Time Flies

Author: Mark
Date: Apr 22, 5pm MST
Location: 07 21.48S --- 110 26.20W
Conditions: 15-18kts @ 140T, 259 COG, 7.5kts SOG, 2.5-3m swell with 9s period

I can't believe we have been at sea for over 9 days. It's going fast in most respects. We will reach the halfway point tomorrow.

Yesterday was a good day. Elizabeth spotted a large sperm whale about 50 meters off our port side. It was beautiful. We've never seen a sperm whale, especially this close! WOW. It did not breach but it did put it?s head above the water and then dive, throwing it?s tail up in the air. It was also startling. You don't really want to ram into a whale at sea. They may win the "who's strongest" contest.

Today has been a great day. It's mostly sunny and we are averaging about 7.3kts SOG at the moment. We have not caught any fish in the past two days. Arg. At least we have not been skunked as a couple of our other buddy boats (no, we're not naming names - grin) have been on this trip. You would think we would be hammering the fish. Especially in the middle of the pacific with not a commercial fishing boat found anywhere - maybe there is a reason for that? No fish?

If you've seen the original documentary Kon Tiki - and watched the guys throw in a line 15 min before dinner and reel in a large mahi mahi, it's not like that for any of the boats in our fleet. Why? Maybe over fishing is part of the answer - but the larger difference is boat speed. We are moving quickly compared to essentially a large wooden raft drifting at a couple of knots with the current. Fish like large, slow floating objects and tend to congregate underneath - and thus it is easier to catch fish when you have fish under your floating platform. Regardless, if you have not seen the documentary - watch it. I'm not talking about the recent movie remake Kon Tiki, but the original black and white documentary. It's fascinating and worth a watch as we are out here blazing a similar trail - albeit a lot faster.

Speaking of faster, one item that is nagging me is we are sailing slower than expected. Our apparent wind angle has been around 125-135 on a port tack. If we close the wind up a little to 100 we add .5-.75kts. However, this brings us to a COG of 230, which is too far south given the forecast of more easterly winds later in the week. So, I'm having to grin and bear it while other cats are ripping along at 8-8.5kts on a COG of 230. They are farther ahead and farther south. We'll see what happens. Not easy for me to sit still, and down size our sails at night, but it's about comfort and safety first - speed second.

Oh yeah, one more small item that I know is killing our performance - stores. We are loaded. We've never been heavier as a boat. Ever. Here are the major weight items we currently have onboard:

180 Gallons Diesel
40 Gallons Gasoline
140 Gallons Water (we top off tanks every day with water maker)
380 tins of food
20 bottles of wine
220 cans of misc soda
210 cans of beer
25 liters of spirits
65lbs of flower
55lbs of condiments
40lbs of assorted pasta

I'm not able to put the weight into the items easily as I don't have internet access to be accurate,but I shudder to even think how much this stuff weighs in total. YIKES!

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