Sunday, August 7, 2016
Motor Sailing On ...
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!