Day 5

We’re getting there …

Our new position is 22.26.2 n 120.17.8 west, which means we covered 162 miles in the last 24 hours. We’ve been tacking downwind to do so, and as the wind continues to shift over to the NNE (030-050), where it is supposed to stay for the next 5 days, we think we will be able to sail on a broad reach course directly towards the new waypoint the weather routers gave us (05.00 n 127.00 w). It’s blowing 12-20 right now, with a small running swell. Sophie is sailing quite comfortably with a full main and jib, and Rich got her up to 11.6 knots at one point this morning. If this pattern continues, tomorrow could be even better.

The sky is gray and overcast, just like you-know-where.

The kids are getting their sea legs, and we’ve had a couple of good home schooling days. Hazel’s reading is measurably improving every day, and Leo has kicked off a big “Kid’s Guide to Sophie” writing project that he is quite excited about. I promised him that when he’s done and if he puts the appropriate effort into it, I will post his document on the Lagoon cruisers website.

Rich and Dan are great crew, and my favorite time of day is when Jenna and I pull a watch together at night. We are doing a rotating 2-on-at-a-time watch schedule at nights along with a more flexible arrangement during daylight hours based on who is awake and not teaching.

As we transition Sophie into becoming a warm water long distance cruiser, we know we have to do some things differently. One is to pay more attention to temperature and ventilation throughout the boat. For example, I was going on watch last night at 2:00 AM, pressed the button on the espresso machine for a shot, and all of the AC power throughout the boat immediately went out. No AC power on Sophie means no coffee, no drinking water, and ultimately no movies or personal electronics … in other words, the end of civilization. πŸ™‚ I eventually got over my panic, poked around a bit, and figured out that we had overheated the inverter (the machine that converts the battery’s DC power into AC power) by placing a box of fishing gear in front of the inverter locker’s air vent. Another heat problem involved our Raymarine navigation electronics. For months our Raymarine autopilot intermittently flashed a “SeaTalk connection lost” message while underway. We assumed it was loose cabling and kept tightening all of the connections, but Dan discovered it was caused by the Raymarine network hub overheating inside the unvented plastic splash protection box we built for it five years ago! This usually happened when the Raymarine’s nextdoor neighbor, our diesel generator, was running. These sorts of heating problems simply never happened when cruising the 48 degree F waters of Puget Sound, but it looks like they have become part of our lives from now on.

We also have to pay closer attention to sail trim. We chafed a small hole in one of the mainsail batten covers yesterday and need to constantly make sure that sail doesn’t touch the shrouds while underway. We can repair it for the time being with sail tape, but I am really bummed this happened and need to be more careful moving forward.

Dinner last night involved organic chicken breasts in a Trader Joe’s Marsala sauce with basmati rice and an organic kale nut salad. Tonight we will have chicken enchiladas. Unless, of course, we land a fish.

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