Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 10- Nervous anticipation

Time: 0100 Zulu noon New Cal (Sat 10 Nov)
Position: 25*20'S 158*55'E
Wind: ENE 15 Seas: E 9-ft
Avg. Course: 242-deg T
Avg. Speed: 5.2-knots
Rig: storm jib and double-reefed mains'l
24-hr Distance noon to noon point: 109-nm (actual distance traveled approx 135-nm)
Distance to Brisbane: 322-nm

It has been another beautiful day. Tao flying along, sun out, few clouds, life is good. Unfortunately, these conditions are not forecast to stay. Weather analyses yesterday morning showed that we will have to cross a trough between the two highs. That means high winds and squalls. We requested another voyage update worried about this feature and McDavitt has routed us to head south, to avoid a stronger area of high winds to the north and instead cross where it may be wetter but slightly calmer. It is frustrating, as the original routing kept us north, to have a good angle to approach Brisbane with long shore currents. So we followed it between two banks yesterday (hard to believe in the middle of the ocean there are banks shallow enough to anchor on!), frustrating because we could have gained precious mileage south if we had not made the detour... But at least we got to pass a cargo ship at that tightest of moments between the two banks. Shawn had a nice radio conversation; they had just left Brisbane and were en route to New Caledonia. After clearing the banks, Chris turned us south and Tao has been running since. After the sun rose and we downloaded weather showing us again that farther south is better, we put up the 80% and the full mains'l and are moving along averaging around 6-knots. We expect approximately 24 more hours before the trough reaches us and then another 24-hrs of wet and windy. This extra jaunt south will add extra mileage to our voyage, but should allow us to fall off and run with strong SE winds. Anticipation is difficult and again we find ourselves looking forward to being on the other side. Please keep sending good weather thoughts and don't be surprised if we don't post for the next couple days while the weather is rough!

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