Current position as of 0000 UTC July 11 is 33° 29’ N 156 ° 14’ W Current Heading: 45°M Total distance made good (DMG) = 741 nm DMG last 24hrs (0000UTC-0000UTC) = 90 nm Engine hours = 3.5 Avg true wind speed (TWS) = 5.6 kts Avg speed over the ground (SOG) = 4.5 kts Avg swells = 1.5 ft Recap of Day 8 After a very cloudy night and a thick layer of clouds and only a tiny strip of glowing light at sunrise, miracualously Day 8 turned into a wonderfully sunny day! Thanks to some consistent wind overnight we had made some good progress, but with the sunshine and blue sky coming out, the wind dissapeared, and we were back to going between sailing and drifting. While we were up in the cockpit admiring the stunningly blue water all around us, I noticed a funny shape on the water, a Vela Vela! For those of you wondering what exactly a Vela Vela is, it kind of looks like a jelly fish, but it is not one. These little guys look like a small 1” to 3” disk floating on the surface, with a semicircle ridge sticking up across the middle, this is their “sail” and it is what propels these creatures across ocens, blown by the wind (it is also where they get their name from, in Spanish “vela” means sail). All of a sudden, I was seeing lots of these very cool little creatures that we haven’t seen since our very first passage on Varuna from Oregon to Southern California back in 2016. We are starting to get into the part of the ocean where we are beginning to see lots of floating debris. We are on the far reaches of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and we see all sorts of identifiable and more broken up and unidentifiable objects. On our fishinf lines, we’ve pulled in several pieces of old rope and fishing gear, which we keep on board to throw away once we get to land. While we’d love to collect more trash, there simply isn’t space on board for it. However, we did end up sailing right by an old adrift flag pole and buoy marker, which we picked up. This would have been used to mark a net or line, which was now gone, but we have the pole, buoy and flag setup on the sidedeck, complete with a garden of gooseneck barnacles and quite a few crabs. In the afternoon, and again in the evening the wind completely died, giving way to glassy water, so we started the engine and motored for a little while on each occasion to keep the sails from flogging. Sometime in the middle of the night, we got a little rain shower and the wind filled it, and stuck around. It’s looking like it should be here to stay for at least several days, though not in the ideal direction… oh well, we’ll take what we can get! Cheers! Hillary & Ty

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