Day 12

Ghosting Along

Our position at noon today is 06.00 n 126.49 w. We are currently sailing straight downwind on a course of 200 magnetic at a speed of 7 knots with just the spinnaker up in 9 knots of wind and 2-3 foot seas. It’s obvious we have been getting an unexpected and completely, totally welcome push from a current as we continue south. We’ve made 149 miles in the last 24 hours. More importantly, the ICTZ is only 60 miles ahead of us, and we are still sailing with good progress in great wind. Our assumption was that by the time we reached our current position, we’d be having a rich discussion on whether or not to turn on the motors due to a lack of wind, and every minute we can hold off on having that discussion is money in the bank for us from a distance and speed perspective. (The more remaining diesel fuel we have in our tanks later in the trip, the more we can use our motors to increase our speed). We are 1197 miles from Hiva Oa, 1690 miles from San Diego, and 360 miles from the equator.

The combination of current and wind last night created a very cool sailing experience for us. There were essentially no waves and no clouds, yet Sophie sailed at 6+ knots in 6 knots of true wind for the entire night. It felt like we were ghosting along in motionless silence under our brightest night of stars. And there were a lot of stars.

Not much else to report for the day. I had to replace the impeller on the genset this morning. Our favorite piece of equipment on Sophie right now is most definitely the bimini which provides shade for the folks up top at the steering wheel, closely followed by the Sodastream carbonation system Jenna’s cousin Holley Wakefield gave us before we left. Sophie is a dry boat for the trip — in fact there is no beer on board Sophie right now — and carbonation makes the hourly act of rehydration a little more interesting than just drinking straight water all the time.

(And yes, Steven Fell, I did indeed just write the phrase “there is no beer onboard Sophie right now” — I had planned to buy a few cases of canned Belgian lager from Trader Joe’s before we left, but in our final hectic days of planning I completely forgot to do so. I did bring 4 spare impellers for the genset, though).

Rich is cooking dinner for tonight, and he is planning Bayerische kalte schweinebratten with kartofelsalat, karrotten-apfulsalat and a kirsch sauce.

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