.. on Namani today. After two weeks of wind from the SE...ESE with true wind speeds solidly in the 12...15+kn range and good progress at an average boat speed of 5.5kn, someone flipped a switch today and we're now moving at around 3.5...4kn in 8...10kn of true wind. Fortunately, seas have gone down as well, so it's not uncomfortable. Also, even at this slow speed, the bioluminescense in our current patch of ocean is so strong that you can almost read the paper in the glow of Namani's wake - quite a sight.
09 - Pacific Crossing
.. which means we have been at sea for exactly three weeks now. Conditions continue to be good and we're making good progress (by our modest standards). The days pass surprisingly quickly between watches, Nicky's "boat school", navigation and radio scheds, some maintenance - and of course our attempts to hook another fish.
One of Nicky's assignments these past days was to write up our encounter with E Capoe (see post from a few days ago) as a news report. Here it is - hot off the press ;-)
.. to go to the Marquesas. Early this morning we passed the 1000nm mark and celebrated with freshly baked brownies later in the day. Still could see E Capoe on the horizon this morning - nice to have some company ;-)
All is well aboard, stay tuned...
Five days ago we made contact on the SSB radio with E Capoe, a French sailboat with a French-Austrian family aboard. We realized that we were only about 30nm away from each other and decided to try to meet in mid-Pacific over the coming days. Our average boat speed was between 1/4 and 1/2 a knot faster than theirs. So over the past four days we were playing out a very slow chase, with us trying to catch up and both of us trying to converge on the same lattitude.
We passed the half-way mark yesterday (Tue, 17APR) aorund mid-day. Now it's less than 1500nm to the Marquesas... We're trying to arrange a rendez-vous with E Capoe, a French boat that happens to be sailing about 30nm to the south of us. We came across each on an SSB radio net a few days ago. Would be very neat to meet in the middle of the Pacific after not having seen any ships for the past two weeks. If things work out our tracks should cross Thursday or Friday. Everything is well aboard. stay tuned...
The wind backed a bit over the past 24 hrs and we have finally changed to our "down wind genoa" today. It's actually two identical 115% genoas, sewn on the same luff tape. We now fly one to either side with the at about 170deg on the port quarter. All in all it took us almost two hours to wrestle down the big single genoa we had flown so far and to hoist, set up and pole out the new one, but it was well worth the effort. Much better ride now and good speed. We got the sail last summer from Bay View Rigging in Yarmouth, ME.
At 1600Z (0900 local) this morning, we had about 1880nm to go to the Marquesas.... the wind has picked up a bit now, probably in the low 20ies now and seas are a little bigger (~2.5m) , but Namani rides them very nicely. A bit rolly at times but still comfortable: Blue skies with a few tradewind clouds - we're a happy boat..
Wednesday, 11APR, ten days since we left the Galapagos. We'll celebrate with freshly baked bread and brownies ;-). Conditions are beautiful at the moment: 10...15kn from just abaft the beam, sunny skies with tradewind clouds - and we haven't touched a sheet since we took the Parasailor down 2 days ago. Very relaxed and nice sailing. Let's see how long it lasts... Yesterday was "bath day" on Namani: usually that means a bucket of salt water per person, to soap and shampoo, followed by a liter of fresh (rain) water to rinse of.
Caught our first Dorado on this trip today (Mon, 09APR)! Sushi snack followed by a very tasty dinner... Sailing is very different now compared to the first few days of the passage. Then - while sailing clause hauled/close reaching - it seemed we were constantly taking reeefs in out of sails, trimmin, tacking, ... and watches were very busy. Now the wind has settled (we hope) on/just abaft the beam and things have become more relaxed. We put the Parasailor up this morning and had it fly all day, steered by the wind vane (with some brief help from hand steering during a squall).
Skies did ineed clear during the second part of last night and we've had beautiful sailing since then. Wind at 12-15kn from just abaft the beam, swell less confused now, mostly out of the SE. Had the Parasailor up today and it did it's trick again and significantly reduced the rolling motion of the boat (now back under genoa for the night). Trolled fishing lines for the first time today, no success yet though. Had about 10 flying fish on deck this morning (must have landed unexpectedly when trying to escape from some bigger fish).