Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bashing the House to Weather

For you non-sailors, the term "To Weather" means to go into the wind and waves.

Here we are enroute to the Philippines now on Day 4. This is definitely getting old. We have finally reached the "favorable" current (south-bound), which makes it easier to make the heading we need to get around the point. But the southbound current against the northbound wind has made the seas really short and steep. So we are bashing and crashing--big sheets of salt water coming over the bow. My tomato plants are definitely NOT happy. And neither are we.

Fortunately, we made the right decision in motorsailing further south to reach lighter winds. We have better weather here, while two of the purist-sailor boats that left with us were "hove to" this morning in 20-30 knots (temporary squall conditions). While they sneer at our wimpy-ness, we know they are wishing they were where we are.

There is a typhoon that was just forming as we left Palau, and was supposed to track off to the northwest and not be a factor. It has stalled about 600 miles north of us and turned into a "Super Typhoon". This is making what looked like an ideal weather window... 12-15 knots... into a less than ideal window. We've had 15-20 all day and it's clocked a little to be more on our nose, and the forecast is for it to continue like this for at least another day.

But because we've been motorsailing for two days now, we are now less than 24 hours from rounding the point (God willin' and the creek don't rise), and then we'll be in more protected waters and going with the wind and the current--and only 60 miles from our destination. We probably won't make it all the way into the marina tomorrow, but will likely stop somewhere to rest up and make it into the marina on an easy day on Tuesday.

We spotted our first FAD this morning. It was a large day-glo orange cylinder in 6,000 METERS of water (~18,000 feet). We can't imagine them being anchored... they MUST be just launched and floating. But what a hazard to navigation! They are typically made out of steel and are roughly the size of a refrigerator. In calm weather with a good radar, you might be able to pick them up on radar, but not in these seas (and not with our tired old radar mounted on the arch).

We're in no danger, just discomfort. We have 3 other boats out here with us to commiserate with, and a number of boats waiting for us at the marina in Samal with a cold beer. We're just ready for it to be over.
At 08/03/2014 12:24 AM (utc) our position was 06°51.15'N 127°55.53'E

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