Monday, May 9, 2011

Enroute to the Tuamotus - Day 9

6pm Hawaii Time
Miles today: 114
Mile Behind Us: 1,116
Miles to go: 1,220 (approx 9-10 more days)
Wind NE at 12-15 kt
Seas NE at 7'
Sailing SE at 5.5kt - 2 reefs in the main, staysail, 1/3 genoa

At 9:30 last night, we got hit by a big squall with gusts to 30 knots. I was reading in the cockpit and not paying enough attention, so the 25 knot opening blast was a bit of surprise. But within a minute or two, I had the genoa completely furled. Dave came up and we eventually furled some of the staysail too, and eased the main a little. We were fine. The accompanying rain was nice--it washed all the accumulated salt off.

After the squall passed, the wind got pretty light and shifty. I spent the next several hours on my watch cranking the sails in and out as the squalls passed. Fortunately, none were as bad as the first one. But I played it pretty conservatively, so we had a pretty slow night. When Dave took over at 1am, we were down to about 2.5 knots, so we decided to crank up the engine. Dave had a pretty uneventful night on his watch, with the genoa furled and the engine on.

When I took over for Dave in the morning, the wind had come back. So I shut down the engine and we've been sailing along 'smartly' ever since. Still dodging a few squalls, but nothing really bad. Nice trade-wind conditions.

It looks like we may have skated through the dreaded ITCZ. Winnie the Weather Guru tells me "Your entire path to French Polynesia is now free and clear, maybe some clouds and low topped showers, but I don't see any BFSs lurking about". (BFS is our term for Big Fat Squalls).

The boats ahead of us (Infini, Sea Flyer, and Reflections) are reporting good conditions in the South Pacific. Kind of like "Ahhhh!" Looking forward to getting there ourselves!
Sherry & Dave
Headed South for French Polynesia

At 5/9/2011 5:10 AM (utc) our position was 05°11.85'N 149°49.76'W

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