Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Enroute to the Tuamotus - Day 17

Miles today: 135 Miles Behind Us: 2,012
Miles to go: 366 (approx 3-4 more days)
Wind ESE at 9 kt Seas Calm
Sailing S at 5.0kt - Full main, Code Zero

We motored all night last night in basically no-wind conditions. This morning, we spent about an hour moving 45 gallons of diesel fuel from 4 jugs on deck into the main tank. We also rigged up our big Code Zero sail. And we finally shook the last reef out of the mainsail. With the full Main and Code Zero, we have almost 1500 sq feet of sail area. If only we had some wind!

Still, the wind was too light to sail at a reasonable speed, so we kept motorsailing. By midafternoon, the wind dropped to the point where we couldn't even keep the 3oz Code Zero full. An hour later, the wind died completely and it was literally like a millpond--completely glassy as far as the eye could see.

Just at sunset, we saw a really weird phenomenon. At first, Dave thought it looked like a breaking reef (about 45 degrees off our port bow). Unless there's some unexpected sub-oceanic volcanic activity, there's no way it could be a breaking reef. I keep telling him it was reflections off the clouds, on the glassy sea. Then a couple of minutes later, it looked like a UFO in the same spot. A very bright glowing on the water. Or, maybe a giant squid phosphorescing just under the surface. Really really REALLY weird. We could not figure out what it was, even with the binoculars. And it wasn't moving. wooo-ooo-oooo. Dave proposed that we motor over and check it out. But I said "Heck no!"

Well, it turned out to be the bright full moon--hidden from us just behind a cloud, but shining brightly and reflecting on the water. Whew! Pretty!! And the sunset in the other direction was gorgeous too. I took a picture of both the moon rise and the sunset, but not sure how well they turned out.

The best thing of the whole day happened at dinnertime. Just as we started eating a delicious taco salad, the wind came up. I wanted to leap up and put the Code Zero out immediately, but Dave insisted on finishing dinner first.

The wind has held--at least long enough to get the big sail out and the engine off. Wow, peace and quiet for the first time in 2 days!

The forecast isn't looking very promising. The highest wind in the next 3 days is 10 knots. And the average is about 8 knots. So I guess we'll have to be a little less choosy about what wind we sail in.
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/17/2011 5:29 AM (utc) our position was 08°29.08'S 146°30.00'W

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