A DAY OF TWO HALVES

As they say in football – today has been a day of two halves.  From midday to midnight we romped along, reefed down, in twenty knot winds doing a comfortable six knots.  At midnight, we had clocked seventy plus miles and all was good.  After midnight we ran into a rain squall (probably a front) and after a brief flurry the wind disappeared.

Since midnight we have been ghosting along and now have the jib poled out to port and doing three to four knots in glorious weather but not much breeze.  The forecasters wanted to give us twenty knots again today – oh how wrong they got it.

It looks like this light weather has blown our planned ETA for the 21st in Neiafu, we will most likely arrive on Tuesday now.  Just another day to wait for a cold beer – maybe I should drink an extra one to compensate.

Last night we watched ‘Men in Black 3’ in the cockpit.  Great movie – they don’t need to make any more MIB’s.  The weather is still hot but absolutely no complaints.  Two fishing boats turned up last night, the first vessels we have seen since leaving Christmas Island.

At lunch time today we used the last of our eggs.  One was a floater so went over the side to Davie Jones.  Fresh food is almost finished now, all that is remaining is a large onion from Honolulu.  It still looks in perfect condition so suspect it has a similar upbringing to the atomic (never go ripe) tomatoes I experienced in Alaska.  Total Voyage distance 1,130 miles.

EIGHT DAYS OUT OF SAN FRANCISCO

Time flies when you’re having fun.  I just realised its eight days since I left san Francisco.  Days at sea run into each other, there is no demarcation or need for holidays or weekends.  When I look at the daily progress on the chart it seems so small but its steady and relentless, day and night until we arrive.

Two years ago, I was not even considering sailing across an ocean by myself.  I didn’t even contemplate going to Alaska on a yacht.  Once you open your mind to opportunities it’s amazing what you can achieve.  One can always find many reasons not to do something – but the fact is you only need one reason to do something.

Today we had the breeze from astern again.  Not much sail trimming to be done, just set it up and sit back for the ride.   It’s not the fastest sailing but it is relaxing – apart from the occasional roiling.  It will be nice if the wind holds steady through the night and not the up and down winds we have been experiencing for the past three nights.

The sun made an appearance after an overcast morning.  I had shorts on for a while until it became too chilly in the wind.  Still a wind chill, even at twenty-six degrees north.

I ran the engine for fifteen minutes.  Just to make sure the batteries are topped off.  Normally the solar panels take care of all the boats electrical loads and I don’t need to run the engine for electricity.  However, the last days have been mainly overcast so I just wanted to make sure I had plenty of electrical juice in the tank.

I just watched ‘A Fish called Wanda’.  An old movie and years since I saw it first.  Still quite funny as you would expect from John Cleese.  Quite a star-studded cast, even a young Stephen Fry has a part in it.

Beer o’clock will be beer this evening.  Last night I had Mount Gay Black Barrel rum.  Excellent rum, but pretty strong if you have to be up and down playing with sails all night.  Voyage distance 1,047 miles.

WET, WINDY AND COLD IN BC

It’s now a week since I left sunny NZ.  The first couple of days at Canoe Cove were not too flash, I caught some disease (United Airlines food poisoning maybe) and felt awful.  For two days I was pretty useless, feeling cold and miserable and couldn’t eat.  Luckily, I stayed at an Airbnb just five minutes walk away from the boatyard for four days so had a warm bed to return to each night.

A Cold Afternoon at Canoe Cove. Photo, Ray Penson
A Cold Afternoon at Canoe Cove. Photo, Ray Penson

Well its rained every day since I have been here, real spring weather, rain on and off.  When the sun comes out its glorious for a few minutes then the cloud and bitterly cold wind kick in again.  Not the best antifouling weather and it’s taken me 4 days to get the hull ready for the final coats to go on.  When I did the antifouling in Alaska last year I saved money by using Petit antifouling paint.  Well, cheap is not always good and I have spent a lot of time sanding and scraping the Petit paint down to a good substrate.  This time I am using International CRC paint and hope it will do a good job on its way back to NZ.

I just received a bunch of Pacific charts from Redwise ship delivery.  So kind of them, it will save me money and give me paper chart back up should my electronics fail.  Redwise is the company I do ship delivery for and they are a top quality outfit and very professional.

Looking back on the past week I don’t seem to have achieved much.  Truce is in a terrible mess, I have sail bags heaped in the salon and spare gear scattered all over the place.  I had a new shaft and dripless stern seal installed over the winter and want to leave the aft lockers clear for when we get back into the water so I can see if we have any leaks.  On Tuesday when we floating again I can start stowing things and getting shipshape again.

Tomorrow should see the first coat of antifouling finished – I cant wait to be finished with this job.