Yesterday afternoon I tacked east and after a few hours the wind started to back around and I could head south again. We are close hauled on the port tack again with the wind from south of east. The motion became quite violent on board as Truce was jumping off waves and crashing into the following one. I have reduced sail to preserve body and boat. We should still make Christmas Island in two days if the wind does not go any more south.
The sunrise this morning was magnificent. Blue skies and high cloud. No more ITCZ. We spent four days in there and had two wonderful nights sailing, dining and watching movies in the cockpit. We also had two not so good nights.
This morning I did my bread making workout. Quite an effort when going to windward. Hopefully this batch will last a couple of days.
The Truce movie appreciation society watched the first ‘Men in Black’ movie last night. Jessica’s choice. I have seen it a couple of times previously, it was a family favourite with the children – but still entertaining to watch again.
Talk is now turning to Christmas Island and what we will do when we get there. Important items include go for a long walk (Jessica), fresh fruit, laundry and cold beer(me), snorkelling, fresh fish, fresh vegetables, sleep and hang out with the locals. Christmas Island is on GMT plus fourteen hours, we will need to adjust a day before we get there as we are currently on GMT minus ten. Voyage distance 1,026 miles.
Today turned out to be a bit of a non-event. The intent was to sail south, pick up the easterly traded and then carry on to Christmas Island. But, events last night and this morning have postponed our breakout from the ITCZ for another day.
Firstly, last night turned into an epic of calms blows and torrential rain. We appeared to be in a giant rain cloud arena. Every time we got into the vicinity of a rain cloud the wind picked up and we ended up a couple of miles further west than when we started. Then the wind died completely and I had to take all sail off the boat as we were rolling in a choppy sea, the sails were on a mission to self-destruct.
The second saga started this morning with torrential rain, no wind just buckets of rain from eight to mid-day. Now we have plenty of fresh water on board, have taken showers, washed hair and are smelling civilised again.
All this palaver meant we didn’t sail out of where we were parked up. I have tried to lay a course south but the wind is coming from that direction and we just keep getting pushed west again. Predict Wind is advising I go south west and then south. This seems a risky proposition so I have decided to head east for a few hours (if the wind holds). When the wind comes around I will see it and can then head southwards towards Christmas Island. It’s only a couple of hundred miles away but proving difficult to get to today.
We haven’t seen the sun for twenty four hours and the batteries missed their their solar fix. So, in had to run the engine again.
Yesterday I made a couple of small loaves of bread. By breakfast this morning it had all gone. I will need to make bigger loaves next time. Making bread on a moving boat must be great exercise, sure to strengthen the core body muscles.
The Truce film club watched ‘Groundhog Day’ last night. I have seen it a couple of times but it was a premier for Jessica. It was good fun.
I think we set a record yesterday for the lowest daily mileage at fifty-three, noon to noon. Well that’s if you don’t count the day I went backwards a few miles off Oregon. Voyage distance 967 miles.
Another day of slow but steady progress. So far, we have been fortunate with the weather in the ITCZ and have even managed to make ground to the east. We are now positioned to the east and upwind of Christmas Island. Hopefully, that will put us in a good safe upwind position for the final run in.
Sailing in this place is a challenge. Constantly shifting and variable winds mean that each mile gained is earned.
A couple of dolphins came to visit today, they stayed about thirty minutes. I am not sure what type they were, both were quite small and seemed to stay under water for longer than normal before coming up for air. They obviously enjoyed our company as we did theirs.
This evening I took a rum and coke for sundowners. Then realised we hadn’t bought any limes or lemons before departing Honolulu. I think that after we had our clearance out of Honolulu Jessica and I were so ready to depart that we didn’t pay much attention to the last-minute vegetable or fresh fruit shopping. But never mind, Rum can be drink without fruit perfectly well.
The movie this evening was ‘Whiplash’. Once again viewed in the cockpit under starlight. Another beautiful sunset and night. Voyage distance 914 miles.