S/V SN-E Cetacea Log Day 10 – 87.5 NM
James’ 2-3 pm watch: The world reflects itself…ten days at sea and I’m just now starting to understand where we are in our local universe…yeah, yeah we’re a few hundred miles away from where we came from and a few hundred miles away from the place we’re pointing the boat but this place is truly a place I’ve never been to before…it’s Earth, Solar system, local group…and on and on through the endless blue above and below where we do the Free Ride on the daily…everything is so hot to the touch that every part of my body has to be protected, covered…long sleeves, long pants, socks and a big dumb floppy hat and I’m good. I (James) do believe I will nap on this next down-watch.
It’s not out of character for me (Dena) to have a hard time ranking things, so don’t be surprised when I say I can’t decide which is better…no wind, hot, swell against wind waves…or rainstorm after rainstorm with wildly variable winds ending in a double-reefed mainsail just because it slats too much in the light wind otherwise.
I hope we get the wind again tonight.
James’ 4-5 pm watch
When I felt even the slightest breath on the back of my head I jumped to set the headsails and shake a reef!
The wind freshened and veered south. We were able to gybe and reach a comfortable position for deploying the yankee. Even the big dominant swell is easier to take at this angle, and Lovebot prefers the boat’s balance with a headsail.
Dena’s 7-8 pm watch
You know you’re really sailing when your phone keeps coming on like you just picked it up.
The waves are at least 4-6 feet at 5 seconds, but there’s an occasional monster. We’re in F5? F6 winds. Whichever isn’t blowing spray yet but makes long running whitecaps that form on top like they’re thinking about turning into breakers.
James’ 9pm-12am watch
Unbelievable! The moon rose on the very tip of the bowsprit…you can’t really head more east than that. I never even touched the helm and the moon’s brightness through the mainsail set it aglow with a crisp orange blaze that felt too bright…best shy away.
Dena’s 11-noon watch
It was a good night in some ways. We made a lot of progress towards our destination and I (at least) slept pretty well on my down-watches.
We left the chartplotter off most of the evening, night, and so far this morning to conserve power. Our house batteries are revealing their age in that the voltages drop unexpectedly fast under a cruising load. Years of keeping them mostly topped up didn’t give us any insight into how they would respond to being drawn down and now we know…time to build new ones.
Rain and threat of more rain held some discomfort, and the lightning storms needed dodging without the constant feedback of watching them on radar. Meanwhile, some freaky fucking wave action kept us on our toes (and heels and hands and knees) whenever we weren’t lying supine.
I lie down on watch more than James does, partly for easier stargazing or moonadoring, partly because just staying in one place can be difficult when the boat is moving so much. I once jammed a knee bracing my foot on the opposite side of the cockpit for a wild trip down the Jersey Shore (swollen and sore for days), so I try to change up my position nowadays.
My agreement with myself is that I can lie down, but I have to set myself a 20 minute alarm just in case I doze off. That’s a generous amount of time for dealing with any ship traffic that might pop over the horizon and pretty strict compared to how most singlehanded sailors cope with their sleep needs.
Now, the wind has abated but not disappeared and we’re sailing north of the course to dodge one more lightning storm. I can’t wait to see what our daily distance is. (The chartplotter can’t tell us since we didn’t run it the whole time, but James has been running an app on his phone as backup, so we’ll still have the data we enjoy.) It felt like we were going pretty fast for a lot of the night.