SAILING INTO THE TROPIC OF CANCER

Looking at the log book for last night I see I was having a hard time.  Sails up and down, in and out, tacking, gybing and engine on.  Sometimes reducing sail as going too fast and others just no wind.  I was surprised to find we had covered 109 miles noon to noon, a commendable effort in such trying conditions.  It must be good for you, good exercise in the fresh air.

Since midday it has been easy street.  Sailing with just the jib poled out to port, making a steady five plus knots in sparkling weather directly towards our destination.  Also, an opportunity to catch up on some sleep from the night before.

Waikiki beach, Hawaii. Photo Ngozi Penson
Waikiki beach, Hawaii. Photo Ngozi Penson

Today we crossed the imaginary line into the Tropic of Cancer.  This line marks the furthest point north the sun will get before heading back to the south again.  If you stood on the line at midday of the summer solstice the sun would be directly overhead at noon.  The word tropic is derived from a Greek word meaning to turn (that’s what we learned in navigation).

The Greeks were quite good at maths and figuring out what the planets were doing.  The ancient Brits were also up to speed on all that stuff – just that being illiterate they couldn’t write it down – they had to explain it in big stone circles

This time last year Truce and I were in Sitka Alaska.  Sitka was a really nice place, one of the best towns in Alaska.  What a contrast sailing into Hawaii.  I am getting quite excited by it all now and really looking forward to getting ashore in Hilo, only three more days to go.

A small rum and coke will be appropriate for sundowners today, we are in the tropics after all.  Voyage distance 1,816 miles.

BACK IN THE WATER

This afternoon Truce went back into the water.  A big sigh of relief all around.  The last days have been cold wet and miserable trying to get the anti fouling completed and living on board when the boat is out of the water is not pleasant.

Truce back in her natural element.Photo, Ray Penson
Truce back in her natural element. Photo, Ray Penson

Once in the water I had a good check all around for leaks,  Happily nothing untoward found and the hull is nice and tight.  The engine started on the second try and burst into life in a large cloud of smoke.  Once the checks had been completed I motored around to the lay-by berth and noted that the dripless seal didn’t drip.  It’s doing what its supposed to and if this continues we will have a dry bilge – or at least dry from the water coming through the shaft packing.

Once secured on the berth I went up the road and jumped on a bus to Sidney for some groceries.  I had just about run out of food and drink.  When I got back to the boat I flashed up the Dickinson Diesel heater and ten minutes later the boat was getting warm.  Such luxury to have a warm boat.

Tomorrow I will start working on the rig and cleaning the boat up.  The salon is full of sail bags that I will have to re-stow somewhere.

I am looking forward to a good nights sleep as we gently rock at the dock.

READY FOR LAUNCHING

Not a drop of rain overnight and the morning was dry and sunny.  After a quick cup of tea I was back out rolling anti fouling paint.  The second coat was finished by ten in the morning, just in time for smoko.  Then it was back out to get a third coat on the high wear areas.  By three in the afternoon I was finished and a few minutes later the rain started again.

Antifouling finished, ready for launching. Yacht Truce
Antifouling finished, ready for launching. Yacht Truce

Getting the anti fouling completed has been a battle against the weather. It’s taken me days longer than anticipated but finally its done.  Truce is now ready to go back in the water and what a relief it will be to have running water again and all systems working.

Last night I flashed up the AIS to check it was working OK, it is.  This morning I received an email from marinetraffic.com informing me that I had departed Canoe Cove.  They are jumping the gun a bit – but interesting to know that there is someone out there tracking every ship, boat and canoe with AIS.

So a big day tomorrow, launching at noon then checking out the shaft seal and new through hulls for tightness.  Canoe Cove is so busy they can only give me a berth for two days.  That’s not enough as I need more time to get the boat ready and equipment installed.  I don’t really have a plan ‘B’ at the moment but will wait to get tomorrow over before thinking too hard about it.