I’m in the trade winds now and it is a steady flow of motion. Juniper is surfing down waves and it feels like she is in flight. They are long and gentle but fast rides, I’m seeing 8 knots sustained for over 5 minutes at time. That’s how long she is flying for on just one wave!
After all those days of moving like a dandelion seed, it is taking me a minute to settle back into the speed.
I only have one reef in the main and the Genoa is furled in a bit, but wishing I had two reefs on the main. Just for piece of mind.
I have been at the helm when a boat got knocked down three times in a row. It traumatized me a smidge. In that situation we were flying a spinnaker and it was a race boat, but still I have a little anxiety that this could happen. And it could, speed is something to be mindful of in heavier seas.
The sun rises later and later and later as I travel over the water. I waited for it to rise and then jibed. I am now sailing directly towards Hawaii.
I know I’m getting closer to the other side now, two nights ago my AIS alarm went off indicating that another ship and I were going to pass within 1 NM of each other. The ships name was Kawaoila. I tried to radio it several times, but no response. I believe it was a fishing vessel. It had the lights of luring fish that fisherman carry and it also put a flashing light in the water to mark something. I passed the flashing light only an arms-length away. It was eerie.
Then, I went back to sleep. I was on a port tack so I can’t sleep in the quarter Berth, because I needed to balance my weight on the high side of the boat. So I slept on the saloon settee across from the dinette table. I woke up as I was thrown in the air and slammed into the table. Books and memories from that side of the boat surrounded me. That is the power of a wave!
Normally there are lee cloths used on sleeping spaces, such as these, for this very reason. I did not have a chance to make some for my boat before leaving.
Between the engine and the unexpected nature of the sea, I have bruises everywhere. I also have patches of blood in areas that I don’t recall hitting or scraping. I look a lot like the fruits in my hanging baskets that are bruised and dripping their juices onto the floor. That’s me at sea, bruised and juicy.
Yesterday I worked on the engine and got caught with my pants down in a squall. Oh and it was a big one. And my windvane wasn’t balanced for it and I was running around with diesel everywhere trying to calm the ship in the storm.
I did something right in that windvane balancing act, because last night we went through four squalls and this time Juniper held her course like those squalls were to her advantage. Like they were just feeding her energy and she drank it all up and got intoxicated from the very heart of the squall.
Juniper and I are lovesick for our engine. I have been unsuccessful so far at releasing the air. It is a common issue with boats because the fuel tanks are usually below the waterline.
The other day I traced the fuel lines to see where the flow stopped. Fuel was not making it beyond the secondary fuel filter, so I replaced it, but then when I went to bleed it, as I did the day before, I broke the wing nut (is that what it’s called? It looks like a nut with wings, so I will call it that.) Now it will not prime or bleed.
I tried getting fuel to flow through it via the next bleed point on the fuel injector pump, but that bleed point has just been blowing air since I started this engine adventure.
I will continue to investigate more today. I’m going to try removing the hose that leads from the fuel filter to the fuel injector pump and see if I can get something flowing from that point
If anybody has any ideas I’m all ears via my mom as I can’t see the internet from the deep blue sea. It is a universal atomic 30 Diesel engine.
If I am unable to get the engine going I will have to shut down all systems. My solar panels aren’t enough to sustain a charge on the house batteries and simultaneously run the VHF and chart plotter. Today I will turn those off and see what the sun can provide for the batteries.
At night I will sail with only the VHF on in case another ship is crossing, but I will not have enough power to run my navigation lights.
When the sunsets I turn on my solar lantern and that is the only light my ship is able to provide. Once a day I will be able to check instruments and course. My compass does not take energy to run, so that will be my only guide besides the stars and the sun.
It also means that I won’t be able to write to you everyday. I will plan for every other day. I must conserve all portable devices that require a charge.
Wish me luck with releasing the air.
*If you are enjoying this journey please share my blog and encourage folks to sign up. I have been offered a potential sponsorship if numbers continue to grown. That would mean that I can take you on more adventures across the sea. X