May 28, 2020 Day 11
Chief Galley Officer Report
First – thanks and appreciation goes out to everyone who is following our journey and sending good vibes and warm greetings. It’s lovely to read a few words from our friends and family, very much brightens our day and reminds me of how grateful I am (we are) to have you all in our lives. Our love to you all!
Ok then, the last 24-36 hours have been all over the map as far as winds go. We began Wednesday by riding out the tail of the gusty low pressure system. That tail brought us a lovely breeze, blowing in the low teens but 🙈oh no! Sending us in the wrong direction. Our bearing was towards San Francisco and not Friday Harbor. Can’t say that I would be upset about a stop over in the city by the bay but pretty sure that’s not ESTELLE’s plan.
So we tacked with the goal of slipping more northerly, and we went westerly and just a wee bit north, double rats. Our winds are reasonable 12-15 knots but not helping us get where we want to go. At roughly 2am Pacific Time, we fired up the engine and have been motoring north for the past 3 hours. The hope is to cruise through this squirmy section and pop out into more friendly and favorable winds that will take us north. This however might take us 2-3 days of motoring. Fingers crossed that it will be closer to 2 than 3.
So much for our winds. The weather has gone from muck to yuck. It’s grey, drizzly and getting colder. On the sail to Hawaii the weather kept getting better and better. Duh, not sure why I thought it would be the same going north. I would really like to see the sun but looks like soup will have to substitute.
We continue with our canasta lessons/play in the afternoon, eating well (last night I baked spaghetti = pretty good, but a bit different – definitely would do it again). At 1700 UTC we all gather around the radio and listen to the “northland radio” report hosted out of New Zealand. We gather around the radio as I imagine our grandparents did when waiting on the Howdy Doody show or whatever broadcast they waited for. In preparation for the broadcast, background activities are silenced and chatting is hushed.
We all gather round, hover, and wait for Peter. Who is Peter? Whomever Peter is, he pops on the radio, brings us weather updates and provides insight on our course based off of our current location. He can see our position via AIS (automated identification system) similar to anyone who looks at predict wind, but he has more toys and gadgets.
There are 2 other sailing vessels heading in a similar direction and they are also on the broadcast. We are able to hear their course, their weather, and how they are doing in general. One fellow sailor is David a lovely Canadian who we parked next to in Reeds Bay, Hilo. His vessel is Carpe Ventus. David is a few days behind us, single handed, and heading for Nanaimo Canada. He has a similar path to us and seems to be doing well.
The other vessel is a source of much entertainment. The vessel is named Firewater and Richard is single handed and heading towards Alaska. None of us are sure what type of vessel he has and he always seems to be in good spirits. He’s a bit north of us and on day number 38 (Oh my! Shoot me!) Richard decided to hang tight and ride out the low pressure system that Mark so very skillfully avoided. He basically took down the sails and drifted around in 5-6 meter swells. Can one say barf?
Richard just laughs and states that it was a bit “rough”. He apparently has done this passage a number of times and the 38 days doesn’t bother him as “four years ago it took me nearly 60 days”.
We listen to Richard’s report a bit amazed and very thankful that we are on ESTELLE. And that’s our daily entertainment.
My entertainment will be to wash my hair and dream up something for dinner. I’m leaning towards chili and cornbread but worry about the side effects of four men consuming beans. TTFN