270 miles to go!

Today, I sailed 133 miles at bearing of 55°, which just so happens to be the general direction of Long Beach.

270 miles to go, and I’m hopeful I can get an even better run tomorrow. The winds will probably drop a bit tomorrow evening, but Monday Los Angeles time seems like the probable day for landfall.

The swell reached a crescendo in the mid-morning, and then started to drop as the winds swung around. By mid-afternoon we were at angle of 90 degrees to the wind on a lovely beam reach.

We are no longer fighting waves, just gliding along between the troughs. With plenty of wind still, I’m still double reefed and maintaining a comfortable six knots. One of the nice things about my new angle of wind is that my boat speed no longer contributes to the apparent wind speed, of which I have plenty.

My ship proximity alarm went off for the first time in the entire trip! I passed a few cargo ships heading north up the coast, I think they must sit about 300 miles offshore. The first two crossed in front of me, but I passed across the bows of the third which was a little nerve wracking. I have two devices telling me that I would easily clear, and in the end I crossed three miles in front of it, but they can’t appreciate how huge these behemoths appear from the cockpit of my little boat.

I broke open the last of the self-raising flour, and cooked damper for the first time in a while. The anticipation as it was cooking could have been cut with a chainsaw, and it lived up to every expectation. Utterly delicious!

Perhaps it’s just the environment, but I’ve formed the view that if I could have freshly cooked damper for lunch every remaining day of my life, I’d most likely die a content and happy man. I’ve been quite missing my daily damper as you all might reasonably suspect.

My food stores, on the whole, have worked excellently. Perhaps a few tweaks with the benefit of hindsight, but I wouldn’t change much.

It’s mostly down to my mother. In the madness of final preparations, we were only able to allocate one day to stock the boat. Mum was the brains, I was the brawn, and we pulled it off. It’s quite a feat to account for 300 meals, but Mum took it in her stride. After all, she fed 10 people every day for many years. It wasn’t much more than the equivalent of a weeks shopping for the family back in the day!

The basic formula of dinner has been tinned meat of some description combined with either potatoes, cous cous or pasta. Cous cous was Mum’s idea, I’ve not seen any other yacht website or manual mention it. Dead simple to cook, compact to store, light on water for cooking, and as tasty as they come. There were a few variety meals thrown in, mostly stir fries, and with the ability to rotate base ingredients, I never suffered for variety.

For breakfast, the plan was porridge, and we stocked sufficient oats, but I was greedy in the southern ocean and overindulged.

Lunch has been a combination of damper, pancakes, and various odds and ends. I’ve still got a bit of plain flour for pancakes, but I ran out of honey a few days ago, which takes away the joy.

I took along a single tin of rice pudding, and it’s sitting under my sink waiting for a special occasion. I think I might make that special occasion tomorrow’s desert!

Latitude: 31.300, Longitude: -122.628, Time: 05:12:16 30-06-2018 UTC