Cipango Delivery – Hawaii to SFO

July 27, 2006   

We have only made 154 miles in the last 29 hours only 30 of that has been towards home. The wind is blowing directly from San Francisco. I served top ramen and meatballs tonight so that we wouldn’t have that three nights in a row when we run out of real food next week if the conditions don’t change.

We have a kid called David onboard we call him junior he is 20 years old and has never used a spinnaker or helmed with a wheel or sailed outside of the lake in Reno before. He is a good kid and has worked really hard making food every other day. He works as a foreman for his Dad in a construction company. His dad started sailing 3 years ago and he started 2 years ago.

Today I was sitting below doing navigation when I heard a whistling sound. Turned out it was a pod of killer whales about 15-20 of them they were jumping really high and stayed with us for about 40 minutes some of them very close. We also have been surrounded by Portuguese man of war, flying fish and a lot of seabirds in the last day. I think it is because the water has turned colder and the nutrient rich water is rising to the surface.

We are starting to have sail problems – this will be the last trip for the main which is delaminating and also has a problem with the luff rope. The number 5 jib which has been a lifesaver as this boat was built for downwind and quickly gets overpowered upwind however it has large issues in the luff tape area and also the uv shield is stripping off. I checked the engine oil a few days ago and it was really low so I put in a gallon of new oil which is all we have. I am a bit worried however as the oil keeps on appearing on the engine block. I don’t think the engine has been well looked after but there is nothing I can do about that!

I fixed the plumbing problem with the watermaker in the first few days. Someone had used the wrong size thread and also stripped it so that it was sucking air instead of having a constant flow of seawater to make us freshwater. I used waterproof epoxy to stick it back together and plug the air gap. The biggest problem with the whole set up is that it uses the engine intake for saltwater source so you can only use the watermaker when the engine is turned off.

The compass light is intermittent and when I hooked up the autopilot the first day out we turned it on and it was making a cracking sound. The stand for the ram was already collapsing as the lamination was giving way. It must have been broken for a while. I had a piece of plywood onboard for emergencies so cut a backing plate and bolted it on to the collapsing stand. It looks agricultural but does the job. We can use the pilot now when it is flat water and we are motoring in the high. It won’t stand a large amount of work though.

As there was only one reef line led through the main we led another reef line into the boom for safety something I should have done before we left the dock but in the rush of a 24 hour turn around it just didn’t happen.

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