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Old 24-08-2008, 09:13   #1
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skipgundlach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Day 2 - Maine Passage

Day 2 - Maine Passage

Hello from the Gulf Stream, at 32*58'N 77*05'W at 7 PM, Wednesday
July 30

We understand that the SPOT system has been down for a while -
you may not be able to track us at this time, unfortunately.
Perhaps they'll relax their rules about displaying only a 24-hour
track in light of the failure, and leave the tracks up from when
their server went down...

As we left you we were on the edge of the Gulf Stream, and making
very good time. I forgot to mention that yesterday I saw not
only many porpoises who came to play around the boat, but a very
large, green, turtle.

As I took my shift, the period from 6-10PM was pretty rolly, but
we were making good enough time that I was reluctant to jibe, as
the jibe would take us further north just as the stream started
going east in earnest.

However, the rolls increased significantly in the 10-12 midnight
period, and the winds were totally flaky, with ranges from 6 to
20 knots and back again, as the wind clocked around and I had to
continually adjust our direction to keep the sails full. For all
that, we were making from 7-8.8 knots, so we were getting good
lift from the Stream.

About the time we were heading due east, and rolling violently
(with the risk of a jibe, let alone the stress on the rig as it
emptied and filled again, I jibed at 12:30, which settled Flying
Pig immediately. Now the waves were mostly with us in a
following sea, and our speed stabilized at mostly 8.4 knots.

Lydia relieved me briefly at 2, and in her time, the wind clocked
some more, allowing a 42 degree made-good, with many periods of 9
or more knots over ground. Clearly we were in the Stream at that
point. However, by the time I got up for weather checks (of
which all of the frequencies our router, Chris Parker uses, none
were audible for the first 2 hours), the wind had shifted and we
were on a course in the 20s, taking us near the edge, or out of
the Gulf Stream.

The good news is that, while I was correct in my guess about our
relative position for the Gulf Stream, when I finally reached
Chris, he said we'd avoided squalls last night by our course.
However, we'll have to jibe again and proceed due east for
several hours before we find the Stream again.

And... With only a slight following wind, and most of our first
day being rainy, we were dangerously (55%) low on our batteries,
our solar and wind generation not getting much work up until now.
Yesterday the sun kept up with our usage, but didn't replace any
we'd had the prior night - and, of course, we continued to use it
last night. So....

As much as I hated to do it, I cranked up Perky for a brief shot
of amps. Oops. Blew an exhaust hose. That was exciting!
Engine room full of smoke and water! However, those repairs were
made in short order, and charging commenced. If we're going to
run the engine, we're sure going to push the boat, too. However,
at cruising RPM, with a 10 knot extremely broad reach, we're
making only 6.8 knots - not much different than if we were
motoring only. So, off to another jibe, and heading east, we
sought out the Gulf Stream's lift again at 9AM...

As long as we were running the engine, and because the winds were
light enough, and the seas rolly enough that the sails weren't
stopping the crashing, at 11 we stowed the genoa and used the
main, sheeted blade tight in the center, as a flopper-stopper.
Things were much more comfortable that way, but eventually we got
back into the Gulf Stream as evidenced by the sharp difference in
the heading and the actual course made good.

We looked at the charts, and our course along the Gulf Stream
would take us at about 43 degrees. However, we were still just
on the edge of it, so a slightly higher angle would work well for
us. Since the wind was forecast - and in fact, was - directly
aft of about a course of travel of 60 degrees, at 1 PM we went
wing and wing, poling out the genoa and putting a preventer on
the mainsail on the other side. That allowed both sails to
remain full as the boat rolled, without crashing around and
stressing the rig.

Ah, bliss. Our course made good is about 50 degrees, and with
only 7 knots of wind, we're making well over 8 knots toward our
destination. While I napped briefly in the afternoon before
trying to raise Herb Helgenberg, Southbound II, the hobby weather
forecaster who's served mariners for all these years, Lydia saw a
large pod of porpoises swimming around the boat. That reminds us
of why we're here - all the glories of nature.

Tonight I cooked the remainder of the Mahi-Mahi and King
Mackerel, and we had some of the Mackerel over cole slaw. All
the remaining (cooked) fish went in our freezer, because we still
had one meal of steak and a couple meals of chicken waiting for
our salads or veggies for dinner. Because it had been cooked
quite a while ago, we need to eat that first before diving back
into the fish!

So, all is well aboard Flying Pig, as we continue on our way.
The weather is forecast to be much of the same for the next
several days, and our route should take us away from some minor
squall activities forming to the southeast. We'll come again,
this time, tomorrow.



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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to make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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