Q & A: Sailing direction?

QUESTION
Hey Matt,

I am writing this from the west coast of Canada. I am totally impressed with your voyage and passion. My question is concerned with Navigation. I have been following your course and have been wondering why you are heading so far west towards the coast? I looked at your course and thought it would be best to be sailing 131 degrees south. but you are going so far west? I am asking because i want to learn the answer. Is is because you are just following the winds and that is where they are taking you for now. Is it just a better point of sail for you? Is it because of bad weather and sea’s? Perhaps the currents? It would be great if you could answer that? Thanks and sail safe. -Curtis
ANSWER
I assume you mean east. If I were heading west I would be sailing toward Japan. I am heading toward the California current. In the open ocean you don’t always sail a strait line from point A to point B. For instance if you want to sail from the Chesapeake bay to the Caribbean you must first sail 600 miles ESE to SE before you can head south. I am heading a bit north right now because of gale force southerlies. I will go head in a more southerly direction when I get the chance. Also the Albin Vega is a small boat with very little room inside. Not an ideal live-aboard.

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