Otto Bites the Dust

Normally, when we are sailing overnight offshore, I just enter a "no log - offshore sailing" comment. The reason is two fold. One, I am usually too nautious to sit in front of a computer in offshore swells, and two I am in fact lame.

That I am writing to you while offshore should be an indication of how smooth it is currently. We left out of Beaufort, SC after taking on 100 dollars in fuel. We cleared the outer buoy mark (and the one I hit on the way in last year) by 10:30 am.

The weather is completely flat. The ocean has maybe 6 inch ripples and virtually no swell. The only downside is our autopilot is currently not working. It looks like the drive belt has stretched beyond the maximum allowable limit and the drive teeth will no longer engage. Needless to say, we have been reduced to hand steering! Ack no!

Except for that, so far the trip has been great. I have 3 of the 4 fish whackers deployed, but as of yet we have had no action. I hate these American fish.

Without the autopilot, we are standing 2 hour watches so as to minimize the time you have to concentrate on steering, This works out for me as I prefer to do short 1 hour cat naps, but Amy likes to sleep in 3 or 4 hours bursts, so she is having a little difficulty adjusting.

We have been motoring at 5 knots on one engine since we hit open water, but the wind is forcasted to pick up after 10 pm, so I expect to be able to switch to sail power then. We opt to motor on one engine for the open water trips in an effort to reduce fuel consumption and to also allow for a more comfortable ride for the off watch crew members. Besides, it's not like we are in a hurry.

In other news, Milo invaded Columbia today, or at least the Columbian coffee on board the boat. He found a two pound bag of coffee beans and decided to space them out evenly and individually over the entire inside of the boat. We now have a fine coffee flavored aroma lingering in all ferret accessible areas of the boat and Amy is working to locate, isolate and remove the individual offending beans.

Ok, more to follow.

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