Walkabout - Rain Rain Rain
Friday 14th was our 3rd day at sea.
The day was started by a rude awakening at 6:15 to reef the sails as the wind had picked up and a squall coming in. We assumed it would be a temporary measure. 12 hours later we were just about at the stage where we could come up and not get wet through from the rain pouring in. There was lots of thunder and lightening action throughout the day. It was a strange day where I could mostly relate it to summers in Cornwall which were wet and windy camping, hiding under canvas for shelter. The day was filled with too much wind then not enough so motoring was the only option. The sea state was sloppy and due to our angle that we were sailing across it was not very comfortable. At this stage we had managed to sail much more than we thought we were going to be able to do in the first two to three days. Saving on fuel is always nice when you don’t know what the later days of the passage will bring.
Twice the fishing rod went screaming out and twice we could barely slow the rod down. The second time came to a abrupt stop when the line gave way and the fish took off with our lure. About an hour later the rod went out again but this time we were able to catch a yellow fin tuna. Not the biggest one so far but still a few meals worth.
The night brought calmer seas and more comfortable sailing even though there were some wake up calls for adjusting the sails. Still lightening around just getting further away and this was a welcome relief.
UPDATE from Thursday 13th, day 2 at sea. (Delayed report due to crazy day of weather - see above).
The first 36 hours of this leg have suited us quite well - light winds that have enabled us to sail with our big blue G1 (apart from the times when there is virtually no wind). So we have made good speed relative to some of the bigger, heavier boats. In the last 12 hours overnight the wind has picked up to 13-15 knots, and we continued to make good speed. The sea state is becoming less kind, and trying to sleep in the forward cabin is definitely a challenge. Traci reckons she was airborne at one point as the boat bucked about in the confused seas. When the wind drops off it is hard to stop the main sail clattering from side to side, so we tend to drop it and motor at that point.
Adjusting to the watch pattern and sleep is always a challenge on these passages - three days seems to be the point at which you are so tired that you sleep when off watch!
The confused sea state has also reduced the opportunity for wild life spotting except for the huge schols of flying fish that scatter from in front of the boat - no more whales in the last 36 hours.
Our plan is to keep heading SW to get south of a big band of cloud, rain and squalls. Then turn towards Hiva Oa. Whilst the rain has given the boat a much overdue wash down with fresh water, the cloud does not help our power production. We have enough solar to manage most of our power needs - but only if it is sunny. Hoping not to burn too much fuel for power generation - fingers crossed for sunnier weather further south.
The last few nights dinner have been second servings of spaghetti bolognese and Sri Lankan Style Curry with buttery onion rice but as of today we have Yellow Fin Tuna sashimi for lunch and Mahi Mahi fillets for dinner, happy crew all round! The request for breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs on toast and so we are all definitely eating well despite the sea conditions.
The boys are currently working our how to improve our losses and making amends to our wire traces on the fishing rods. We have now lost 3 big fish due to failed tackle. But I have to say, the Fishing Club are going great guns and I think we’ll be enjoying many a fishy supper over the coming days!
Our bread stocks are running low so the baking club will soon be back in business too.
A quick thank you to Julia, Christian, Ronja, Lotta and Marla for your text message that came through the other day x so good to hear from you, thank you x we’ll add you to this circulation to keep you updated on our progress xxxxx