Day 4 (Sat 15th) en-route to Hawaii
Day 4 is now underway on board our trusty little ship! We are 379 NM out of Papeete on the long lonely sea-road to Hawaii. All is well on board!
Yesterday was one for our record book. Heavy weather sailing is tolerable downwind; close hauled upwind is an entirely different matter. The last 24 hours we have not seen anything less than 20 knots from the ENE, generally high 20´s and we had one prolonged squall for over 2 hours with sustained 40 knots. It was a trifle scary because the seas were so very huge with white spume blowing horizontally across the ocean. Its the first time I have seen that since sailing off the east coast of Africa a lifetime ago. I gave in to the squall, turned and ran before the storm. We romped along in a very “sporting fashion” smashing into the crests and laying the bowsprit through some crests and laying Mayaluga on her side with the lee rail under the water almost constantly. Such a volume of sea was running along the decks that one porthole open on the lee side took a deluge of several gallons. We had to close the lee ports as well despite the heat and humidity in the boat. What a clean-up mess!
Bob McDavit in New Zealand has been retained as a weather-router on this passage. He feels that Tropical Storm (hurricane?)Fernando will weaken before getting to Hawaii approximately July 24th. The good news is that we will still be south of its path on that date.
Sailing has been very “sporty” the last couple of days. Right now during the early hours of Sunday morning we are romping along at 6 knots which is quite a good speed for Mayaluga. We are heavily reefed and buttoned down tight in huge ugly seas of at least 15 feet. The wind is still shrieking through the rigging with a loud noise. Its amazing that after a while one becomes conditioned to this stuff and think this is “normal” and the white knuckles start to relax! I did NOT say “relax” ….. I said “start to relax”! We take our safety seriously and do not leave the cockpit unless we are tethered to our jacklines running the length of the deck. In these conditions we also tether ourselves down below in the galley and at the chart table to avoid bodily injury while we are being thrown around. Living the dream!!! Living the dream!!!
We did not take any crew on-board for this leg after all. We interviewed two, but neither impressed us. Unless one can place absolute trust in them it becomes too much of a liability and is more trouble than it is worth. Since San Francisco, Karin and I have sailed Mayaluga over 3,500 miles alone on the ocean so far on this trip. We know our limitations, and we are able to work together symbiotically and efficiently. Reefing, unreefing, and changing sail configurations, sometimes several times a day, is becoming second nature. Watch-keeping is exhausting, but we take every small opportunity to sleep, doze, or just rest. Sleep is unfortunately never longer than 3 hours, but we are getting into a routine now by the fourth day. Our single biggest concern is sickness or injury. That will potentially leave the other person alone to manage and run the ship as a single-hander which would be a formidable task. In any event, we rely heavily on “Monty” our wind self steering system. Monty is a very good crew member, never complains, needs no coffee or warm food, and stays on duty 24/7.
Only another 22 days or so to Hawaii. ————————————————- Do not push the “reply” button to respond to this message if that includes the text of this original message in your response. Messages are sent over a very low-speed radio link.
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