Sunday, August 7, 2016

Motor Sailing On ...

Hey there! So not much excitement from the last couple of days. We have had the motor on during most of the last 36 hours, due to a mixture of light breeze and our course being into the wind at times. Today we started seeing about 10 kts of breeze out of the east, so we turned the engine off and got the sails tuned ... then we got a little too much breeze so threw in a reef. Now, things are lightening up again, so made need to add some sail or engine power. The ocean gives us what she wants so we're always making the necessary changes to get the most out of it.

Our solar panels continue to be a good power plant (when the sun is shinning), so much that a few days ago we did not have to run our engine to refill the batteries. Of course, with the engine going for almost two days, our batteries are now topped off and our solar panels are keeping them that way.

One benefit of getting the motor running (and light conditions) is that we have been able to use the Bullet's autopilot (AP)! We set our heading and it does the steering. The AP is power hungry, so we have avoided using it until we knew we had enough electrical generation. The AP makes watches much more relaxing to stand watch, as we don't have to hand steer the entire time. The solar panels seem to provide enough power to handle the autopilot's energy requirements when we have good sun.

Another benefit to the light conditions and allowing the AP to do the steering is we've been able to dig into our box of books and enjoy a little reading. After a beating into the wind and seas for first several days, this luxury has reminded us of some of the reasons we were so looking forward to making the passage. We've all been able to relax and the mood is better than ever! Now we look forward to the next phase of the trip when we're exiting the high pressure zone and have the wind at our beam reaching all they way home.

Here's a quote from the book Mike is reading he thought was fitting to our journey...

"The stories of sea voyages, from The Odyssey through Hakluyt, and into today, retain immediacy and freshness because they took place on the never-changing sea, and each one goes to the secret core of a man's joy. It is a pleasure found not only in the tale of adventures but in the certitude that here on the sea, a man can reaffirm his human animal self, by the power of his arms, his will and his skill in a direct encounter with a huge and impersonal element and to do so in close company with chosen companions."

-William Snaith, On the Wind's Way

We are just about 1200nm to SF from our current position. In the next day we are planning to make a hard right turn towards the Golden Gate. If the weather holds, we may be passing under the Gate the early morning of Aug 15 -- but, still a week between now and then!

We threw in a couple photos as you'll see. JT and Scott doing some reading and this morning's sunrise. Talk soon!



  1. So you will hit the half way point tomorrow? What are you doing for your mid voyage party? It sounds like things are progressing nicely. Congrats

  2. Glad to hear the weather has improved & everyone is getting to relax a bit more :D good luck in the home stretch, keep the stories coming! -cz

  3. Compared to earlier you are now living the life of Riley! Great quote by the way. Seen any whales yet??

  4. The tracking program makes it look like several boats are close to one another. It is hard to tell distances however. Can you see any of the other boats?

  5. Have to admit I was happy to see you tethered in even while relaxing and reading your books (must be a mother thing😊). Also so happy to see yet another sunset and the enjoyment found in seeing, photographing and sharing it. How often in our day to day lives do we actually sit and watch this incredible (on so many levels) sight...thanks so much for continuing to provide glimpses of your journey!

  6. Message for Scott-Grandma was not able to comment on your blog, but wanted to be sure you knew that she is enjoying your blogs and she sends you her love and best wishes for a good voyage!

    I have been following your "Tracker" and blog as much as I can, too, and am thoroughly enjoying the excitement of your adventure! Keep up the great work!-Love & Prayers for a safe journey home, Aunt Ann

  7. Love the photos! Looks like you got to relax a bit :)