Into the Western Hemisphere!

Date: Jan. 26, 2017, noon Position: 20 1.25 S, 0 30.01 E

Last night at the change of the watch, Privateer crossed the Prime Meridian and sailed back into the Western Hemisphere. We are now 1/2 way around the world from Fiji, where we crossed the international dateline back in 2014. Another 1/4 turn around the globe will bring us to the shores of North America.

I was sure glad we double-reefed before dark yesterday–the winds piped up throughout the evening and Privateer surged onward into the night. It’s coming on a new moon now, so our night watches are dark, especially with the cloud cover we have now. In the morning it squalled up a bit and winds peaked in the 25-30 knot range for awhile. It raised an uncomfortable cross-chop that kept us in a constant state of aerobic exercise all day. A large pod of big gray dolphins leapt from the waves during the higher winds. Finally things mellowed out in the evening and our winds are back down to steady 16-20, SE.

We’re having hit or miss on the SSB propagation, some days we can download GRIBs and send journals, other days we cannot. Another cloudy overcast day today, which may have something to do with it. Hopefully it will clear soon, our battery bank could use a solar top-up ASAP. Though we have good winds, the wind generator doesn’t pump out many amps on a downwind sail. During these times, we cut our electronic usage to a minimum in order to avoid running the engine to charge batteries.

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