Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 1 (first full day)- Ready, set, oops too fast!

Time: 2000 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 18-deg 34-min N 156-deg 24-min W
Wind: E 15 Seas: Confused dominant ESE 3-7-ft
Avg. Course: 198 T
Avg. Speed: 6.3-knots
Rig: storms'l and triple-reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 65.7-nm (really only 10.5-hrs of travel as the other 13.5 were spent hove-to, drifting, sailing back along our track, or bobbing violently rail to rail in order to stay in the lee of the Big Island and out of the South Point waters until day break)
Distance to Fanning Island: 895-nm

We were surprised to have great sailing winds all the way south along the Kona coast, and we ended up as far south as we wanted to get (15-nm offshore at the latitude of Okoe Bay) by 1800. This is right where we wanted to be 10-hours from then, so we decided to heave-to. Unfortunately, there really wasn't enough wind and the currents were strongly pulling us toward South Point. After PacSea Net checking and sunset, as the cloak of darkness settled, a nearly hour long downpour ensued as we drifted. Although Shawn was quickly reminded that our foul weather gear has been reduced to merely wind protection over the miles, she was rewarded for witnessing the dark disorienting downpour by amazing views of phosphorescence at all different depths, shapes, and sizes in the confused seas as we teased the edge of the South Point "channel". Soon we had enough wind to jibe and sailed back along our track, now in SE winds. That is, until they shut down completely, and the sails angrily slapped themselves over and over in seas with no wind. Chris pulled them down and rigged our storm jib in preparation, as we spent several quite un-sleep-inducing hours awaiting sun and breeze. To make our goal of reaching the edge of the channel at least 30-nm west of South Point by 0800 and really to end the ceaseless rail to rail roll, we fired up Yannie for a brief half hour motor where, just as forecast, we found the wind.

There is something magical that comes with daybreak, endless possibilities. The NOAA forecast had said channel winds would be strongest this morning at 0800 and were to lessen gradually (bringing the seas with them) for the rest of the weekend. Thus far, it has been spot on. To us, this makes our rather sleepless night in attempt to time ourselves, worthwhile, because so far we have had as beautiful a sailing passage as we could imagine past South Point, a place that breeds such confused seas and overly windy conditions. Both of us individually have been sending grateful energy to Tony Morrelli who did such an amazing job putting our 3rd reef into our mains'l- it is a perfect amount of sail for single handing in so many conditions.

As we took the noon point, the seas are mellowing a little and becoming ever so slightly more organized though we still have random waves break over our dodger, and our bodies are each desperately seeking balance. Having our Camelbak's this round is really helping to fend off dehydration, Shawn's meal/snack planning has been keeping us fed, and luckily so far nobody's food has been lost overboard. The sun is out and we are sailing at a great clip. Though a bit south of our intended course, we figure we can make up the lost easting once the seas organize. Until then, we will tire ourselves out getting used to the intense exposure until we are exhausted enough to sleep on a schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're making good progress. By now maybe the seas will have organized themselves a bit more for smoother sailing.

    Hugs and Purrs,
    Mum ad Griz