Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blessed Wind

After motoring all night, dodging minor squalls, dawn brought sunshine and a light but sailable wind.

We put out our our Code Zero sail--a 3-ounce roller-furling big headsail, on the new bowsprit that Dave fashioned for it, and sailed all day in about 5-7 knots of true wind at about 4-5 knots. (It is quite a feat to get our heavy boat moving in that light a wind). Once or twice the wind died off, and we started the engine. But as soon as the wind came back, we shut it down again. We were trying to maintain an average of 4.5 knots, to get us in before dark tomorrow.

The wind has finally filled in (as predicted several days ago). We rolled in the Code Zero at dusk as the wind came up to 8-10 knots--too much for that light sail. We are sailing now on a close reach at 5-6 knots in 8-10 knots of wind. If this holds all night, we should be able to make the SE Pass at Funafuti Atoll by mid-afternoon.

Another boat we've been talking to on our "Trans-Equatorial Net" (12359 at 2000Z), Proximity, were supposed to make it in to Funafuti today (see their blog link on the left hand side of our blog). They've come down from the Marshall Islands and are headed for Fiji. We've already scheduled a pot-luck for the 3 boats we know will be there, on Friday night.

Challenger, whom we thought would beat us in to Funafuti, is about 45 miles behind us. When the stuff hit the fan yesterday, I guess their tacking decisions weren't as good as ours. Somehow we managed to wiggle through all the bad weather without getting hit hard again. But Jerry reported to us on the radio that their bad weather continued through the night last night and they made terrible progress. But, on the other hand, they've also been fishing--they reported that they caught a good sized Mahi Mahi this afternoon.

We haven't even put our fishing line in the water, but we will tomorrow. It's a pain to catch a big fish while at sea (no good place to clean it without getting everything all nasty). Dave spent the day of fairly calm weather repairing things, while I spent most of my time tweaking sails, trying to keep our speed up.

We are down to 95 miles to go, and looking forward to landfall tomorrow.
At 04/24/2013 8:08 AM (utc) our position was 10°02.99'S 179°26.86'E

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