Night Watch 2

I am on the midnight to 3 am watch tonight.

We had one breakdown last night – the white navigation light on the stern stopped working. This is a critical piece of safety gear as it allows boats that are astern to see Snug Harbor at night. It is mounted on the tip of the starboard davit and is near impossible to access from the boat. The Captain was wondering how he was going to fix this as he has no spare for this sealed led fixture which is supposed to be reliable, until he remembered George’s rule of debugging: “Always look for the most obvious problem first.” So we ignored the reliable fixture and looked for a failed wire connection. This entailed a dive into the starboard lazzerette, which required removing the life raft, spare jerry jugs of diesel, sailcovers, power cords, hoses and other items in the way. The Captain dived in and “Eureka”. A set of wire connectors had pulled apart, likely as a result of the Captain’s last squeeze into the Lazzarette. Pushed ’em back together and problem was solved. George is a pretty smart guy!

Winds were light all day, less than 10 knots, resulting in much smoother seas. It warmed up and we had some sun. Here is a look at today’s conditions:

We had a visit from a tired little birdie that looked like she did not belong offshore. She came and rested for a while and then flew away.

We passed Point Conception at sunset and then motored east alongside the shipping lanes. The lanes are very busy as they are the way to the Port of Long Beach. The tankers move fast and the lanes are about 5 miles across. We have to cross the lanes to get to Catalina island and you have to be careful not to get creamed by a tanker, or even get close to a tanker as that really irritates their crew, who don’t want to worry about avoiding some yachtie amateur out playing in his boat. Fortunately, the cockpit chartplotter calculates all the angles and speeds and tells you how close you will come to closing tankers. Even though the chartplotter says you will pass in time, it still makes Snug Harbor’s crew nervous. Mike stayed over on the Captain’s watch tonight and we gave each other moral support as we completed the crossing in front of an inbound tanker.

We expect to arrive at the Two Harbors anchorage on Catalina Island tomorrow afternoon. We have ~80 miles left to go.

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