The passage from the west coast to Hawaii is one of the longer open water passages. Almost three weeks of continuous sailing. Something both quantitatively and qualitatively different from regular day sailing.
Imagine a sailboat in San Francisco Bay. One that is sailed three days a month for eight hours a day, quite a lot by most standards. Every month this boat sails for roughly 24 hours. It would take a year and a half for this boat to accumulate the sailing hours of one trip to Hawaii.
It’s the little things that add up. Things you would never notice in a day. That line in the steering system, it rubs against its block just a little tiny bit. Not hardly anything at all. Except… It it happens for every minute of every hour for a week, the line chafes through and breaks. If you see that first little fuzzy spot that tells you the line is chafing, you can fix it before it goes all bad. But you have to look.
Every day I spend an hour or two going over everything on the boat I can see or touch. Is it exactly as I expect? Is anything loose? Any two parts rubbing that will damage each other? In the category of learning from past problems, yesterday I saw a loose bolt on the wind vane steering system. If it had come loose all the way, it would have lead to total, unrepairable failure. Tightened early, non issue.
We covered 136 nautical miles in the last 24 hours. We are now 904 from San Diego, and 1385 from Hawaii. Some of you more anal retentive types might have noticed that these distances don’t always add up in a rigorous way. The reason being: we don’t always go in a straight line!