Saturday, September 8, 2012

Underway in Challenger

The wind, which was howling (20-25 knots) last night, has eased a bit and swung a little more east, just as forecast. (Thank you David and Patricia of Chameleon/Gulf Harbor Radio for your weather hand-holding).

Dave helped Yana do final preps on Challenger last night. Pandion helped out by using their SCUBA gear to get the fishing line off the prop, and check the hull for any major issues prior to going to sea.

Dave and I were picked up at 6:30am from Soggy Paws by Lola from Pandion, and ferried to Challenger. Yana was ready and we had the engine on and anchor coming up by 6:50. Out the pass with a reefed main about 7:15.

At first the wind was strong, but waves not too bad (in the lee of Fulaga). We were doing 7.5kts with less than full genoa. But the wind eased off to 15kts and we slowed down a little, so we turned on the engine to keep speed over 6 knots.

We turned up a little higher just west of Namuka, about an hour ago, and the relative wind change was good enough that we could turn the engine off. Right now making 6-7 knots, easy sailing. Big seas in the cuts between the islands, but over much of our route, the seas are down due to islands and reefs to windward.

Yana is on watch, I am on the computer, and Dave is where Dave always is on passage... sleeping. Sun is shining, and all is well.

ETA at Lakeba is between 4:30 and 5pm. Curly has a boat arranged to get him off to Challenger without us having to launch the dinghy, at the Wainiyaba anchorage (NW of town). This is an 'easy in/easy out' anchorage, so we'll drop anchor long enough to have dinner, and then leave and head back for Fulaga. The wind is supposed to be nearly east overnight, and then start going back toward the southeast, so we want to get southeast to Fulaga as soon as practical.

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