Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 5- Moonbows and UFOs

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 04-deg 59-min S 159-deg 44-min W
Wind: ESE15 Seas: ESE 6-7-ft
Avg. Course: 191 T
Avg. Speed: 4.8-knots
Rig: 80% and triple-reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 116-nm

We neglected to mention something noteworthy yesterday- why indeed Chris was a bit tardy pulling the mains'l down before we got overrun (anyone remember that video game Frogger?) by a huge squall... He had just come onto his graveyard watch and it was the first night he'd been treated to any moon. The quarter moon starting to set due W, was blindingly bright and was hindering his vision a bit. Even in the eastward direction, there were no stars visible because the moon had lightened the sky so. And then he became transfixed as a perfectly symmetrical moonbow became visible. Of course this means that he was between the light source (the moon to the west) and the water source (the squall to the east) but he didn't think of that. It wasn't until the first licks of increased wind with moisture that he kicked into motion. All was well, just a little frenetic for a few moments. Mostly, we just wanted to report such an amazing moonbow sighting.

Back to Day 5. As might be obvious by our much improved daily mileage (from 93 to 116-nm), conditions have improved. Winds filled in and although there were a few squalls that required reducing canvas, in general conditions have been more consistent over the past day and therefore more relaxed. There was much cloud movement, but even the dark grey moisture laden ones seemed less vicious, or maybe just seemed more manageable than no winds to big squalls had been. We each had visitors for our night watches- we saw shooting stars and two small black chatty birds alighted on Big Daddy with much more success than the ungraceful booby on our last passage. They hitched a ride until the morning light and then were gone. All night in 12+ knots we were close hauled, trying to keep our easting in the lighter winds to reach our mid passage waypoint, even with the strong west setting Equatorial current. We are grateful to have done this as the winds forecast for the next 2 days are increased intensity and more southerly. Just before dawn, winds piped up as forecast and there has also been an increase in the size of the seas, so Chris pulled the mains'l down to third reef and we have neared our 5-deg S goal enough to start falling off directly toward Suvarov. Beam reaching is so much more comfortable than upwind. The morning star rose brightly heralding the approach of day and all of a sudden a flare-like object (UFO) brightly made its way out of the sky. All morning Tao has been galloping along. Chris had to bypass the solenoid (again) and in just a few more miles we'll pass the half way point already!


  1. WOW! moonbeams and schoolroom yoga. I'm just dying here with your adventures!

  2. probably was the chinese orbiting 'scientific' (not political or military) spacecraft reentering the earth that distracted you Chris..

  3. Such an amazing adventure . . . . hope the next half is fun but without too much excitement!

    Hugs and Purrs