A Night Visitor and Your Comments

17 Apr

April 16, 2019/Day 193

Noon Position: 15 59S  23 17W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NxE 6

Miles since departure: 26,335

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


Good sailing last two days. Even wind. Mo is consistent in head and speed. Have barely touched the tiller or sheets yesterday or today.

Woke to a visitor in the scuppers, a rather large flying fish that, in the night, had not managed to escaped the Monster Mo.

Interesting to examine the fish. Their bodies are shaped like inverted triangles with big eyes pointing down to see what must be their main foe, the Dorado, as it charges up from depth. And note that the lower tail fin is longer than the upper. This is usual and is because the lower is used to propel the fish *when it’s flying.* It sticks down into the water like an outboard motor.

This one was meaty. Felt I should have had him for breaky. But no. Over the side.

Thank you to all Virtual Voyagers who have been kind enough to wish me well in the Figure 8 site comments after the second Cape Horn rounding. Joanna sent in that batch of comments and a few after, and though I read all with relish upon receipt, I’ve not had time to respond until now. Again, there are simply too many comments for me to reply to all, and so below are responses to those who asked questions (or nearly did).

Again, many thanks to all of you for following along.

Richard Goldstein wrote:

Have you been replenishing your water?

Randall: Yes, in fits and starts as rain and storm allow. I departed San Francisco with 200 gallons aboard and use approximately one gallon a day. At last count, I’d caught 62 gallons of water. That last rain event was on March 25, and at that point my math showed we had 90 gallons aboard for an anticipated 60 or so (!) days of northing from Cape Horn to St John’s. Now that we’re in the tropics, I don’t anticipate another rain event until the ITCZ.

Eric Moe wrote:

Your confidence level in Moli must be really high right now. I keep thinking about the workout the windvane is getting. Must be a constant maintenance item.

Randall: Indeed re Monte. You know your wind vane is working hard when the bolts fastening it to the hull start to loosen. That happened last month and was a real scare. All fixed now, but I’d never thought that was remotely possible. In fact, I’m surprised how well Monte has held up given that he works 24/7. Nothing else on the boat works that hard. He just goes and goes and goes. Of course, he also drinks up all my Madeira, but that’s another story…

Andy Barrow wrote:

Congratulations Randall! I have good (sailing) friends in St. John’s who would be happy to take care of you. Are you planning to stop there?

Randall: Yes, that’s the current plan. I’d like to arrive by early June and depart by early July, wind gods willing…

Richard Goldstein wrote:

By the way, what was the final story with your engine/alternator problem?

Randall: Good question. I did a series of voltage drop tests (a month ago) that led me to a loose connection in the main switches panel. The looseness didn’t seem enough to cause the issues I was experiencing, but once tightened, I’ve not had another problem. Of course, I don’t really know because I’ve not used the engine for more than a few hours since discovering the problem, but it looks fixed. Loose connection–the most basic and anticipatable problem imaginable.

Darrell Oike wrote:

I’ve been talking about your trip with people I know and have been asked why I think it is that you have run out of beer when only half way through your journey. I tell them that beer is heavy and that now your lighter boat will sail much faster. Perhaps, more simply, you just really like beer. I wonder if you will regret your poor rationing once you get back into the tropics.

Randall: HA! Well, as you will recall, I said I’d stashed away a case of light, lemony stuff that I couldn’t stand in 45 degree weather. THAT is being made quick work of now that the cabin is 86 degrees. But it won’t last more than another week or two. To answer the question: I ran out (or will) because I couldn’t bring myself to pack another pound on Mo.

Charles M wrote:

I truly hope that the achievements of Jon Sanders, don’t lead you into a competitive thought process. In NFL football terms, a Dion Sanders (neon dion) only happen rarely. The competitors in the game at that time, just had to look an marvel, and salute. Your accomplishments will stand alone, in your name. Get home safe.

Randall: Good thoughts, Charles. No competitive urges here. I’ve done what I’ve done and know the effort. Sanders deserves great respect for his accomplishments, and not just for the distances but for where he sailed, the size of boat he sailed in and the available technology at the time. Incredible voyages. Hats off.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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