodations before settling in on a sheltered part of the deck to see if we were going anywhere useful. After a few hours of darkness, he flew away. We hope he headed east as the land is much closer in that direction.

We have passed two large ships. The first, bound from the Columbia River toward China helpfully altered course a few degrees to avoid us. He did this in the gloomy dusk by radar long before our lights could have been visible to him. In open waters, though not in confined channels, the law gives sailing vessels the right of way over powered vessels because of their greater difficulty in maneuvering. The ship officer's compliance with this rule was nonetheless much appreciated.

The other vessel was a laden tanker. What a wondrous sight as he went by! He was ploughing to windward through the gale driven seas with plumes of spray flying high over his bows. Our sight of this was repeatedly interrupted as the tall wave crests around us blocked part or all view of both horizon and ship.

Our route will be predominantly toward the south for almost another week before we head much towards the west. This keeps us in the good winds to the east of a stationary high pressure area well off the coast.

We are now 135 miles off the Oregon-California border making progress of 160 miles a day. The name "California" evokes better weather than we are experiencing. The air and water temperature refuse to budge above the 12C they have been since we left Juan de Fuca.

At 5/5/2016 19:41 (utc) our position was 42°02.83'N 127°28.41'W

1 comment:

  1. Bon Voyage and best wishes! Hope you have fair winds, maybe we'll see you in Australia...