Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sabra Log 9, 10 July 82

9 July- Hauled in a long skinny fish ? Name. Had the drifter up for an hour 0745-0845 hrs.
I cooked toast, bacon, eggs and coffee for all. (A side note: I had sailed some with the Sailing Granny of Australia- Ann Gash. After sailing around the world in her 20 ft Folkboat,  she came through Hawaii a couple of times in her newer 24 Folkboat. She taught me to put all the bread out in the sun to dry it out. It is then hard and won‘t spoil, and when placed in the skillet with a few drops of water and butter, it makes the best toast. Thanks Ann.)(my hard dinghy, Ilimetto, was hers that I bought…of course there is a very long story about that)

Busy day- retaped the chafe at the bow pulpit. Hooked up a block and tackle from the topping lift to pull the vane back up into position. Re-secured  that with new gaskets. Took one and half hrs. NO wind so it was easy to work. All the sails were taken down and we were just drifting. The mahi and ahi were diving and jumping around the boat. We changed out our fishing reels and just clamped the reels on the boom gallows’ uprights.  Makes for an easy stable way to bring these babies in. We can stand and lean against the gallows  for support.

We motored for 4 ½ hrs because of zero wind.
We took salt water baths on deck. Feels so good to be clean.
1430 hrs- slight westerly wind came up so we put the 160 back up.
Mike found more goodies that people had stashed aboard.
We are now 521 nm from Hanalei. Only put on 94nm yesterday. Averaging about 132.75 nm /day. From Kauai. Hopefully this light westerly wind is an indication that we are moving out of the high and ridge. But we are still pretty far south to be picking up the westerlies.
The sea is so blue; the sky overcast all day- recauked the port winch base which is still dripping water on my bunk below. I like being at sea when its comfortable- getting into a nice routine-we are all happy and having fun with lots of giggling.

Ahi continue to swarm the boat all day- sometimes you can see 10 swimming within 6 feet under the surface an both sides of Sabra and off her stern. We put on 2 new lures and at 1700hrs and  Jean got a strike in 2 minutes and a few minutes later we has a double strike and landed both ahi at 1730 hrs--just as we were contemplating dinner. Mike and I went below to fire up the stove..fried onion, cabbage and left over bacon from breakfast. Made soy and hot mustard mix, while Jean cut up the ahi. We sautéed some and ate some raw. There is nothing like ahi sashimi.. We have enough ahi for another 2 meals.. Each one weighed about 10 lbs and was feeding on squid. As Jean was cleaning up the lazerette, she tossed the lure over to rinse it off and immediately got a strike on the lure as it was hanging in the water. In came another 10 # ahi, but it was returned back to its home. We will only fish when we are out. It is unreal how plentiful the fish are. We have caught more in 4 days than in the last 4 years.

More fish
Nice Ahi-had to gaff this big one

It is now 2130- I just went out to readjust the wind vane for Jean. The wind is returning and holding 10-12 mph and is westerly. It is early to be in the westerlies but good old Sabra can’t be becalmed too long. She is picking up smartly and we are again headed with pride north on course.
We finally practiced some sights with the sextant. Jean and I had more accurate sights than the ole salt Mike, and with his calculator we get the answer in less than 2 minutes.

1900 hrs- we are not able to pick up our loran signal- also approaching the upper range of the signal area, but somewhat premature.We have had a glorious day in spite of no wind and having to motor for 4.5 hrs. But it is great we got the vane re-positioned. The night is really black with cloud cover- you can hardly see the bow. The days are warm and the nights are cool, but still warmer than when we left HI.  We just need a few clothes on while in the cockpit. The weather cloths and the dodger extension really help keep the weather off us. 

I am so glad to be doing this- life at sea can be really pleasant- once one is out of the turmoil the islands make of the seas. This has got to be the most pleasant sailing I have ever done in my life. I even enjoy cooking and can stay below without any complications.
Will begin my watch at 0000hrs.

