Osaka to Seattle, third week

Compared to the storms of the first week and the psycho tanker at the end of the second, the third week has been pretty uneventful. We spend most of our time looking at weather faxes and deciding which way to go next. Mid-week the 3-4 day forecasts were predicting a storm and a gale preceding a low pressure system just short of the International Date Line. We were still 5 degrees short and the wind died, leaving us becalmed in a soon-to-be stormy place. We burned 25 gallons of diesel leaving Japan and getting 150 miles offshore so we could enjoy the first two storms without worrying about land, and we’ve also burned another 10-15 charging batteries – it’s been overcast and foggy most of the time and we don’t get much benefit from solar panels most days. So anyway, with the big winds headed our way we started a race toward the North Pacific High. We’ll know for sure by tomorrow, but it looks like trading a little diesel for calmer winds has worked.

We have a little over 2000 miles left. We have 74 out of 140 gallons of diesel left. We also have gas for the Honda generator and can run it in calm weather. We’ve made a little over 500 gallons of fresh water. Tannowa harbor was pretty dirty and we left with empty tanks, so 130 of this water filled our water tanks. The other 370 or so is what we’ve consumed in three weeks. Since we have a water maker we’ve never rationed water or used salt water for washing. Our usage on this passage is a little higher than normal mainly due to laundry. On shorter passages we hold it for landfall and usually don’t do it by hand onboard because doing laundry by hand uses a lot of water.

We’ve made repairs to a mainsail slide, a bilge pump, chafed a reefing line, and replaced a sea strainer. A few pins have worked their way loose, so far we’ve caught them before anything goes ‘boom’. The Monitor wind vane lines that attach to the wheel were starting to chafe by the water paddle, so we end-for-ended them. One of the water maker pumps stopped running the other day but then started again – worse case I’ll switch back over to the mag-drive pump instead of the 2 Shurflos, a little less water per hour but certainly more efficient. That’s about it for repairs so far – nothing major.

The boat has been sailing itself for most of the trip. We average a couple of adjustments per day on the wind steering and of course change sail configurations when needed. Rest of the time we watch the boat sail. Not that we’re not busy. Sleep schedule, cooking, dishes, repairs, and cleaning all take time. We are downloading 24 weather faxes per day right now, I have a schedule taped to the nav station so I don’t miss one. Together with spot forecasts from sailmail we know enough about the weather to a least see stuff coming. Unfortunately the weather systems move so much faster than we do we can only mitigate the affects.

Nothing else for now, today on Yohelah we’re all wishing we were closer to home…