Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 2- Squalls, rainbows, ships and sun with a side of seasickness

Time: 2000 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 16-deg 47-min N 156-deg 42-min W
Wind: EENE 8-13 Seas: E 3-6-ft SE component
Avg. Course: 189 T
Avg. Speed: 4.5-knots
Rig: storms'l and single-reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 108-nm
Distance to Fanning Island: 786-nm

Yesterday afternoon and evening the winds stayed E around 15-knots. The night was blissfully star-filled sailing due south, directly toward the Southern Cross constellation. This morning, winds have come down a bit to 10-15, bringing our speeds down and more mains'l up. Chris has been battling seasickness through it all. Very frustrating to have done all this work to get here and not feel well. His graveyard shift was rough as he was welcomed by the quarter moon rise accompanied by a squall (which gratefully only upped the winds 5-knots so no sail reduction required), a flying fish in the cockpit, and subsequently he tossed his dinner over the rail. Rough watch. Shawn, on the other hand, awoke this morning feeling great. A little sad to have missed the sunrise, instead she got to enjoy the beauty of a morning squall, pulled down the main to a triple-reef, and after the bulk of the cell had passed, watched a rainbow march away as the sun shone through. Main back up to double-reef and barely a moment to relax when our new AIS alarm went off.

First ship sighting, check. It was a bit nerve wracking with our new integrated VHS/AIS system, but with Chris' groggy help from the bunk, Shawn noted the ship's 13-knot speed, just over 10-nm away and its CPA (closest point of approach) was over 8-nm. Still, she hailed the cargo ship, en route to Quingdao, China, just to see if they saw us. Nope, we're not on their AIS because we only receive don't have a transponder (it would be nice to have this extra feature but didn't seem necessary at the time), and they couldn't make our small ship out on their radar. No problem, their hulking mass was barely visible to us on the horizon, passing far behind us. Another AIS success. A few moments later, we assume it was them that they played a song over channel 16 for Shawn. In the middle of the Pacific!

Clouds cleared up and it has been blissfully sunny the rest of the morning watch, although seas have not quite organized yet. We've been rotating through 4 6-hr watches. Shawn with 0600-noon, Chris noon-1800, Shawn 1800-midnight, Chris midnight to 0600. However, there are several crossover areas where Shawn gets up early and/or Chris stays on deck late to allow for Shawn to do meal prep and cook, Camelbak refill (note to self, do not sit on hose...), and computer work since Chris simply can not help with these tasks when seasick. However, Chris has been a rock star standing all of his watches through the sickness and is set up to do our check-ins on the PacSea Net at the end of his afternoon shift. Unfortunately, he has been feeling so poorly that extra conversation is not yet appealing. When he awoke for his watch this afternoon, he was feeling "better" so let's hope it holds. Everything is better when not battling seasickness...

1 comment:

  1. Fun to read about your trip. Sorry to hear about Chris's seasickness!