Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 9- seamounts and sleep

Time: 1700 Zulu (noon PV time)
Position: 17-deg 38-min N 118-deg 15-min W
Wind: N 10-knots Seas: NNW 3-4-ft
Course: 284 T Speed: 5.5-knots
Rig: full main, 100% jib
24-hr distance traveled: 115-nm

Yesterday afternoon we were just 65-nm SW of Isla Clarion after which we made a comfortable point of sail between several seamounts noted on the chart (no one has mentioned them as hazards, but just to be safe we wanted to stay clear). This means that we've cleared the Soccoro Islands and Mexico and are now in international waters and true open ocean. The sailing has been a magnificent, fairly consistent, 10-knot breeze with wonderfully small seas.

The only excitement last night was watching the far away glow of a fishing vessel not on the AIS (likely fishing for large pelagic fish that thrive around such seamounts), and eventually passing within 10-nm or so. Today dawned beautifully as the cloud cover broke down to 60% allowing the sun to peek through as it rose. Shawn pulled out the camera to capture it when a blow from a whale came from the peak of the wave that was about to pass under Tao. Fear flashed as the pilot whale incident was still fresh, but with the camera already out, she caught a picture of it diving just in front of Tao on its path southward. From the size and the fin, we think it was possibly a finback.

These calm conditions have allowed us some excellent sleep and Chris slept much better getting off watch before the sun rose this morning. We are still basically sticking to the 6-hrs on 6-hrs off schedule, but each of us are spending a portion of our "off" time up and about "working" at the things we most enjoy. We've been calling these our crossover periods and have really been appreciating them- having extra hands to pull a reef, another mind to discuss ideas of what the best point of sail for the current and predicted weather, eating breakfast and dinner together, all of which have been special times. Not to mention Grizzly loves having the bunk to herself for a few hours a day.

So we continue to try to gain northing with our westing and therefore find ourselves pleasantly close hauled in these settled conditions. Our weather guru, Don Anderson, says that we should be seeing 20-knot NE winds within the next 48-hrs so we want to gain northing while we can before we fall off for a more comfortable ride in the heavier wind conditions. Our barometer has just bumped up to 1015, so we are definitely getting closer to the edge of the NE Pacific high.


  1. It sounds so awesome! Thanks for updating daily and allowing us to visualize your adventure. We're hanging on every word! So proud of you guys for following your dream and living in the moment. Kiss Mother Ocean for us, hug each other tight and give a big butt rub to Grizz. Love ya heaps!...Whizzy & Bruce

  2. TAO is single hull and can handle 20 knots NE --you'll be busier but fine. Keep up the progress and the good humor. I think about you every day; talked to Ken this evening and know he's thinking about you too. Love you lots, Mum