Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 2- back in action enjoying idyllic conditions

Time: 2300 Zulu Tues 8/14 (noon Samoa time Wed 8/15)
Position: 17-deg 00-min S 173-deg 26-min W
Wind: ESE 10-12 Seas: ESE 3-4-ft
Avg. Course: 201-deg T
Avg. Speed: 4.9-knots
Rig: 80% jib, full mains'l
24-hr distance noon to noon: 118-nm

The past 24-hrs is what sailing dreams are made of, skimming along with plenty of sail under a cloudless star-filled sky, continuing into the day with innocuous puffy white clouds. Ten knots of breeze, small seas, and averaging nearly 5-knots of speed. The combination of Tao's size and design allows her to really shine in these light wind abeam conditions. We easily reach our theoretical hull speed without much swell to slow us down. Blissful. And now as Day 2 draws to a close, both of us have shed our seasickness so life is good. After the brief intermission, Shawn is completely back in action, appetite even motivating a little cooking, which makes both of us much happier.

Last night's excitement fell during Chris' watch. As forecast, winds relaxed allowing him to put the mains'l all the way up. About 0500 the tiny sliver of moon rose as he spotted a ship off our starboard bow. Before it even beeped into our AIS, Chris had already taken bearings and knew which direction it was going, closest point of approach was 6.5-nm. 0700 and Shawn was awake and down/uploading our weather data and e-mails. Although there is a stationary front a little E of us, we hope the high pressure will keep it at bay. It is still amazing to realize that the air is moving around the High in the opposite direction down here as we ride SE breezes off the north edge of one centered south of Tonga. Later in the morning we passed about 40-nm due E of the Niuas Group and Niuatoputapu where we had originally hoped to check into Tonga. However, since the weather window has stayed open, we are staying upwind and continuing south. We can literally feel the climate change as we sail farther south. Sea water temperatures drop, air temps drop during nights, and there is over all less humidity in the air allowing things to dry. Hopefully these beautiful conditions will hold another day for us, enough to make landfall in Neiafu of the Vava'u Group.

1 comment:

  1. Happy to hear that seasickness has passed and that you are enjoying an amazing sail. Keep it up!