Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 4- the "other" tack

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 12-deg 58-min N 157-deg 29-min W
Wind: ENE 15 Seas: E 3-6-ft SE component
Avg. Course: 191 T
Avg. Speed: 4.9-knots
Rig: storm jib and double-reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 117-nm
Distance to Fanning Island: 554-nm

Gorgeous sunny sailing continued throughout yesterday afternoon. As night closed in, we pulled the single-reefed mains'l down to a double-reef for easy handling. One minute it seemed that we needed to shake a reef and the next we were glad to have pulled it as mini-squalls became the norm throughout the night. We used the term "mini" to mean sprinkles of rain and a 5-knot increase in wind as the thin wispy clouds covered large portions of the star-filled sky and then quickly moved on by. Near dawn, cloud cover thickened and by sunrise, there was 98% cloud cover. All morning long we have awaited the seemingly daily AIS ship alarm alert, but as of yet, no ships on the horizon.

Nearly all the way to Hawaii we were on a starboard tack. Since leaving the lee of the Big Island, this passage has all been port tack, and there are definitely differences. Knowing that this was to be the case, we rigged what we could for port tack. This means, we tried to get weight evenly distributed throughout Tao, but were happy to have a little extra on the port (the high or windward side), so, we're pulling fresh water from our starboard tank first. We also set up the starboard sea berth for sleeping and are using the port berth as our "closet," as it is more comfortable to sleep on the downwind side. Outside in the cockpit, Chris still claims the high side seat under the dodger, whereas Shawn has found that she prefers the low-side seat, now known as the "corner pocket." What we weren't as ready for was the galley sloping the opposite direction- instead of everything sliding to the center of the boat, everything slides outboard. Most annoyingly, the counter-extension (a.k.a cutting board) that spans the sink, now instead, slides outboard, or further from reach. Also, our galley strap had to be shortened (by the complex method of knotting it) in order to bear weight leaning toward the stove instead of away from it. Farther forward, the boat design unfortunately allows the small amount of forward leakage water to drain onto the raised forward sole (instead of underneath the head while on starboard tack) before going into the bilge, so we are currently on towel patrol. However, we are daily adapting and are grateful that weather has been so perfectly mellow thus far.

As the noon point was collected, we are pointing a bit to windward of our rhumb line. Moni has been straining to keep us heading off the wind with more mains'l up than forward sail area (the potato chip sized storm jib is really small). Chris, just up from the bunk, is observing the conditions and deciding whether Day-5 will start with a sail change.

1 comment:

  1. Having a monday evening marg for you guys...cheers and best wishes for a great week of sailing!