Monday, March 29, 2010

Enroute Easter to Pitcairn - Day 6

Well, we ended up motoring for just over 24 hours. We stopped once or twice to try sailing, but it just wasn't possible without slamming the sails (and us) around. We finally found sailable wind yesterday morning at about 11am (just as forecast).

The wind slowly built yesterday afternoon to about 15-20. At first it was not steady and drove us crazy... we'd get everything (3 sails, autopilot) all trimmed up for one windspeed, and then the wind would drop off to 8 knots, and we'd be all screwed up again, with the sails slapping and the boat rolling. When running downwind, as the wind speed changes, everything changes.

Fortunately, by last night, the wind steadied up at about 15-18 knots. We've got a triple-reefed main, staysail, and a scrap of genoa out, and are mostly doing about 6 knots. The seas are pretty big and are slinging us around some, but as long as the wind stays steady, it's not too bad.

The skies cleared last night, so we were able to enjoy a nice bright moon, and we have a pretty crystal blue day today.

We are sailing at 6 knots right toward Pitcairn (for now).

Our friends on Visions are now about 120 miles ahead of us, and they are getting beat up pretty badly. They are closer to the warm front we've been worrying about, and are seeing winds of 25-30 knots. (YUK!!) Infini is about 50 miles behind us (they don't motor as fast as we do), and have the same conditions we do.

We are ALL tired of this... if I could just say "beam me up, Scotty" I would (as long as the Enterprise wasn't under fire from alien forces).

605 miles to go to Pitcairn, and then another 300 miles after that to get to the Gambier archipelago (part of French Polynesia). There we hope to find a calm, enclosed anchorage for the first time in over a month.

This sure is a big patch of ocean down here!

We are not sure we'll be able to actually STOP at Pitcairn...but the current forecast looks like it might be possible. Pitcairn has an even worse anchoring situation than Easter does, and conditions have to be pretty near perfect to be able to stop there AND actually get off the boat and go ashore (safely). We're keeping our fingers crossed!
At 3/28/2010 4:11 PM (utc) our position was 28°09.07'S 119°20.91'W

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