Dolfin on 8/8 at 0200 UTC
Pos: 33 36’N, 131 04’W
Wind SE 2-4kts
Managed to sail most of the day until 1-1/2 hours ago. Motoring now because it feels good to keep moving (plus the batteries like it) but will probably stop in another hour and begin drifting again to conserve fuel. Should get noreasterlies in about 24 hours and I can hardly wait. It looks like about 625 miles to Catalina from here.
Congratulations on Jacqueline and Nightmare for making landfall – it has to feel great after all the challenges of such a long passage. And I echo what Mike says about the importance of being in touch with each other thru radio or email. It makes such a difference knowing you’re not as alone as it seems sometimes. And to David and the entire race committee – you guys are great and put on an amazing event (both coming and going). Thank you so much for making this life changing adventure available to us all.
As of 0200 UTC Lee gave Morning Star’s position as 38 40’N, 134 19’W steering 090T at 5.2 kts. He has 10-15 kts from the south with 4-6ft less choppy seas. All good on Morning Star.
36°14′ N/147°25′ W
SOG 5 KT @45° M
WIND 16 KT @328° M
BP 1014.6 mb
At dawn this morning Owl impacted with one of a pair of sperm whales. I was on watch and, as the impact was on the stern, turned to see two whales a few feet behind the boat and blood in the water. Owl was knocked off course and her steering damaged. My interpretation at the time was we were being attacked. Not sure this is correct, though. As one of the whales came around up on our stern I grabbed the wheel and managed to take off down wind. The whale followed for a short distance and then turned and the two went off in the opposite direction.
Owl is still able to motor but her steering is too stiff for the autopilot or windvane. We had big seas and winds today and so we hand steered with the damaged steering. Other than the stiffness, her rudder is still neutral (0° is straight ahead) and stable. It is a skeg-hung rudder. Late this evening the winds subsided, as predicted, so we installled the emergency rudder and have set it up to steer to wind or compass.
While hove-to, we also inspected more thoroughly the rudder stock and interior of the stern. Other than a broken hose clamp, no internal breech to the hull was detected.
It is too early to know how this will effect our passage. Early tests are that the propeller is uneffected. We know we will need to baby the emergency rudder as now it is the One. Winds are predicted lighter for the remainder of the trip which is good from this standpoint. Tomorrow we will send a GoPro down to inspect for external damage.