Thursday, June 12, 2008

We're Sailing!

After a week of relentless storms, cold water repairs, and canned beans, we're thrilled to be underway!

Yesterday we rigged the jib and mizzen sails, slipped a few mini-pontoons in strategic spots under the raft to boost buoyancy, and spent a couple of hours getting JUNK’s junk stowed in buckets and bags.

We said goodbye to San Nicolas Island as we pulled anchor and drifted east. “Let’s get the spinnaker up,” Joel said, well aware of the kelp beds ahead and hundreds of sea lions and elephant seals barking less than a quarter-mile on the island’s shore. The current and wind were in opposite directions, making our net progress less than 1 knot. As we approached the southeast point of the island I could hear the crashing waves growing louder. Every time we turned away from the island, the sails lost wind. Suddenly, a north breeze from around the island swept us away, and soon we were heading south.

There are new challenges ahead. Cortez Bank is a shallow area directly south of our position, with Bishop rock jetting out of the water. The problem there is the breaking waves. Then further south is Guadalupe Island, with it’s jagged coastline. Currently we’re drifting in the direction of Ensenada, Mexico. At the moment we’re fine, just going where the wind and waves take us. The ocean is calm, and workable. It’s the hard stuff on the edges that get you.

Life on JUNK now changes. Joel and I take alternating 4hr. watches - 4 hours on, 4 hours off. While on watch, we monitor our radar screen and AIS (automated information system), which allow us to know who’s in the sea around us.

Joel is still doing most of the cooking. Our last storm 5 days ago, with 50 mph gusts and 8-10ft seas, wiped the labels off of all our cans, making dinner prep an Iron Chef affair - today’s mystery meal, garnered from three bare cans, was black beans, coconut milk, and corn.

The sun sets bright orange. We relax. We’re at sea going somewhere, and hopefully word is spreading about our little raft, and the mission to end the use of disposable plastics. If you have any questions, please send them our way, and check out Algalita to see what research we’re up to.


Captain Moore said...

Great that you're sailing! Looks like 10 knots for days, not much wind. Time to figure out how to get the most out of your rig.
Best of luck,
Captain Moore

john said...

Peseverance-steady persistence in a course of action despite difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. I can think of no greater challenge than becoming one with the vastness that we call the ocean....great work guys, we are all cheering for you...warm regards, J. Fentis