Monday, June 04, 2007

June 4, 2007 - Pacific Crossing, Day 2

We have had a terrific start to this passage. We expected to have to motor south for a few days to find the wind, but after a few hours it piped up and we were able to turn off the engine. We are doing well over 8 knots right now with the assistance of the current. We are close reaching into a six foot swell, but the motion is not too bad. Mostly, we are really happy about not having to use our diesel this early in the trip.

In a straight line the trip is 2971nm but we will be heading SSW to get down into the strong trade wind belt around 6 south before hanging a soft right onto a SW heading until 9 or 10 south. This will add a few hundred miles to the trip. Sten crunched some numbers the other day and figured out that our worst case scenario is 30 days. But we are hoping for something closer to 24 days.

Sten kept his boredom at bay today by tackling a problem that we have had for months with our SSB. If we tried to talk or send email over the SSB while the autopilot was on, the boat would veer wildly off course. The problem stems from the fact that the power cable for the autopilot hydraulic pump, the SSB antenna cable and a cable that controls the SSB tuner run through the same piece of conduit from the nav station to the back of the boat. We previously tried snapping a bunch of fair-rites around the lines to cut down on interference, but that had a negligible effect. So he changed the termination point of our SSB tuner ground from an equipment ground to an SSB ground, so now it is connected to the SSB counterpoise, a piece of approximately 100 square feet of copper foil that is glassed into the hull of the boat under the waterline. Afterwards I successfully sent out a bunch of emails with the autopilot still on.

Meanwhile, I spent the day reading cruising guides and travel guides to start coming up with a rough itinerary for our three months in French Polynesia. Oh yeah, and we gorged ourselves on yellowfin sashimi for lunch. With over 10 pounds of fish in the fridge, we'll be having it for most of our meals the next few days. Could someone please come visit us in the Marquesas? I'm going to be in desperate need of a new supply of wasabi by then.

No comments: