Friday, May 6, 2011

Enroute to the Tuamotus - Day 6

6pm Hawaii Time
Miles today: 126
Mile Behind Us: 758
Miles to go: 1,565 (approx 12-13 days)
Wind ENE at 15-20 kt
Seas ENE at 6-8'
Sailing SE at 5.3kt - 2 reefs in the main, staysail, scrap of genoa

Today was much better than the last two days--mostly sunny with no squalls. However, the wind is still up and down, so we're constantly having to trim to keep us moving as fast as possible, as close to the wind as possible, without totally burying the bow in the big waves. Just about the time we get everything trimmed up just right, the wind changes and we have to re-trim all over again.

For those of you wondering what we eat in conditions like this... we have been having a hard boiled egg and some fruit for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and stew or soup for dinner. I pre-cooked several days worth of stew before we left, and also pre-cooked a bunch of chicken and froze it in meal-sized ziplock bags. So it's easy to make a 'hearty chicken soup' with a few bits of fresh veggies, Ramen noodles, and chopped up chicken. When in calms down as we get closer to the equator, we'll have a few more normal meals, and then go back to easy meals for the last leg into Manihi.

We still haven't seen any ships--either visually, or on the AIS. But we're not positive the newly-installed AIS is working correctly. As we were leaving Honolulu, our friends on Windy City said they couldn't see us transmitting from 7 miles away, though we could see THEM. We think we're receiving OK, because I had 20 targets while we were in the vicinity of Honolulu, and our last target as we left Hawaii we were receiving from 24 miles away.

We are hoping it's just an installation issue--we installed the new AIS with a fancy splitter to use the mast-top antenna for the VHF, did a quick transmitter check with a boat down the dock, and didn't do any more testing. Neither the AIS or VHF seem to be transmitting properly (any distance), but we've been in too boisterous conditions to check anything out further. The AIS does have a built-in SWR warning, which is NOT being displayed.
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/5/2011 9:45 PM (utc) our position was 10°47.78'N 153°04.45'W

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