Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rockin' and Rollin'

After a slow start, we finally left Kwajalein Atoll about noon yesterday, sailing wing-on-wing out through Gea Pass.

We had a fairly slow first 24 hours--the wind that was forecast at 15-17 was more like 10-15 kts. Going downwind, that doesn't leave much wind in our sails. But light wind and reasonable seas were fine with us, and it was nice to have an easy day to get back in the swing of things.

We are in our usual downwind configuration--Genoa poled out on the windward side, mainsail vanged on the other side, and the staysail sheeted tight on the same side as the main. This configuration works well with the wind vane steering, and gives us about 30 degrees of steering flexibility without having to do a bunch of messing with the sails.

This is the first passage in a long while that we haven't had another boat or two along to keep us company. We haven't seen nor heard another soul on the VHF or AIS since we left Kwaj yesterday--it's a pretty lonely spot of ocean. Except of course for all our buddies strung across the Marshall Islands and Micronesia--we talk to them every morning on the SSB net.

The forecast is for the wind to gradually build in strength over the next day as a high passes by above us. The forecast is for winds to 21 knots--hopefully it doesn't get any higher than that. 15-20 is about perfect for downwind sailing, but higher gets pretty challenging because of the size of the seas that build up. With the stronger winds, our speed should pick up to about 6.5 knots, and if that happens, we might be in by Weds afternoon. Otherwise, it will be Thursday morning.
At 02/02/2014 8:00 AM (utc) our position was 08°14.42'N 165°10.86'E

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