Monday, March 19, 2012

Passage to Hawaii: day 7

Date: Mar 18, 2012
Distance remaining: 1899 Previous 24 hour run: by GPS: 102

Date: Mar 19, 2012, Time: 10am Hawaii time
21° 51' N 123° 56' W
Wind speed: 12 / wind dir: 050 (NE), Heading: 290, Speed: 5.0
Barometer: 1022, Water Temp: 66
Log: 3757, Batteries: %100
Distance remaining: 1751 Previous 24 hour run: by GPS: 147

Mostly sailor talk today.

Two days ago the wind was decent but not the steady trade winds I hope to encounter on this passage. Between 10am and 10pm the wind was in the 9kn range giving me a boat speed of around 5 knots. At 10pm my log records my being becalmed. 3 knots of wind and a boat speed of 0. Once there is any swell in the area, 3 knots isn't enough to move the boat as the waves take away any speed you have built up by the light wind. By 12:20am the next day wind was in the range 5-8 and I was moving slowly at 3-4 knots, but in directions which didn't really help my goal (arrive in Hilo) as the direction of the wind was all over the chart. A north wind arrived at around 4am and I started to move in a useful direction (toward Hilo). By 6am I had 11 knots and was moving at over 6 knots and this lasted until 10am when I move to the next day in my 24 hour cycle of measuring progress.

Yesterday at 10am also marked a steadily increasing N to NNE wind. I was finally seeing winds behind the beam! Yay. At 2pm I had 17+ knots of wind doing a beam reach toward Hilo at 6.5 to hull speed at 7.2. This kept up until around 1am when it started weakening. I had left the boat running quickly all night seeing if I could make a 144nm day by the log (6 knots for 24 hours) and was foiled by this weakening wind. It felt like I was doing over 6.5 knots for the 12 hour stretch of 10am to 10pm but the log only recorded 70nm during this period. This was an exilerating sail. The swell had built up to 10 feet with combined wind waves, so there were periods sitting in the cockpit when I was looking up at the wave tops. But as the wind wasn't that high, there were few breaking waves. The boat tracked like it was on rails, it was really awesome. The boat was balanced with a reefed main, staysail and double reefed genoa, the monitor wind vane was having no problem steering a straight course across the seas. I sat for hours and watched it all pass by. By 2am the wind had weakened t 12 which would be plenty of wind in light seas, but in the water I was in my speed was reduced to 5. Currently I'm sailing in variable wind speed (5 to 10) at boat speeds from 3 to 4.5. The seas continue to flatten but there is still a 5 to 6 foot swell around and so as the boat rocks in the light wind the sails backwind and there is a lot of noise among the blocks, lines and sails on the boat. The previous night with 17 to 20 knots doing a beam reach in larger seas, the boat was quiet as it cut through the water.

Looking at the weather forecasts, it seems I have several more days of the present conditions. The high that had good wind in the area I'm currently in dissipated two days ago. A new one moved in but is also going to dissolve quickly. A third high is approaching and is three days out now, although this is all subject to change.

If sailors want a steady sail to Seattle from Mexico, they would wait until later in the summer when the pacific high is well established. That would give them a trade wind ride once they entered them, which I would probably have by now. At this time of year, the weather is much more variable. But I'm enjoying being out here and am looking forward to the two more weeks (or more) that I have left.
?oh, a bit of non sailor talk! I found my first small (2in) squid on deck this morning, along with a small (3in) fish.


March 19.  24 hour surface
March 19.  48 hour surface
March 19.  72 hour surface

1 comment:

  1. Sounds as if you're doing well. Very happy to hear it. Love reading the posts, sailor talk or not. Did you eat the squid? Not! xo mum