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Bash and Crash North

June 29, 2012

Day 8

Local Noon Position (12:55pm Hawaii Standard Time):
By GPS: 37.56.876N by 163.02.079W
By Sextant: 37.58.3N by 163.10W…or so. Somehow I completely screwed up the afternoon sight for longitude. Struggled with it till my brain leaked out my ears. All I can figure is that I simply pointed the sextant in the wrong direction, a thing that is, in fact, somewhat difficult to do.

Course: 10 degrees true
Speed: 5.5 -6.5 knots most of day
Wind: 10 WSW first half, 15 WSW second half
Sea: 3 to 6 feet and growing
Sky: 0 to 10% occluded.
Bar: 1031 stable
Air Temp (in the cabin): 70 degrees
Water Temp: 64.2 degrees
Sails: All plain sail with one reef in each until about two this afternoon. Now a double reef in the jib and main as we attempt to go close hauled to the north in strengthening WNW winds.

Since last noon: 125
Total for passage: 981
Daily average: 123

Debris: Much the same as last several days to the degree I can tell; cloud cover in the morning and wave action this afternoon make identification difficult. Two black fish floats, an automotive oil bottle, a large plastic crate, clear plastic water bottles, and around noon, a bloody great log twenty feet long and four feet in diameter. Ancient and entirely covered in greedily reproducing barnacles, except for a kind of monk’s bare spot on top. I had to tack up to this one for a photo. Please mention to any divinity with whom you correspond that kindness would leave these out of Murre’s path.

Ships and other piloted vessels: None.

Birds: More Laysson’s albatrosses today (5 sightings) than Black Footed, and again, one set seeming to fly in company. Several Wilson’s Storm Petrel, several in groupings of three to five. Three of a smaller Gadfly Petrels I’ve not had a chance to look up.


Low and gray the passing sky
And sharp the passing wind
A drizzle from its wing tips
Foretells climes crystalline

Close hauled all night in easy wind and woke to a sky of high, whipping, wet fog, much like encountered in San Francisco, which is appropriate, because about an hour after noon, Murre passed latitude 38N, the line on which rests my favorite city. It made home feel close; actually, it made me home sick. I’d like nothing better than to go for an evening walk in the park with my wife, and I’m half tempted to run this westerly all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

I waved at you. Did you see me? Unlikely, as you, at your desk, sitting over a sandwich and surfing the internet for a new pair of (fill in the blank) weren’t looking. Admit it.

Would not have mattered. We are currently separated by over 1800 miles of ocean.

An ocean that is increasingly boisterous as the day progresses.

Wind has backed into the north a touch this afternoon and accelerated such that Murre now wears a double reefed jib and a double reefed main and is still on her right ear half the time. My wind indicator tells me the velocity is a mere 14 knots. Rubbish. It’s a real rip snorter out there. Waves are getting on toward 8 feet and are quite happily flinging themselves over Murre with a wet amorousness she is having difficulty rejecting. Some particularly forward waves slide up and give her a thwack on the bottom. If you happen to be below decks when this happens, you may think she’s about to come unglued. If you are not hanging on, you may end up in a pile on the other side of the cabin. Murre’s not coming unglued, of course. Her shuddering is designed to remind you she is not a thing. She too takes this weather personally.

Being close hauled in such business is not so fun below. Whatever isn’t fastened down flies and usually knocks you up side the head on its way. Books set down end up in the bilge, as do pens, and galley knives and the trays of only half-dry Marlin that were supposed to be on slow bake in the oven.

Drizzle gave way to brilliant sun by late morning, but the sun has now surrendered again to this high, whipping fog and it looks we will continue our bash-and-crash indefinitely.

Bash-and-crash or walk in the park with the wife. Hmm.


One Comment
  1. June 29, 2012 5:48 pm

    Hi Randall – I know I meant to write you before but I don´t think I did. I´ve been following your blog and it´s exciting and inspiring – and fun. Meanwhile I´m on my own adventure these days, still on my quest to force my aging brain to learn Spanish, but even more than that enjoying the immersion in new cultures that I enjoyed years ago and that feels very new and exciting now. That little class with Sonia was such a good start …… and even though it was brief, i really enjoyed getting to know you and Kurt a little bit.
    Meanwhile I don´t know how you get such good internet access out there mid-Pacific. Down here closer to the southern pole it´s sketchy!
    If you want to check out my blog, it´s
    All the best, as you gyre and gimble in the waves, Deborah

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