Altasea Open House
Saturday was Altasea Open House, such an honor to share the stage with Captain Charles Moore and XPRIZE. Thank you AltaSea!
Good tunes and coffee drive us north, while we play with the elements.
Disco is a boat that runs on a variety of fuels. Wind is our main one, although we’re running a bit light on that right now. Coffee is second. I would like to put it at a first, but for realities sake it should be second I suppose. Music is definitely a third. When the wind is strong, music provides a suitable soundtrack to our lives as we crash and power through the ocean, life on the edge. When the wind is light, music is one of the main forms of entertainment and sanity, in the many endless and repetitive hours spent behind the helm, staring towards the horizon. Right now, it’s music, not wind, that is driving Disco.
Weather wise, our progress is relying on picking up good breeze generated by the heating and cooling of the nearby coastline. For this reason we are deliberately staying close by the coast, regardless of the fact it is also the shortest distance to make progress north. Yesterday had some seriously good wind as a result of these thermals, and we’re hoping for the same today.
In the meantime, our light wind performance is severely suffering due to the fact we have finally run out of usable cable ties for the genoa. This is a truly sad state of affairs, however we have a remedy, just not an immediate fix. We are stripping down one of our expired lengths of running rigging, and making soft shackles from the sheath. This is a combination of a splice and a knot, that will allow us to attach and detach the genoa from the forestay with relative ease, and will be much longer lasting than cable ties. It might also put us in the exciting situation that the sail would give up before the attachments, as is normally the case. I shall have to stress that this is not a challenge for the team…
Our food plan is working out well so far, only slightly affected by the fact that without a working generator there is no freezer, just a box that grows ever warmer with all the food in. We are munching on through the refrigerated goods as a matter of urgency, and glad that our main diet is still the bulletproof pesto pasta combo. For all those that thought the menu plan a lazy or uninspired option, you know see it is carefully formulated strategy, and an essential part of a thorough passage plan. As are the cookies.
I can feel the thermals kicking in. Off to hoist the Yankee, and get on the splicing action for the rest of the day.
Date: 16th March 2017
Position: 18 20.0N 103 36.4W
Swell: W 3-6
Sky: 2/8 stratocumulus
With the support of our partner Weather Routing Inc.
Our support sailboat Discoverer is now docked at The Longest Swim new base camp: Altasea Port of Los Angeles. Altasea is dedicated to scientific and educational project development and to start-ups with the mission to raise awareness about the state of our oceans. In the following months, the warehouses of the Port of Los Angeles will … Continued
After we left you going into evening yesterday, a wonderfully clear night of fast and furious sailing ensued. With only a few clouds around and a full moon, we trucked along under yankee 1 and full main, making well over an 8kt average. Proper sailing again, with Disco doing what she does best in fairly … Continued
Shortly into the night two good things happened. First, there were dolphins, which is always a happy occurrence. Despite it being dark, the sound of these nimble creatures flitting in and out of the water around us is unmistakable, so you know they’re there even if you can’t see a thing. The second was Henry … Continued
I left you with an exceptional breakfast, and our first set of plastic trawling trials. The subsequent evening and night involved purely fickle sailing conditions, and all focus on trying to keep the boat moving. We spent 90% of the time with the sails capturing an almost imperceptible level of wind, their soft shapes above … Continued
If I had put money on someone to get the boat moving first, it would have been on Henry. However, I’d struggle to find anyone to take that bet, as they’d all agree. True to form, shortly after dawn I heard the rustling of sails, felt Disco gybe out of her hove-to state, and begin … Continued
Welcome to a windless Pacific Ocean. The telltale signs of the light airs we saw in the early part of yesterday evening were indeed an indication of what was to come, and by midnight the wind had died off completely, leaving us with a mercifully slight sea state, but still enough to gently roll the … Continued
Finally, we had an evening that wasn’t just grey cloud in every direction, a very refreshing break! We’re still a long way off the amazing nights of unbroken starscape in every direction that have previously graced our time at sea, but right now I’ll take the occasional break in cloud cover to prove the stars … Continued
Despite the fact the squall activity at night has eased off, there are still patches of excitement, where the wind will increase by about 50% for 5 or 10 minutes, before reverting back to its previous state. On one such occasion last night a really breezy patch came through, and unable to see the gust … Continued
It’s a good day here on Disco. Fresh socks, AND a fresh t-shirt. You can’t get better than that on another day mid-pacific. Then there was breakfast. We had egg and bacon in freshly baked wholemeal bread rolls – very nice indeed. I recently discovered that, as with the biscuits and nachos, strategies had been … Continued
This is being written at the end of the day, from an increasingly challenging environment. I’m wedged into the nav station, one leg dangling into free space by the companionway, the other hooked up to windward in an attempt to stop the rest of my body following the first leg across the boat, left shoulder … Continued
The day began with the excitable tones of Renaud at the helm. They were the noises he normally makes when there are dolphins or other appealing marine wildlife about, although also displayed when referring to the Southern Ocean penguins he so fondly reminisces of. This time, however, was the first exception to this rule since … Continued