Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 4 Lulls and Squalls and Checking In

We're getting used to a weather pattern out here: light winds during the
day that build in the late afternoon, and on and off squally conditions
at night. Not the kind of ugly knock-down squalls you may have heard
about or seen in movies, but rather patches of gusty high winds that
sometimes require us to reef our sails. They pass pretty quickly with
no damage, just a little bit of heeling over and adrenaline rushing.
Right now, at about 4:00pm, those strong winds are beginning to build.
A few hours ago we were ALMOST forced to turn on the engine, the winds
were so light and variable. We are glad we didn't break our record run
of sailing without the engine.

When the wind is light we relax and read, and yesterday we even put down
the swim platform and stuck our feet in the water while sitting on the
edge.

Another thing we do in our down time is to check in with ham radio nets
using our SSB radio. We found a great resource in Mike from Ohio on
frequency 21412 at 22 time. He manages a radio "net" for the Pacific
and is now tracking us. It is amazing to think that this old-school
technology is still one of the most powerful and reliable out here. We
will check in with him every day. It's reassuring to know that someone
out there is monitoring our progress. People who don't have a Ham radio
can follow us on my MapShare page which tracks our progress through our
InReach device. You can find it from my Facebook page (sorry I can't
find the website url and have to send this now).

When the winds pick up we get into high-productivity mode. Grab all
items like books and pillows from the cockpit and put them below, stow
all dishes or other items that may fly across the cabin in the event of
a knock-down, start reefing the sails and preparing to pass through the
weather. So far we have been very well-prepared and they have been
consistently milder than we expected. Better safe than sorry!

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