Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 6- Calculate, recalculate, just wait and see

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 06-deg 53-min S 160-deg 30-min W
Wind: ESE10 Seas: ESE 5-ft
Avg. Course: 202 T
Avg. Speed: 5.1-knots
Rig: 80% and double-reefed mains'l
24-hr distance traveled: 122-nm

Here we are, finally experiencing the highly touted idyllic SE "Trade Winds" (as Don Anderson would remind us, the area between 5 and 15-deg latitude). These are the moments that make the struggles of passage-making seem far away. Yesterday afternoon winds were a bit stronger than they are now, so under triple reefed mains'l we raced past our half way point (523-nm left). Already half way?! Only half way?! The breezy conditions continued, though waned a little, throughout the nearly cloudless night. Yes, cloudless and it follows squall-less. Still plenty of meteors/shooting stars last night, but not as many as the night previous- less and less time to see them without moon until it reaches full in the next few days. As we move away from the Equator, we notice the sun rises each morning ever so slightly later and sets a little earlier. It is the "winter" in the southern hemisphere. Today winds have abated a bit, so up goes a bit more sail area and we are frequently seeing speeds of over 6-knots. Each day, over and over, we calculate and recalculate. How many miles more? If we keep this speed, how long? How many miles between this point and that, us and them? How many knots forecast, how far away, at what time? The difference between the straight line and actual course? How many minutes until the next horizon scan? How many amps are flowing in, going out? And the list goes on. And each time, of course, a different answer.

We are hoping the clouds stay away and allow the sun to fill up our battery banks as for the past few days we have been losing a little with cloud covered afternoons and our intense computer/HF radio usage and constant fans whirring. We are currently playing roulette, riding with the hatches open this afternoon- it is the most difficult off watch to sleep during as it gets quite hot down below, the airflow and small spray every once in a while are welcome relief. However, we will not be surprised when something gets doused, and hopefully we will be able to dry out whatever gets wet. Speaking of which, we have replaced our thick blue folding foam cockpit chairs with our river Paco pads (think water proof super thick therma rests). It is difficult to believe it took us this long to make this switch. I think Shawn came up with the idea on Fanning, post rain squall, as we were once again trying to dry our outdoor chairs. And now, underway, it is no longer a big deal when a wave sneaks around the dodger to soak our seats, and they can be shaped into any comfortable form. We also plan to use them for our soon-to-be-completed outdoor bed set up.

Chris' appetite is back en force and we are having to make sure to have enough food prepared for the long graveyard watch as last night he went through nearly 2 cups (before cooking) of rice, beans, and corn with cayenne pepper. And still, he was ready to put back some fat apple pancakes with spbacon (thats SPAM cut into thin strips and fried, yes we've been away from stores for a while). Yesterday we even enjoyed a fresh and crispy jicama, one of our favorite long-passage foods. Sailing has not exactly been a weight loss program for either of us. Onward we go, basking in the friendly sailing while it is here. These conditions are forecast to stay for another day, then we may have to struggle through some light winds as we draw closer to the Northern Cook Islands. We'll just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Maple Leaf is flying. Think I'll enjoy some vanilla ice cream with local raspberries later today especially in celebration of Canada Day -- will have extra for you both.

    Hope you have enough wind to keep moving forward and your day is a good one.