Saturday, May 14, 2011

Enroute to the Tuamotus - Day 14

Miles today: 97 Miles Behind Us: 1,662
Miles to go: 705 (approx 7 more days)
Wind SE at 15 kt Seas SE at 6'
Sailing S at 4.5kt - 1 reef in the main, staysail, 1/2 genoa

The wind came up to the 15-20 knot range today, and more southeast than we would like. We spent all day crashing to windward, with the genoa partly furled to keep us from burying the bow in the building waves. Every time we hit a wave, a wall of water washes down the deck, we stop dead in the water, and the bow slides off down wind.

We are really sweating whether we'll be able to make it to Manihi without spending an extra day or two out here trying to tack eastward. For most of the day we were only able to make good 195 degrees--at that angle we will miss Manihi and end up in Tahiti (220 miles west of Manihi). I spent hours in the cockpit today tweaking sails and our course, trying to get that last little bit of speed and pointing out of our big heavy cruising boat. Just this once I wish we had a boat with a 7' keel.

At dusk, the wind eased a little, and went a little more east and we are almost able to point toward Manihi again. The forecast shows a few days of SE winds (not good), a couple of days of E winds (good) and some really light winds (not bad--we don't mind motoring).

Our little weather angel tells us we are clear of all the ITCZ stuff just in time--there's a big nasty system laying right across where we went through just a few days ago. Now if we can just get our weather angel to conjure up a week of East winds at 10-12 knots, we'd be in Fat City.

I finished another good book today, A Voyage in the Sunbeam. This is a firsthand account of one of the first cruising families to circumnavigate--Lord and Lady Brassy, in 1876. The Sunbeam was a custom-built yacht of 530 tons, and they took their 4 children, 2 dogs, 3 birds, and a kitten on an 11-month trip around the world. The entourage that went with them totalled 40 people, including a doctor, kitchen staff, 19 sailing crew, 4 engine crew, and 7 'personal servants'. Pretty amazing stuff.
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/14/2011 7:02 AM (utc) our position was 02°58.46'S 147°17.70'W

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