MAKING GOOD TIME SOUTH

We have found some clear wind and are now making good time to the south.  The wind prediction and forecast is for easterly wind, we have been experiencing winds between south east and east south east.  This has meant that we continue to sail on a close reach as we try and make some easting.  Over the last 24 hours we have only achieved a gain of three miles to the east.

Although its not the most comfortable point of sailing we have become accustomed to dropping into and crashing off waves.  But, it would be nice for the wind to move around to the east and let us have some freedom to bear off onto a reach.  The pilot chart shows a ninety percent chance of winds from the east or north east for this time of year so I am banking on the law of averages to deliver some easterly wind in the next couple of days.

No fish have taken our lure since the near miss yesterday.  In fact, we haven’t seen much aquatic activity, no flying fish have landed on deck since sailing from Honolulu.

Jessica and I are doing six-hour watches, with me doing the midnight to six in the morning watch.  Very nice to have company and share the sailing load.  Spare time is taken up with books and movies.  Unfortunately, it’s too bouncy on board for the guitar.

The weather is getting hot now.  We rigged an additional shade over the cockpit yesterday which helps as the sun is always from astern on the trip south.  Everybody is healthy on board after the camembert episode.  Of course, there is considerable discussion about the menu and what concoction we are going to serve up next.

One luxury we still have on board is cold beer.  I topped up the ice chest before leaving the Waikiki Yacht Club.  We also have a couple of bottles of cold New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on board courtesy of Richard.  I reckon another two or three days maximum before the ice is gone.  Voyage distance 343 miles.

BREAKING FREE FROM HAWAII

Wind holes, rain clouds and general difficulty in breaking free from the Hawaiian Island chain.  This afternoon we are 145 miles east of the Big Island and still in its wind shadow.  Frustration gave way to action at three this afternoon, I started the engine and motored to the south.  After two hours we had not found any wind – I gave it an extra hour and at six in the evening we found the edge of the wind and started sailing.

The wind is coming from the South South East and not the East as expected and forecast.  This means we are sailing on a close reach but still can’t lay our course south.  Instead of a sailing along parallel to the waves we are crashing over them at an angle.  Since last night we have been dodging to the south through a minefield of large rain clouds interspaced with calm patches and squalls.

I expect the wind will go around to the East in a couple of days and we can make our easting before the doldrums and crossing to Kiritimati.Our days run the last 24 hours was a disappointing one hundred miles.  But considering how long we spent becalmed it’s not too bad.  Three of those hours were on the engine – I will take it.
c6bbe923-61ea-48c6-af79-946c6a3a324b1866128934

Jessica and I are still slightly affected by the dodgy camembert we consumed a couple of days ago.  We decided to have some good food, lunch today was pasta with pesto, fresh tomatoes, basil and dried salami.  It turned out pretty good.  I then had a go at making cornbread.  Its edible and the next batch will be way better.

This morning we had a dolphin fish on the line, unfortunately he managed to escape before we landed him in the boat.  A nice small size – perfect eating.  Not that we are disappointed, now we know the lure is OK and there are fish in the sea waiting to be caught.  Voyage distance 206 miles.

HAWAII TO KIRITIMATI

Last night was the Waikiki Yacht Club party.  Another great party and I am partied out and ready for sea.

Richard departed early this morning, back to the mainland.  Now its just Jessica and myself to undertake the final preparations for the voyage.  First was the US Immigration and Boarder Protection at Pier 1.  The clearing out formalities were straight forward and the cost reasonable at nineteen dollars.  We then bought the fresh provisions, fruit and vegetables.

Once back at the marina I topped off the fresh water tanks before we let go around one in the afternoon.  As we exited the entrance channel to Ala Wai marina the gentle lift of the swell under the keel felt good.   A stiff breeze was blowing and soon we had staysail and reefed jib up doing six plus knots in the right direction, south.

I expect the first couple of days out will be a bit frustrating until we clear the wind shadow of the big island.  Then we should have clear wind until we reach the doldrums before Kiritimati.  Only another eleven hundred miles to go.