Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 50

Noon Position 26 28.30N 159 41.22W

We are 245 miles out from Oahu and speeding along at 9.1 knots over the ground with 21 knots of wind. We are definitely in the trades now. This afternoon we passed back into the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the U.S. and spotted Frigate Birds, both of which are a reminder that we are getting close to land again.

The day was a pretty standard transit upwind-other than being informed that were in an area which will become a missile hot zone by 5:30 pm tomorrow, the 30th. Jeff was on watch and was getting a crackling and inaudible transmission on the VHF radio. Apparently that inaudible crackle was the military trying to get in touch with us, so they decided to step it up a notch and swoop down over the bow of the Alguita in their plane. This got our attention. With the plane in closer range the transmission came in clear. The plane, which hailed us under the call sign Pheonix 1, informed us that in 24 hours the military was going to be testing missiles-right over the waters we were in. Pheonix 1 stated that as long as we maintained course (we were on a bearing of 140 or so) we’d be out of the way in time. A couple hours later Phoenix 1 made contact again, suggesting that we keep our course as easterly as possible in order to be clear out of the way by tomorrow evening. Needless to say, we are keeping out of the way.

The other excitement of the day was a product of beating into the weather. All the hatches have to stay closed since the foredeck is getting doused by waves--so the cabin is a little stuffy. Christiana gave into the stuffy heat earlier in the day (as we all have at some point) and opened up one of the hatches in the starboard cabin during a lull in splash, only to get her bunk drenched by an unexpected wave. Lesson learned. The hatch remained closed until, again someone couldn’t stand the mugginess of the cabin and re-opened up the hatch. This time the inevitable flood of water drenched Drew’s bunk-sleeping bag and all.

Our ETA is now sometime during mid-morning on the 31st, although this is still subject to the whims of the weather. We have put aside some time on Monday the 3rd, from 10am-12pm, to invite the public and the media to stop by our slip in Honolulu’s Kewalo Basin to check out what we have collected during our 7 weeks at sea. Hope to see some of our Oahu friends there.


Anonymous said...

What type of plane was it?

srchief said...

The U.S. Navy has always been hard to ignore and they do have a flair for making a dramatic entrance.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are almost home!