Jeanne Socrates - nonstop solo RTW 2018

N1772

Member
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RE: updating pilot charts with gribs. AFAIK When Comanche broke the North Atlantic record Stan Honey routed Comanche with historical data to identify lows they could catch all the way over the N Atlantic. This allowed them to identify the low forming a few days in advance and go for the record. My point being... apart from cruisers is there much point to averaged gribs for month? Commercial users tend to go for hindcasting AFAIK, which is kind of the same thing... but not more for defining operational limits.  http://www.oceanweather.com/research/HindcastApproach.html

 

monsoon

Super Anarchist
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ELIS
RE: updating pilot charts with gribs. AFAIK When Comanche broke the North Atlantic record Stan Honey routed Comanche with historical data to identify lows they could catch all the way over the N Atlantic. This allowed them to identify the low forming a few days in advance and go for the record. My point being... apart from cruisers is there much point to averaged gribs for month? Commercial users tend to go for hindcasting AFAIK, which is kind of the same thing... but not more for defining operational limits.  http://www.oceanweather.com/research/HindcastApproach.html
They're for strategy, not tactics.  Approximately when to go and general route.  Details determined by short term forecasts and updated at sea.

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
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Oregon
At 1700 PDT Thursday, Jeanne is ~40 nm. from her target of 10N,130W.  Position: 10.638,-129.722, Speed: 5.8 knots, Heading: 196 degrees.  The rhumbline to -56,-76 is at bearing 152 degrees and runs directly through Easter Island.

Windy1025a.jpg

Those wind holes at the ITCZ move so fast that she probably has few options for choosing a "gate" and will have to deal with whatever is happening when she gets there.  Or it gets to her (tomorrow morning, below):

Windy1025b.jpg

 
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valis

Super Anarchist
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Friday Harbor, WA
She's in a wind hole now!  She may be able to sail SW tomorrow morning, but it's going to be light air forward of the beam.  I realize that Cape Horn is to the SE, but first she has to get out of the ITCZ, and SW is the only direction she will have open to her.

10-26-18 a .jpg 10-26-18 b.jpg

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,258
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Pacific Rim
The ITCZ is hell unless one can motor thru it. Which I guess she cannot. My tour of Micronesia taught me all I ever want to know. A few days of light stuff. A few days of glass. Punctuated by horrendous squalls. There is no good point of sail. As one creeps nears the edge the trades blow you back in. Did I mention the eddies in the equatorial countercurrent? A sailor’s best hope is some huge squall line takes pity and ejects the ship out the preferred side. Fun stuff.

 

valis

Super Anarchist
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Friday Harbor, WA
Yes, she got her genset going.  She mentions it in her blog.  I've only heard friends talk about their time in the ITCZ (and read about it), but the thunderstorms and squalls can be nasty.  Here's windy.com showing rain and thunderstorms near Nereida:

10-26-18 c.jpg

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
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Yup. Exactly what I meant in #165 above. One pleasant  morning, after painfully gaining ground towards Hawaii for a few days, a couple of gentle looking squalls approached. Reefed down. A minute later whamo! Spent the next 6 hours at tunnel-vision warp speed (SC50) under 2nd reefed main headed straight for New Zealand. Unwinding days of progress. Then nothing. Gave up. Sailed 3 days back to Majuro. Fun stuff that ITCZ.

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
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703
Oregon
blog: Day23 Thurs-Fri 25-26 October 2018 Arrive at 10N - ITCZ entered with a big rainsquall... then v. little, v. shifty wind

Most of her latest blog post is duplicated - here is the second, more complete version:

Day23 Thurs-Fri 25-26 October 2018

5pm Things beginning to calm down a bit now from earlier - seas still fairly steep at times but not so high resulting in not so much rolling around.

Looks like several days of being becalmed is coming up. Hopefully, there'll be a slight breeze at times to make way occasionally but not looking good... Not having the use of an engine to get through the calm areas will make the passage south a lot longer.

Just released first reef - winds definitely easing.

Having to put out towels everywhere to be comfortable when touching surfaces - when writing up my log, the paper gets wet otherwise.

Had a pleasant couple of chats on 40m - excellent copy on two hams - one from near Los Angeles and another in Indiana - good signals from both of them, so no problem chatting.

7.30pm Was having a mug of tea, sitting out in the cockpit, enjoying the refreshing cool air, having brought in the boom to reach the preventer lines and re-connect the starboard preventer - feel far more comfortable with that in place in this swell on a broad reach. A few 3m/10ft steep-faced waves came along dead astern - and, suddenly, there we were, surfing at over 7 kt down the face of each one - good fun!!! We've slowed down a lot, despite full canvas - only making around 5-5.5kt now. The sky is almost completely covered, but with light cloud - no threatening, towering cumulus - yet! Light is fading fast. The moon should be rising soon, if not already, but its bright light will be dimmed by the cloud layer. Down below, the air is very warm and humid - I finally gave up on long trousers - far too hot! Definitely into light summer gear now - bare arms and legs...

Enjoyed an apple - three more left...

We're due W of Costa Rica by 2,500 miles just now. Tomorrow, we'll be due W of Panama....

8pm Time for the Pacific Seafarers' Net on 14300kHz and my daily evening check in and weather report. I keep hearing boats I know checking in - it's nice to find out where they are now. I met most of them in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico, over the last few years when they were preparing for their Pacific crossing to the Marquesas and French Polynesia.

11.30pm Wind has dropped right down to 11kt, occasionally up to 14kt, so we've slowed right down ... Doldrums, here we come! Well- that was clearly the 'lull before the storm', almost exactly on reaching 10N. Wind came up suddenly just after writing that - to well over 20kt. We were rushing along due west in a rain squall.... with me frantically reefing down and getting very wet... unwanted excitement! The wind direction had changed from NE to ESE so our course and sail trim needed adjusting. We've been mainly close-hauled ever since then. At least we've all had a wash down in fresh water! Must get out my sailing gloves - hauling on wet ropes with bare hands is an excellent prescription for blistered fingers...

Fri 8am: In fact, all night long, I've been up at least once an hour to check on our heading in wind that finally settled down - right down - to 8kt during the night but 5kt now, from different directions but mainly either SE, SW or S. That meant we had trouble heading S and actually have gone around in a big wiggly loop, frequently headed either NW or NE. At sunrise, there was another major windshift which seemed to coincide with passing a long line of grey cloud.

The best I can do in present conditions is to keep the wind to starboard if it's from the SW quadrant, or to port, if from SE quadrant. That way there's a chance we might make some southing... We've made less than 8 miles of southing in the 9 hours since heading due W when the squall hit last night and we're about 4 miles further W.

8.30am We were heading SW - at 1.4kt! - having made a semi-circle as the 4-5kt wind veered to WSW as I wrote this..... Having just adjusted Fred, we're now heading almost S - at least, until the wind shifts again.... Time for beakfast, with half an eye on the wind direction and our resulting course... and then, maybe, a nap.

Later - well, I managed breakfast but no nap. Just before midday, two enormous rainclouds appeared close by and, despite trying to dodge the one upwind of us, it caught us, of course... Several wind shifts involved changing tack each time, twice backng the main. Reefed down as the wind started rising, as a precautuon - often these clouds have 30kt winds in them - but not seen anything over 20kt so far. Mainly heading W now in S-SE wind. Tried tacking around, thinking would be nice to head more S, but didn't work out - wind shifted and dropped just then. We're 'going with the flow' just now and hoping to get onto a better course soon.

Forecast is still for no wind very soon...

1200 PDT - end of Day23. We made 75 n.ml. (DMG) over the 24 hr period since yesterday - 65ml were made reaching 10N around midnight PDT and the other 10 ml DMG since then (12hrs!) - a lot more, of course, in actual distance travelled... but not in the right direction!

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after midday PDT (=1900 GMT):

TIME: 2018/10/26 20:43GMT LATITUDE: 09-50.00NLONGITUDE: 129-52.88W COURSE: 255T SPEED: 3.6kt WIND_SPEED: 11kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 100% BARO: 1011.8 hPa TREND: -1 AIR_TEMP: 28.0C SEA_TEMP: 35.0C COMMENT: ITCZ - big rainclouds giving wind - shifts all over...
image0de8e0c25ddf7d8593d4466615defa81.jpeg

P.S.  In the last ~27 ~15 hours she has traveled ~28 nm. on the tracker, in a Figure 8, to be only 1.3 nm. from where she "started":
10/26/2018 9:50:01 AM to 10/27/2018 12:54:27 AM  (or is that only ~15 hours?)

tracker1026a.png

 
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valis

Super Anarchist
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Friday Harbor, WA
So she sailed in whatever direction she could for nearly two days, then was able to head south-ish for a day, gaining about 60 miles.  But now a much larger dead zone has moved on top of Nereida.  It's going to be another few frustrating days.

10-28-18 a.jpg

 
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valis

Super Anarchist
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Friday Harbor, WA
Here's the wind in 24 hours.  Even though the "Maxwell's Daemon" strategy of maximizing the microscopic gains and minimizing the microscopic losses during random light-air conditions is probably her best bet, this is hard on the boat.  During my Pacific Cup races, many of the fleet's gear failures were caused by slatting about in no wind and confused seas.  We always tried to get somewhere else, but if she can just sit it out and wait for favorable winds it might be prudent to button things up so there's less shock-loading on the rigging.  But that's uncomfortable too, and having sail up will reduce the rolling...

10-28-18 b.jpg

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
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Here's the wind in 24 hours.  Even though the "Maxwell's Daemon" strategy of maximizing the microscopic gains and minimizing the microscopic losses during random light-air conditions is probably her best bet, this is hard on the boat.  During my Pacific Cup races, many of the fleet's gear failures were caused by slatting about in no wind and confused seas.  We always tried to get somewhere else, but if she can just sit it out and wait for favorable winds it might be prudent to button things up so there's less shock-loading on the rigging.  But that's uncomfortable too, and having sail up will reduce the rolling...
Yes, better in nearly all cases to lower the sails. Let the weather come to the boat while you sleep on the cabin sole. The crew will be rested and energetic when the wind arrives. The rig and sails will be intact. When the wind does come back she should bravely hunt down every approaching squall. 

 
Webb Chiles’ approach is interesting.  He waits for a good weather window to leave, leaves, has no wx info on board.  Deals with what comes.  No cosines required.  It’s taken him very, very far indeed.
Anyone able to comment on how well this works. It's very appealing if you have (on can gain) the experience required, plus you cut out a lot of electronic failure points. 

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
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Pacific Rim
Anyone able to comment on how well this works. It's very appealing if you have (on can gain) the experience required, plus you cut out a lot of electronic failure points. 
I lean towards that philosophy. Tend to leave on a good sailing day when the boat is ready. No sense having bad weather on the first day out if it can be easily avoided by waiting a day or two. But sitting in port waiting for a 'window' based on famously dubious forecasts? No thanks. Or listening to the pathetic rag chewing by armchair prophets on the nets? No thanks. However, I wouldn't go so far as to not use WX info while underway. Warnings of major wind shifts, frontal systems, typhoons and such are very handy. Finding a typhoon by eyeballing the barometer and wind shifts is a step too far for me.  I long ago reduced my consumption of GRIB files in favor of the ancient FAX-like prognostic charts. Lately I have gone a step further. Last time across the Pacific I simply listened to the WWV/WWVH severe weather broadcast or read the equivalent SAILDOCS text file downloaded via IRIDIUM.

 

Ajax

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Yes, he "deals with what comes" and I learned from his presentation that he deals with some pretty hairy shit that could be avoided with timely weather information. He's just such a damned good sailor and survivalist that he gets through it.

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
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My philosophy is that I'd rather have information, even known iffy information, than not. You can always choose to ignore it. The problem is if you come to depend on it and can't deal with the loss of it. 

Webb may be a badass but if you keep putting yourself in harm's way, eventually the odds will catch up with you no matter how good you are. 

 

Bristol-Cruiser

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I tend to agree with Webb Chiles for the most part although if I get weather data underway I might well use it, but I don't go out of my way to follow every last bit of weather data there is. If you are doing passage making in a nice part of the ocean, which most of us do, you want it to be as relaxing an experience as possible. Not possible to relax if you are worried about what might happen in 3 or 4 days - which in reality may not happen as forecast.

 
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