10 July- Resumed good loran fixes thru out the night. Terrible watch-no wind. I hand steered and trimmed sheets for light air. Finally after one hour of critical trimming was moving the boat through dead calm water, like glass. I went below to run a fix only to find out I had made 1 nm in the last hour. During the short time I was below I returned to the cockpit noticing that Sabra had turned herself off course and was heading south. I started the engine but after a long delay and screeching noise. I figured it might be the starter generator belt. I ran the engine for 2 ½ hrs and then later Mike picked good wind 10-15 mph at 0530 hrs.
This has been a strange day- no one felt like eating-all out of sync. We had to clean house, throw out some rotting food. Everyone slept their time off.
1345 hrs- we crossed the 33rd parallel. 

1400 hrs- Mike and I started to see what was happening with the starter generator. The belts were loose and no slack left in the bracket. I had purchased new belts prior to leaving. 3 hours later we completed changing out the belts. Had to dismantle the alternator to do it. Engine is the original Volvo MD2B. 

We had 20 mph winds and 2 ft seas- now on a westerly port tack. Several rain squalls with winds gusting to 30 but the seas are now flat. We are still carrying the 160 and full main. Don’t you just love it? The boat is healed slightly all day and as we were sitting on the floor working on the engine I noticed some liquid on the floor. Humm. It could be salt /freshwater or urine, the test is in the taste. I try to convince Mike to take the taste test, but no luck. I taste it and it is fresh water. Whew.
I unscrewed the water tank (flexible) floor board to find the water oozing at a constant rate with each movement of the boat. The fresh water galley pump had not pumped for a few days but I thought there was perhaps air in the line or pump. I opened the galley locker and found the fresh water filter had come undone from the hose- as the boat heeled the water would ooze out of the filter top. After taking all the stores out of that locker and re attaching the hose to the filter. Then put all the goodies back, re screw the floor boards, put all the tools away. I then crawled up and under the v-berth filler board, removed all the items stored there, I lifted up the cover on the flexible forward water tank to see about one gallon left in the tank, which meant we had lost about 20 gal. We are not concerned however, so far we have used about 4 liters of bottled water for drinking, coffee. We will keep a close watch on the water supplies. We are bathing, washing dishes and brushing our teeth in salt water so have minimal fresh water demands except for drinking water. I will add to the list to check that filter attachment. It is amazing how the action of the boat does undo things. The main sheet unscrewed the top to one of the jugs of diesel that is in the cockpit. This happened twice in one hour, so we readjusted the traveler. 

I am on watch now, pleasant 10 wind, seas 2, wind out of the west and we are on a beam reach port tack. Gentle sailing, partly cloudy skies, no moon, pitch black, a few stars, lots of phosphorescence. The vane working nicely. Only used 5 liters of fuel with 9 hrs of engine time. (Sabra’s aft fuel tank is in liters and the forward tank is in gallons. This drives me crazy, as I am continually computing fuel from liters to gallons)

I am pleased to have picked up the westerlies so early- makes for a nice ride. A low pressure area is north and west of us which will bring 30 mph winds which should scoot us along. Will start thinking about falling off at 35 north and start our trek eastward to make progress in longitude. A hurricane Daniel is brewing off Mexico but is much too far away to affect us.

We left Honolulu a week ago and it seems like forever. We are making decent time considering the light winds and the high and ridge. Will pick up speed after we pass the high which is 33N. We are just above it.
We are having a good time and all of us love being on the sea. It is calm and peaceful. I had pictured huge seas and big winds, but it has been very comfortable ever since we got out of the turmoil of the Hawaiian waters… My watch is up in 45 minutes at midnight. The time has flown fast tonight for me. We opened another of Windsong’s gifts. It was a book on logic and problem solving. Gosh, I think we have enough of our own problems to solve without reading about other scenarios. Other gifts have been a collage of our Maui cruise, an ahi flag, banana chips, and logic book. They are all neat ladies. I will miss them. Just finished watch and went below, but smelled alcohol. Found a leak at valve stem which tightened up nicely with wrench. Can’t believe I am doing a repair a midnight and enjoying it.

I am becoming more in tune with Sabra daily. I no longer get ruffled about the amount of time and energy that it takes to stay on top of things. The significance of tending to chores early is critical and magnified out here. We have to keep tending to her every need as she is our survival. Without her being ship shape, we cannot exist in this environment. She is truly so alive in the ocean. She’s made for the sea, so beautifully balanced. Sparkman and Stephens knew what they were doing when they designed her.

5 Jul- North from Hanalei Bay Kauai