Noon Position: 33°33'18.00"N 167° 1'40.80"W
July, 6th 2009
Not much to report about today. We were making great headway this morning with the spinnaker up, 10 knots or so. In order to keep the spinnaker flying, we would have had to continue heading due north-which was not conducive to reaching our sample area. So, we took down the kite and put up the main and Genoa. During the sail change we discovered that the spinnaker halyard had chaffed all the way through the sheath and down into the core a bit. Captain and Jeff spent a couple hours making an eye splice for the shakel that attaches to the head of the sail. The spare spinnaker halyard will be used in future when we are on a beam reach as its pulley doesn’t come from inside the mast and chafe the halyard when pulled to the side.
We gained some vessel groupies today, 2 to 3 Black-Footed Albatross and a Laysan who dropped by a few times. They’ve been swooping and gliding around the Alguita all day, teasing Drew by flying out of sight we he decided to bring his camera out on deck. The “Albies”, as we’ve taken to calling them, were still around as the sun was setting this evening. You can see the wing of the albatros barely skimming the water in the photo.
The Captain and crew are all doing well. Jeff and Joel are neck and neck in a never-ending chess tournament. Drew found a large green glass Japanese fishing float, as I mentioned yesterday, and is now close to being on cloud nine. We just need to get him on a few more dives so he can breathe some “compressed air” as he likes to say.
The seas are starting to get a little rougher, no more glassy, sea state 1 conditions. This makes it more difficult to spot debris (swells and whitecaps get in the way) but way more interesting to maneuver around the boat. It’s almost like a dance-trying to stay balanced while getting from place to place.
It’s been raining on and off today as we’ve passed in and out of squalls. It’s the first day we’ve seen in quite a while without constant sunshine. We are 596 miles from our sample area and should reach it by the 10th, giving us plenty of time to sample before we need to return to Honolulu.