July 6, 2018
Noon Position: 39 51N 129 16W
Wind: WxN4 -6
Bar: 1026, up sharply
Sky: Heavy overcast in morning, clear and sunny now
Cabin Temperature: 70
Water Temperature: 61
Sail: Spinnaker and Main, rund dead downwind
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 113
Miles this leg: 2,452
Avg. Miles this leg: 136
Dawn delivered a heavy, hurricane sky from the west.
I ran the twins polled out overnight and Mo made 4 and 5 knots in a decent breeze aft. Stars for a time. Scorpio. The Dipper. I almost grabbed the sextant. But the sun sets late now and the great helpings of three-day-old beef stew and red wine I’d taken on before the night began did not lend themselves to arithmetic, even fourth grade arithmetic. I watched the stars for a time. Even noted the Milky Way. And went to bed.
The morning sky bore no hurricane and instead killed our faithful little wind.
I let us drift slowly most of the morning while I worked chores. I’ll motor in the afternoon, I thought. One last day under power should push us into the northwesterlies, but let’s wait until it goes flat calm.
The last spinnaker run was in heavy rain, and the sail had been stowed sopping wet. So right after the noon shot for latitude, I hoisted it for an hour. A final hurrah for Big Puffy before he’s put away for a month or two.
And then the gray deck burned away and a light wind filled in. With the main attendant and the spinnaker full, we make 5 and 6 knots in 7 to 10 of true wind.
An utter marvel, this spinnaker. Its cut and weight are unlike any other sail I’ve ever owned, and the perfect curve it describes, hanging there white and still…it’s like flying a cloud from the bow. Not to mention the rolling just stops.
Don’t get me wrong, the twins poled out are a perfect combination and have a much wider wind range. I’ve carried the twins in 30 knots and been quite happy. But for light wind work, they are just too heavy.
Still, we are making slow way. In the last day, but 113 miles and at noon, 332 miles remain between us and the Golden Gate.
I am impatient to be home, and yet already miss my private ocean wilderness.
This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage