170523, 2010 UTC, I Can See Clearly Now, 1932.11'N / 15956.03'E

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Dear Friends;

...the rain has gone.

Dawn today brought the first true squalls we've had on this trip. The screeching-to-weather, momentarily-scary, deluge kind of squall. Just one of those buggers, but plenty of littler ones. The good news is Carina got a washing and she really needed that. Crystals of salt encrusted most surfaces and the deck was slippery. Now the sun is out, the trades have returned and we're beating towards Alaska once again.

As I write we're downloading a weatherfax using our radio modem. This is a passive process that takes little power. Fax weather pictures appropriate to our passage are broadcast from Japan, Kodiak AK, Pt. Reyes CA and Honolulu. The only drawback to these weather reports is you can't miss the broadcast time and sometimes you're just plain busy (or forgetful). Emailed weather reports are somewhat time independent and we dial in twice per day and request computer-generated wind files called GRIBs.

Just about the time we were getting rained on, our trip log ticked over onto 800 nm. We are north of the latitude of Wake Island and 2500 nm due west of the big island of Hawaii. Our speed has been good, we're averaging about 116 nm per day but have had 24 hour runs up to 127 nm (about 5.3 knots). (Yes, yes, we can hear our friends who have catamarans or larger boats snickering at our slow speed.)

Approaching day 8, we've had a few minor issues; thumping anchors from loosened tie-downs, a broken bolt on our bimini, a missing nut and lock washer on the hull mount bolt of the Monitor windvane (not so cool but fixable by hanging over the stern while praying you don't drop the box wrench), a frayed windvane steering line (at the wheel but during the darkest part of the night and during our change of watch) and a shifting dinghy on deck that interfered with the mainsheet traveler.

Still no sign of human life on earth, and few sightings of animals, save a few more tropic birds. At night, we can see the Southern Cross to our stern and Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) to our bow.

After Philip's rise from his off-watch this morning, we're going to have mushroom egg tortillas with (re-constituted dried) amazing black fungus (Chinese mushroom) that was a departure gift. Last evening we finished off left-over beef stew, made and preserved in our pressure cooker.

We're keeping up with water by generating 3-4 L of fresh water for cooking and drinking each day. This helps to preserve the precious resource held in our water tanks. Our wind generator has been humming away 24/7, keeping our batteries well topped up.

Thank you to all who dropped us notes; we love getting them and will try to respond to all.

All is well aboard. 3000 + miles to go. But who's counting?

Your friends of the yacht Carina,

Philip, Leslie and the spirit of the fat cat, Jake