Every day JT checks the weather and compares our routing to the latest forecast and we check email and try and get a post out to you guys. We can do this by transmitting over our satellite phone or via the single sideband (SSB) radio. SSB is low frequency radio transmissions that bounce a signal off the earth's atmosphere. This allows the signal to send for thousands of miles. For example, this blog is being posted through our SSB to a radio station in Watsonville, CA (1400 nm away). It's old technology but a tried and true method of sending and receiving data. It's crazy to think of how all that can work but we're thankful it does!
The gribs we download are then loaded into our navigation software called Expedition. This software is set up to understand the specific sailing capabilities of Bullet and will create a routing scenario for us with preferred heading per the conditions and give us a sense of what navigation tactics we should be prepared for. From the start it's been saying we should expect to be able to turn east as the winds clock around the high pressure zone to the north and we should also expect those winds to settle down to about 10 knots of sustained winds. Well I think we can say it looks like that's exactly what's happening!
Yesterday we had only one squall I think and none over the night watch. This was the first night watch we had with no water spray into the cockpit soaking our clothes and all our gear. To emphasize how awesome that was we should give you a sense of the day/night schedules. For example, Mike gets on watch from 9pm to midnight, sleeps off watch until 3am and is back on from 3am to 6pm. Then another 3 hrs of sleep, cooks breakfast and is back on day watch from 10am to 1p. Finally a break until it starts all over again the next night. We all have similar schedules that are staggered so there is always someone on up top on the tiller and two up top in the night hours. So, if you have a night like we did where our clothes and gear stayed dry that means we didn't have to take off wet stuff, crawl in a bunk, and then put we stuff all back on again over and over. The boat has dried out and so have our clothes! We celebrate the little things :)
You should notice on the tracker we're turning more and more easterly and should be pointed due east at about latitude 40 deg N. San Francisco is about latitude 38 deg N so we'll have gone a little above to get a better point of sail towards the bay. Remember, we update on weather every day and Expedition gives us options to consider for most comfortable sail and expected motoring if needed so we may make a call to change course plan depending on what we see.
Thank you all for the comments. It's fun to wake up and hear from JT that we have you guys our there following.
Ritchie came back today for a third day in a row. He likes to fly right us in the wind coming off our sails. Now that we know he's a white-tailed tropic bird and they could be an endangered species we're happy to help stir up all the flying fish we can for him!
Ok back to pressing on! Speak soon!