So we are at the point that you seem to come to in every Pacific delivery. Do you suck it up and keep on heading to Alaska or Russia to get up to the ‘right’ latitude or do you go east towards California which is really where you want to go? Every time I have to basically strap myself in my bunk and resist the urge for just another day and never regret the decision.
Roll call has been full of discussion with people on the SSB literally pleading for the fleets ‘blessings’ for them to start heading east. The crew as always at this point in the trip is wanting to head east as they are seeing bearings of NNW and didn’t sign up for a trip to Alaska. The way I see it is there are several options but first you need to know where I am coming from.
I want to get home the quickest way possible. I am not into hanging around out here. My mother is in SF on the 13th and it would be great to see her. Charlie’s wife’s birthday is on the 13th and he would love to get there for it (though the jury is out as to whether after how ever many years of marriage it is she wants to see him!). By the end of this trip I would have clocked up over 8000 miles since May 31st on 30 foot boats and as the guy said on the radio from the tanker – that is the smallest boat I have seen in the middle of the pacific! I also did 2500 miles on an icebreaker in the southern ocean so this year hasbeen a lot about water. Also I get paid by the trip not the day so the quicker I do it the higher the profit but then again there is the fact that my clients are my friends and I don’t want to blemish my record of returning boats with no damage in better condition than when I got them. I can’t blame the sailing for it but my boyfriend dumped me by email last week so you can see where I am coming from. Home sounds good right about now.
So that being said what is the best way to get home safely, with no damage and fast. It really comes down to a compromise. I have a lot of fuel 70g to be precise, a boat that does 5 knots in 10 knots of wind, grib files, a barometer (which although not reading the right mb shows me trends) and boats all around reporting to me daily with wind direction and speed.
From PassageWeather.com (North Pacific > California to Hawaii)
I don’t see the grib files as being all that helpful as one of the boats north and east of us said they are finding it hard to find a correlation between what they are seeing on the water and the grib files. The pressure is rising and the wind speed dropping so we are getting closer to the high and that is what roll call is also telling us.
My options are as follows:
1) Turn now and head east looking for the northerly that is being reported at 144 and hope that lifts me enough to get to 38N before I get to the compressed winds on the coast. IF it doesn’t than I will be beating into a northerly from the south on the coast causing postential damage to the baot and making life uncomfortable for the crew. The upside to this is potentially no motoring as I should be in more wind.
2) Play the shifts going onto starboard tack if we are losing latitude on port tack and work our way east in the band of pressure on the south part of the high. Motor when necessary on a heading that will get me to 38N by 144W (as that is where according to roll call everyone is seeing northerly winds)
3) Motor into 10 knots of wind on the nose and go exactly where I want to – actually I don’t see is as that much of an option on this boat but it would be on a larger one. On this one I would just be ‘pissing fuel into the wind’ and not really getting anywhere and would have a crew mutiny as it isn’t much fun motoring for days on end.
Last night at 1:30 HST we tacked onto port after almost 9 days on starboard. Although a benign 15 knots things went flying across the cabin as we have been living life on the other slant and things that were stowed fine have to be found a new home. We carried that tack until 4:30am HST this morning when we were losing latitude and so we tacked back to starboard. We will keep playing this game working our way east motoring when our speed drops below 5knots. We will motor not direct at SF but to 38N 144W and then reassess when we get roll call information.
Now to the title of the blog and what it has to do with anything out here. The options are like this:
1) Having been married for many years and at some points in the marriage you have compromised and gone in a direction you don’t want to (i.e. North and NNW) you decide that the grass is greener on the other side and you get a young mistress. So you head off east with this mistress and it is all really great you feel younger and life seems to be good. Life seems to get even better for you as you get lifted (looks like you are getting away with it and your wife hasn’t found out yet) but then eventually you get caught by your long suffering wife and divorce proceedings start (you get to the compressed air on the coast and are below SF). Your mistress now starts to become very high maintenance in fact a lot more maintenance than your ex wife to be was so combining that with the divorce proceedings you lose half you assets at least and get pretty beaten up (you end up beating up the california coast in big seas and lots of wind).
2) Having been married for many years you have learnt to compromise and at some points in your marriage it is like having a young mistress and you head off east not losing any latitude and life is really good. But every now and again you get a header (you lose to the south on port tack) but because you realise you have a great wife you tack and head back in the direction you don’t really want to go because life without her and retirement without her doesn’t look that great. Every now and again you decide between the two of you to spend some of the hard earned cash you have saved up and both go in the direction you want to go in (right at the Golden gate with the motor on full speed ahead) and life is a holiday. But remember retirement accounts are finite (only 70g fuel) and you can get too much of a good thing (get really bored by the sound of the engine!).
We are now starting to feel the chill at 37N and are starting to wear socks and sea boots but there are at least 9 days left of sailing and with the sun high in the sky it is sure to be pleasant during the day.
It is now time for me to get some sleep as the engine purrs away we are at 37 35N 146 20W heading for 38N 144W.