Friday, March 23, 2012

Passage to Hawaii: day 11

Date: Mar 22, 2012
Distance remaining: 1342 Previous 24 hour run: by GPS: 129

Date: Mar 23, 2012, Time: 10am Hawaii time
21° 34' N 133° 27' W
Wind speed: 8 / wind dir: 010 (N), Heading: 200, Speed: 2.2
Barometer: 1020, Water Temp: 67
Log: 4219.4
Distance remaining: 1219 Previous 24 hour run: by GPS: 123

The boat is slowing down again. I've been watching the weather every day, downloading weather discussions, GRIB data and receiving weather faxes. The wind I have been in for the last three or four days has been gradually weakening first far behind me but approaching me faster than I could move west. Today the weaker weather has arrived (or, the stronger winds have left...) and I'm currently just puttering along in light wind. With 8 knots of wind I would be moving well in flat water, but this water isn't flat and 8 knots isn't enough to move very quickly downwind where I am. I've also reduced sail area as the rocking motion of the boat is hard on the sails as they roll from side to side. Its also noisy and annoying to listen to the sails slat all day. Its going to be a relaxing few days, as it looks like stronger wind won't arrive for at least 48 hours, perhaps longer. However something else will be arriving before the wind. There has been storm after storm far to the north of me, heading east toward the coast of BC/Washington. Some of those storms have weakened into gales and have dipped further south. As a result, I'm going to start receiving larger swell. Its pretty awesome to be sitting in swell produced by storms thousands of miles away, it gives you a good sense of the theory of waves, how powerful storms can be, how large an ocean it is, etc. On the other hand, the swell is forecast to be up to 18 feet high, which will be a little annoying. Its nothing dangerous, it will just be long period large waves. But when there is no wind locally, more waves just add to the sailboat-as-carnival-ride effect. This is my training year however, and I just think of this as a Good Opportunity to receive some more training.

In the last blog post I said something like "there just isn't anything out here!" Shortly after that message went out my AIS receiver's alarm went off as it had started to receive a new target. It was 15 miles away with a calculated closest point of approach of 4nm, behind me. I watched the situation develop and it all unfolded according to what was expected. So there are other boats out here! The receiver saw another target again today for a vessel that passed within 16nm of me, out of visual range.

Aside from weather and other traffic, the big news here is that I'm now over half way to Hawaii! Last night at around 10pm I crossed over longitude 132deg 30min which was half way for this trip. The first half took 10 1/2 days. I'm getting an extremely slow start to the second half here, and it looks like its going to stay that way for a few days. At some point as I approach Hawaii I expect the wind to become more consistent, it'll be interesting (to me!) to see how that expectation turns out.

Things are going well here. I have good reading material, I'm eating well and staying safe. I hope the same is true for all of you!


March 22.  24 hour surface
March 22.  48 hour surface
March 22.  72 hour surface
March 23.  24 hour surface
March 23.  48 hour surface
March 23.  72 hour surface

1 comment:

  1. How neat-o is that to get a warning and know your equipment is working as promised. Love it! :-) A restful few days might catch you up on your sleep?? !6 foot swells sounds awesome. 1/2 way Congrats. Stay well.
    xo Mum