Half way, Tropical Storm Gracio in dogged pursuit

Day 9Hi everyone, Well we are now into day 9, a day or so from half way. The weather has been excellent and the winds cooperating nicely – so far! It has cooled off now which is relief for sleeping and just generally more comfortable. We have the side curtains down most of the time in our cockpit, feeling like we are in a bit of a bubble of warmth and dryness amidst the sun and the sea spray which would otherwise be showering us in the cockpit. The wind has now moved on to the beam (from ahead to right angles to us), so for today at least no splashing and waves crashing over the bow, and more comfortable motion down, especially below. We are getting very good weather information and Cress is also in touch with his buddy Paul in Vancouver who is tracking our progress and also checking weather for us. We are watching that tropical storm ‘IGnacio’ closely – but it is still 4 or 5 days away from us and forecast to track just north of us on Sunday or Monday. (See photo –Day-9-small This is a snap shot of the grib wind forecast for next Monday. The red circle with the yellow center is our expected position on Monday. Our present position is the red bullseye in the lower left corner). It has been instructional to watch the strength and path of this storm, since before we set out from Hawaii. It grew briefly to hurricane force the day before we left, while it was still 1000 miles from Hawaii then eased after that to “Tropical Storm” status. We have watched this storm track over the last 10 days. Since forming, it has traveled NW to pass north of the Hawaiin Islands then turning due north and parallel our course, always about five days behind us. Now it is traveling faster than us, and now accelerating, and swinging to track NE. The forecast indicates that it will pass about 100 miles north of uson Sunday/Monday. Of course this only a forecast, so it can change its course or direction, or could even just dissipate. By snuggling up nice and close to the high pressure to the south of us, we have a measure of protection. Even if we did get caught up in it, it has max winds now of only 50 knots – uncomfortable but manageable. For now, we are enjoying the boat and reading, cooking, relaxing…. and keeping a close eye on the weather picture. It looks like we will be arriving from the north end of Vancouver Island – interesting that this is actually shorter than a route up Juan de Fuca Straight. Possibly make landfall in Port Hardy around Sept 15th and will then make our way down the Straights of Georgia to Nanaimo by no later than Friday or Saturday Sept 18/19. We are planning a stop there before we sail over to Vancouver on Sept 20th. In fact we are inviting people to sail with us early Sunday from Nanaimo to Vancouver where will are throwing and boat party on Sunday. Yahoo. Cress

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