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Murre is Flying

April 30, 2011

Position: 19.46.462N by 112.57.399W
Course: 225t
Speed: 6 knots
Wind: 12 -15 NNW
Waves: 2 (wind) 6 (swell)
Sky: 25% (occluded)
Temperature: 72*
Bar: 1013, rising slowly

Weve made good 118 miles since noon yesterday, much more if you count our meandering course to what has been a fickle, meandering wind since our departure. And I am pleased with this progress.

Winds during the first two days were light and from the W to WSW. This means weve been close hauled, and without much wind pressure, its tough to make a boat climb. Weve been pushed much further south than Id like for this stage of the passage (due south out of Cabo the percentage of calms goes way up). But during the night, the wind has increased and backed into its more usual quarter, NW. On both nights, this has allowed us to gain back some of the westing the day denied. Ive been impressed with Murres light wind speeds, her ability to ghost along at better than 4 knots in what seems a wind that is itself barely that strong.

But today, today a glorious NW wind has filled in, and we are sloshing along at 6 knots or better with the wind between beam and quarter. Except that the trade winds are another 400 miles west, this feels like true trade wind sailing: steady, fast, boisterous; happy, splash-aboard waves. And a water color beyond my ability to describe. When not working the ship this morning, Ive tried to figure it out, but all I can say at moment is that the water is what the blue sky would look like if it were made of liquid glass and given over to wearing whitecaps. But that doesnt capture both the lightness and the depth of the specific hue of blue allowed only to oceans.

Yesterday, two visitors: a hawk and a boobie. The hawk, probably a Merlin, was desperate for a place to rest. Clearly lost. It tried for fifteen minutes to land on the leach of sails or the stays, but couldnt get what it counted to be a good hold. Circle, circle, circle. Finally it flew off while I wasnt looking. Sad to think it is now drowned somewhere. We were 150 miles offshore when it found us. The other was a Masked Boobie, also looking for a place to catch its breath. Boobies are divers with webbed feet, but I dont think they’re in the habit of sitting water top, at least this one wasnt. Unlike the Merlin, this bird showed no fear of me, even as I yelled and shook the sails to keep it from landing on top of the wind indicator, which I need and which the Boobie, a heavy bird, would surely crush. Using all the avian politeness I could muster, I invited it to use the spreaders; they are purpose built for webbed feet–for crying out loud! But it chose the mizzen top and looked like a monkey hanging on, half flying, and attempting to preen all at the same time.

Am beginning to settle in, slowly. Still doing odd jobs: stowing, restowing stuff that wont stay put; getting the anchor off the bow and lashed below (now theres a fun job in a sea way); installing the storm windows built in La Paz (this mostly to clear out the locker for other things that need a more secure location), vainly attempting to seal the leaking forepeak hatch that drips on the rougher nights onto Joannas side of the bunk. And sailing: setting the big genoa in light winds or replacing it with the working jib and reefing down when it blows. There is plenty to do.

And I still feel like I have a bit of a cold–stress probably–and not enough to eat. Especially underway, I find it difficult to stay fed, mostly because I dont feel like cooking. Above me is an enormous basked of fresh vegetables, much of which, I fear will be either eaten or ignored by fishes.

And nights are still difficult so far. Am sleeping in 30 minute intervals even though the last two ships spotted (by the AIS) were spotted yesterday and were 45 and 90 miles astern respectively.

We are now 250 miles south west of Cabo San Lucas and 130 to Isla Clarion, my first waypoint.

All well.

  1. Doug WIlson permalink
    May 1, 2011 2:03 am

    Heard you on Southbound tonight, but could not connect. Hard here in La Cruz, kind of a hole.
    Wish you well on your trip.
    Archituthis arrived Hiva Oa 4-27, 29 days 16 hours.

  2. Don and Kathi - Wild Rose permalink
    May 1, 2011 4:03 pm

    Glad you’re off to a good start. We emailed photos of your departure from Marina Palmira to your gmail address. We keep checking Passage Weather to see what kind of wind you have. Hope you make it to 10 degrees north soon.

    Fair winds. Don & Kathi

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