Sunday, June 8, 2014

HIlo: hard and good

        You take for granted that when you put an object down it remains in that place.  I know this to be a luxury with which I am only now becoming reacquainted.
        When I have time I’ll publish the passage log.  
        I’ve only been here a little over twenty-four hours.
        Today I’ve alternated cleaning and reorganizing GANNET and answering email.    
        The passage was hard and good.  It was wonderful to reenter the monastery of the sea, enjoy pure beauty and sail for days on end.
        Hard because GANNET’s motion is so quick that life underway is a constant isometric exercise.  Day and night my body resisted gravity and other forces.  CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE must have had a quick motion, but I think GANNET’s may be quicker simply because she is.  I’ve never before felt the land move after a passage, even after the five continuous months at sea in EGREGIOUS.  But I do after sailing GANNET.
        These are not complaints.  Only observations.  I wanted a new-to-me sailing experience and I’ve found an exceptional one.
        GANNET accelerates like no other boat I’ve ever sailed.  
        While our overall time was not unusual, I’ve never before seen so many boat speeds of more than 8 knots.  A gust of wind or a wave from the right angle and the Velocitek was reading 9s and 10s.  The highest reading I saw was 12.4 knots.  And we never had more than 25 knots of wind, and usually considerably less.  And, unfortunately, we sailed most of the way with only the main and the 110% jib.
        GANNET runs straight with no tendency to round up.  The RayMarine tiller pilot had no problem in handling her as she sometimes skipped across the sea.
        GANNET’s second week at sea was a thousand mile week, 1002 miles to be exact, which has long been my standard for good sailing.
        We made it in on the 18th day.  I could have been here on my predicted 17th day, but only after dark.  I would have been here that day or even earlier had the sailmaker not inadequately secured the plate at the head of the asymmetrical.  It pulled away from the sail on the sixth day out.  I could have and would have used the asymmetrical extensively during the last week which was mostly perfect trade wind weather.  
       It is noteworthy that this was about how fast I would have made the same passage in the much bigger and fine sailing RESURGAM and THE HAWKE OF TUONELA in the same weather conditions.
        There was no other significant damage.  Everything worked about the way I expected, except that the covers I had made to try to keep water from coming in through the closed companionway hatch were total failures.  Some days a lot of water did.  Fortunately I was sleeping on the windward side during most of the passage so it gushed onto the port pipe berth.  Having everything that could be damaged by water in waterproof boxes, bags or trash bags was essential.
        The Yellowbrick seems to have performed perfectly.  I haven’t deactivated it and it is still showing a 90% charge.  You may recall it was at 98% when I left San Diego.  In addition to its sending positions at six hour intervals, I did use it twice to send short emails to Carol and received two from her.   
        I will bring it in and charge it one of these days.
        I just remembered that there was other damage:  to me.  An apt title for sailing GANNET is THERE WILL BE BLOOD.  Nothing serious, but with that quick motion I often dinged myself without even realizing I had done so until I noticed blood on my clothes or pillow case.  Maybe I need a carbon fiber skull cap.  Or skull.
        I’m not sure how long I’ll stay here.  I certainly enjoy being on a mooring again.  I will probably sail for Honolulu within the week to find a sailmaker to fix the asymmetrical and make some curtains that might divert companionway water from berths to bilge.