Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 1- Underway to Suvarrov Atoll

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 02-deg 02-min N 159-deg 15-min W
Wind: E 12 Seas: ENE 4-5-ft
Avg. Course: 176 T
Avg. Speed: 4.5-knots
Rig: 80% and triple reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 107-nm

Slack tide was busy at the entrance to Tabaueran yesterday. Just after a squall passed overhead and disappeared just as quickly, we pulled Rocky, covered with white nearly clay broken coral sediment, out of the water at 1130. The Kwai had just entered the lagoon and we saw that fellow cruisers on PotLatch (meaning luau), headed back to Hawaii, were weighing anchor as well. We made haste out and had a quick ride through the pass on the current before the ebb got too strong. Outside the atoll it was quite pleasant: sunny, no seas, nice breeze. Chris flipped our anchor chain (for equal wear in future use), disconnected Rocky, brought him back to his passage home in the cockpit lazarette, inserted our teak plug into our haus pipe, and we were ready to sail.

After pouring over the forecasted GRIBs, we had decided to hank on the 80% jib, so up she went followed near instantly by our first squall. Past the protection afforded by Fanning, after the squall, the roll was back so we raised the triple reefed main. This lasted until about 1600 when another larger squall came rolling through and Chris dropped the main completely. Shawn was already in the bunk getting ready for the night watch, already tired out by the last few days of preparation and body screaming against the constant roll. Chris, okay at first as always, was fully seasick by the time Shawn came up for watch change. So, after he had made SSB contact with Quixotic, a few days south of us, noted an AIS ship with a CPA of 9-nm, and got us on the Pacific Seafarers roll call, Shawn feeling much better, took over. She prepared dinner, finished our check in when our #11 slot came up at 1815 and up/downloaded (the Hawaii station we use had been down before we pushed off). We ran the rest of the night conservatively with only the 80%, agreeing on rolly over middle-of-the-night-overpowered. The moon is growing, so Shawn's 6 to midnight watch was partially lit and then star studded. Right after watch change, Chris' graveyard watch turned into one squall after another.

The morning dawned clear and together we raised the main to triple reef. We have decided to head due south to (1) ensure downwind passage all the way to Suvarrov even as winds shift southward and (2) take us perpendicular to the Equator to get us through the ITCZ area as efficiently as possible. This puts us on basically the same point of sail as we had from Hawaii to Fanning, beam reach with seas on our beam. The forecast is for between 9 and 15-knots over the next week stronger north where we are and lightening as we move southward. Thus far, the squalls are bringing increases of approximately 10-knots and rain. Tao is doing well. Moni is steering true, but not without some squeaking, which we presume is from the inordinate amount of freshwater rinsing he has gotten over the past month. Except our bodies having to get re-acquainted with the roll, it is feeling familiar to be underway again.

PS Happy Birthday Sarah, great day to set sail on!!

1 comment:

  1. Happy to know you're safely underway again. Hope you get used to the roll and the seasick part goes away soon. You're in our thoughts every day.

    Hugs and Purrs,
    Mum and Grizzly