Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 5- Half way there: busier watches and a visit from a booby bird

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 11-deg 00-min N 157-deg 54-min W
Wind: ENE 17 Seas: E 4-7-ft
Avg. Course: 192 T
Avg. Speed: 5.0-knots
Rig: 80% jib and triple-reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 120-nm
Distance to Fanning Island: 434-nm

As you've probably guessed, Day-5 started with a sail change. Mains'l down to triple-reef, drop storm jib, flake it get back to cockpit into a sailbag, hank on new sail, raise 80% jib. The whole process probably only took about a half hour (ridiculously long for you racers out there, I'm sure). With more sail area up front we were able to move along in the right direction at a nice clip with less pressure on our wind vane, Moni. Back on track, Chris motivated a little shopping spree. Our packing the boat, has made all the produce up front in the V-berth a bit less accessible, so he pulled down our hanging bins and checked our citrus bin pulling kiwi fruit and oranges that needed to be consumed first. Shawn went forward and organized, finding that all the avocados (5) were ready to eat and the jicama, bundled together in a half mesh half plastic bag, needed to removed and placed in open air to breathe. The windfall of avocados decided our dining for the evening: Mexican night with rice, black beans and a huge amount of guacamole! We enjoyed this with our nightly entertainment provided by a passing masked booby bird who very determinedly successfully landed upon our stern arch solar farm. Big Daddy and Hit Girl are indeed a nice platform, however, with the boat rolling back and forth, time after time, after landing and attempting a clumsy "booby dance," the bird was unable to keep footing and slipped back into the ocean only to try once again.

It was an active night. Once darkness descended, squall after squall rolled through. About half of each hour was spent weathering a medium rain and increased winds, through which Shawn held tight deciding that the increase in winds was manageable, but always ready to douse the triple-reefed main. Chris came on deck for his watch in the middle of one of the bigger squalls, and we decided to drop the main together. Through Chris' graveyard watch he spent the first two hours observing and fiddling with the Monitor wind vane, the second two hours he decided to put the triple-reefed main back up and then slowly implemented. Once again, flying along, with Tao loaded to the max, the cockpit drains equilibrate with water coming up over our cockpit grate. Tired of dealing with this, he spent the final 2-hrs pulling gear out of the lazarette to access our cockpit drains and closed the forward two (of four) to experiment (since we are in manageable weather).

Shawn awoke tired and sore from the past 5 days of wedging into places to keep stable and being constantly knocked around while moving. First stop, the head where you've got to wedge yourself, do your business, then wedge yourself again in order to pump water in with one foot and out with other hand all the while making sure not to have too much in the bowl such that a stray roll from a wave might toss some out onto the sole. All that successfully completed, one final wedge is required in order to thoroughly wash hands. Though it had been a long night, we still managed a nice huevos rancheros breakfast to celebrate having passed our half-way point at just after 0200 this morning, 482.5-nm from both our outbound and inbound destinations. After a relatively mellow morning watch, Chris was awaken for his shift early as one more squall passed overhead which brought us to another noon point and another decision about sail configuration.

1 comment:

  1. Halfway is terrific. I hope you got some pictures of that determined booby and enjoyed your guacamole. Sure sounds like Chris is feeling better. Sending encouragement your way.

    Hugs and Purrs,
    Mum and Grizzly