Time: 0620 local
Lat: 30 59
Log: 155 41
Distance from Hawaii: 595
Distance to Golden Gate: 1684
24 hour distance made good: 130.1 nautical miles
The wind has slowed to about 8 knots overnight, and become a bit “fussy” in direction. But the boat is still moving along in the direction we want at over 5 knots. We have had day after day of clear blue skies with only isolated white puffy cumulus clouds. At sunrise this morning I am greeted by a sold wall of gray off to the west. It is the cold front we have been waiting for. Behind it the wind veers, and we finally get to point directly at our destination, carried along by the west winds that flow toward the coast north of the tradewind belt.
This means that according to standard wisdom, we are coming to the end of the most difficult part of our trip, the beat into the trades. I am pretty sure I don’t believe that…
For what it is worth, the weather routing software predicts we will be under the Golden Gate Bridge in 11 to 13 days.
And a random thought: Do things ever tighten themselves? Or do they only ever get looser? My standard line is that when things go wrong, they always go wrong at 2AM. Well last night I would have been wrong it was 03:20. Tom was on watch, and the boat suddenly heads up into the wind and stops. I am awake right away. I hear the boat come back up to speed, and sail away again. But, something is wrong. No noise from the autopilot. Tom has the boat back on course by hand, and the autopilot is not responding.
Always try the easiest thing first, switch everything off and back on again. No luck. A quick visual check shows the right lights on indicating power is getting to where it needs to be. Opening an access panel shows the problem. The hydraulic ram has unscrewed itself from the eye that connects it to the rudder quadrant. Two minutes with a wrench and we’re back off and running. Hopefully today I can find some Locktite and prevent that from occurring again.