Thursday, May 12, 2011

Enroute to the Tuamotus - Day 12

Miles today: 112 Mile Behind Us: 1,458
Miles to go: 901 (approx 8 more days)
Wind ENE at 9 kt Seas ENE at 2' with a SE 8' long-period swell
Sailing SE at 5kt - 1 reef in the main, staysail, full genoa

Since we turned the engine off this morning, the wind has stayed pretty steady at about 070 at 8-10 kts all day. We've been sailing between 3-5 knots steadily southeastward. We are currently aiming for a waypoint at 02-30S / 145W. Once we get there, we should be far enough east to turn south and start heading for Manihi. But this waypoint is still 2 days away, and the wind could die or turn SE on us at any time.

We have thankfully picked up the east-bound current that Winnie the Weather Guru foretold. Every little half a knot helping us eastward is good. It should stick with us (and get stronger) for the next day or two, until about 2 or 3 South. Winnie also said that our current fair weather conditions should hold for another day or two.

Now that we're in the lighter winds, we're getting enough sleep and eating well. Dave finally shaved his 10 days of stubble off yesterday. I got a picture of him before he shaved it off, and hope to back-post it here someday.

We had a pleasant sunset with a real sit-down meal (Baked Salmon, Couscous, Canned Corn). Except "Henry" (the wind vane steering) tacked us in the middle of dinner. He has been rock solid all day but just in the last hour or two has drifted off in one direction or another. We're not sure exactly what's causing it--maybe too much genoa and not enough main. Dave (who doesn't want to shake the last reef out of the main) thinks it is the large swell. We had to start the engine to drive us around in a circle and get back on course (easier than actually tacking the sails twice).

So that was the big excitement for today on Soggy Paws.

It looks like we might cross the equator in the middle of the night sometime tonight. It's hard to tell exactly when because we are heading SE. As our course and speed changes (with the changing wind), our ETA at the '00' point changes drastically.

We'd hoped to cross over during the day--Dave wants to heave-to and go swimming in 15,000 feet on the equator.
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/12/2011 6:21 AM (utc) our position was 00°12.45'N 147°46.28'W

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