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Departed Hanalei

June 22, 2012

Day 1

Local Noon Position (1242 HST):
By GPS: 24.30.52N by 160.16.80W
By Sextant: 24.27.5N by 160.22.0W

Course: 350 degrees true
Speed: 5.5 knots
Wind: 10 – 12 ESE
Sea: 4 – 8 feet E
Sky: 50% occluded. Large, weak squall cells, one after the other on the horizon. Bar: 1020
Air Temp (in the cabin): 75 degrees F
Water Temp: 74.4 degrees F

MILES
Since last noon: 147
Total for passage: 147
Daily average: 147

SIGHTINGS SUMMARY
Debris: none
Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and other Ships: none
Birds: Two Masked Boobies, several Black Noddies, a Fairy Tern, several White Tailed Tropic Birds, Storm Petrels I can’t ID; Shearwaters I can’t ID. One Layson’s Albatross yesterday about 1800 hours and up close; today I think a Black Footed, but it did not approach.

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DAY SUMMARY

Finally underway from Hanalei Bay noon yesterday. Only a light breeze off the mountains and it took an hour to pass the breakers with Murre under reefed jib and main in nervous anticipation of plus 20 knot trades. Once out, we found that winds were moderate from the NE at 12 to 16 knots unless a squall passed through, and then it was higher winds in front and dead in back of the cloud mass. We either rounded up or flopped around when near a squall. Reefs in, reefs out…wait, repeat. This has happened five times so far.

Kauai mercifully hid in a blanket of cloud as we sailed north, jagged, lovely Na Pali under soft cover, so that the island was already lost to us two hours out. This was good. It made the parting less severe.

Rain heavy at times last night, and I was up from 2am to 4am attempting to match sail to wind. Futile as it refused to remain constant.

Am still learning how to dial the radar, which gave alarms every hour or so; I’d rise to find nothing. At about 2:30am an approaching squall showed clearly on the screen. While on deck one of my Zebra head lamps started to cycle through dim-to-bright levels over and over–must have gotten soaked in the deluge. Attempting to dry it out today. Bubbles coming from the LED lens. This a first.

Our course is 340 to 350 degrees true, partly because the wind was initially NE and this heading was an easier ride. The bigger reason, however, is that the HIGH pressure system I have and will talk so much about is parked directly over our heads between 30N and 40N. The plan is to take our present course to about 35N where we should be at about 165W. My hope is that by that time (about 5 days), the high will have moved a bit east and we can at that point take a heading due north. The risk in going too far west is the miles of easting that will need to be made up later and that one could get into the track of LOWS coming across the Pacific from just north of Midway. As they approach the HIGH, they are usually pushed north and the channel of air between them and the HIGH accelerates. The desire is to find one of these conveyor belts moving north, but where to catch it is the gamble: too far west and one could get clobbered by a passing LOW; too far east and one runs out of air.

So we shall see.

When not tuning sail or adjusting the windvane or reacquainting myself with celestial navigation math, I have spent the day getting accustomed to being underway. A bit queasy yesterday and generally uncomfortable, but after one night am already getting into the groove. There is something about a night underway that seems to set the clock, and I have already fallen into the old pattern of wasting hours in the cockpit watching wave after wave rush forward, rise up, and pass on. This does not become tiresome.

end

PS. Thanks to all for the comments on the blog over the last several days. Lyle, Drat, I left all my bug spray with the in-laws. Lawrence, so sorry to hear of your scratched cruise. Nina, all I know of debris information is posted in links on the blog from day before yesterday. My regards to the published novelist–well done!

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3 Comments
  1. June 22, 2012 4:46 am

    Congratulations on getting away. Always a challenge and always a shock to the system while you try and adjust. Love the bird reports and expect that you will be reporting on tufted puffins pretty shortly.

    All the best in finding that slot to get you north and then east.

  2. Lawrence Killingsworth permalink
    June 22, 2012 2:31 pm

    As always, Randall, thanks for taking us along. We’ll be with you, all the way.
    Sounds like your celestial navigation skills haven’t gotten rusty at all. Mostly sun sights, or some stars, too? You should get a T-shirt that says: “I ❤ LHA Aries."
    Sail on!

  3. Joel permalink
    June 22, 2012 4:45 pm

    People here at OT worldwide are thinking of you! Safe and fun travels.

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