Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Enroute to the Tuamotus - Day 18

Miles today: 129 Miles Behind Us: 2,141
Miles to go: 242 (approx 2 more days)
Wind E at 9 kt Seas 3'
Sailing S at 5.3kt - Full main, Full Genoa, Staysail

It doesn't get any better than this! Since the wind came up at 7pm last night, we've been sailing, averaging 5+ knots. This in a time where the wind forecast was for 7-8 knots and we expected to be motoring. (Thank you, weather fairy!)

We started out last night with the big light-air Code Zero, but about 4:30am the wind had come up enough that it was getting to be too much for the Code Zero. So Dave woke me up and we rolled it in, and rolled out the slightly smaller, but much heavier construction, genoa. We averaged about 5.5 knots all night, and about 5 knots all day. The wind slacked off a little about mid-morning, but has still held in the 10 knot range.

This is really pleasant sailing!! Wind just right, seas not bad, sunny skies during the day, full moon at night.

Our full moon story for tonight is that Dave said "Sherry, we have a ship on the horizon." Just about dusk. He was kind of freaked out, because (a) our AIS didn't go off and (b) it appeared and got closer pretty fast. However, a minute later he laughed and said "It's just the moon again.". The moon rising was partially blocked by clouds on the horizon, and only 3 bits of bright moonlight were showing through--looking just like a freighter not very far away.

We are hoping we might be able to make it in to Manihi before dark on Thursday. It will be a little dicey going in late in the day--the slack current on Thursday afternoon is going to be about 1pm and then not again until 7pm (after dark)--so if we arrive about 4:30pm, the current in the pass will be at max flood--running in to an unknown harbor with a 4kt current, late in the day with poor light... I'm not crazy about the idea, but Dave thinks it's no big deal, and he's got 'barn syndrome' really bad. We do have several friends who have gone in in the last few days, with waypoints, and the offer of a 'pilot' costing about $30, if we want it. Or we can hang out overnight and come in on the morning slack the next day.

The wind forecast keeps saying it should be lighter than what we're seeing, and if the wind dies, we'll probably just slow down and sail in, arriving Friday morning.

On the domestic front... With the mild conditions, I did laundry today in a 5 gallon bucket. I am running out of underwear--after 18 days underway, I am on my last pair today. We dress minimally at sea, but underwear is mandatory (for me). I keep a 2 week supply on hand, but this passage, our longest ever, has exhausted that.

We had a nice barbecued pork loin (in the oven), mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables for dinner tonight. Though we ate the last of the brocolli and fresh green beans tonight, we still have quite a few fresh fruits and veggies packed away in the fridge--celery, green peppers, carrots, tomatoes, avocados, cabbage, lettuce, and apples. Plus onions, potatoes, garlic, and bananas in bins outside the fridge. My practice of washing everything in a mild chlorine solution, air drying, and then wrapping each item in a paper towel and storing in a 'green bag', seems to be working well. I am not sure the science behind the 'green bags', but they work for me.
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/18/2011 7:17 AM (utc) our position was 10°44.02'S 146°27.05'W

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