2016-05-25 10:00PM UTC, 22°03'S 143°28'W # noon
2016-05-26 10:00PM UTC, 19°59'S 143°50'W # noon
2016-05-27 10:00PM UTC, 17°48'S 144°14'W # noon
2016-05-28 10:00PM UTC, 16°08'S 144°19'W # noon
2016-05-29 10:00PM UTC, 14°49'S 144°06'W # noon
Sea temperature: 85deg
My noon to noon runs for the previous five days, working backwards, have been: 80nm, 101nm, 133nm, 125nm, 104nm. Generally a slow run.
I passed three islands 10nm to my East on the 26th, very early in the morning, the first land I had seen since leaving New Zealand, when I was around 20 26s 143 43w. After doing that, my run continued to the waypoint I had setup to mark the start of my transit through the Tuamotus. The transit was around 60nm, with the first 20 passing between two atolls, then 20nm of open ocean, and then two more atolls to pass by. I started the transit on the 27th at around 8pm, very dark as the moon had yet to rise. Later when the moon was up, I could just make out the atoll to my East. The wind at the start was good, around 18 from the S, so I was moving well. The forecast was for the wind to quickly fall off leaving me with light wind - I was hoping to finish the transit before this happened.
I passed by the first two atolls, sailing well, with my sleep timer set to 15min but staying awake until I was past. During the middle 20nm the wind began to fall, and by the time I was in sight of the eastern of the last two atolls, Katiu, I was doing around 2 knots.
I'm not a sailing purist, and will motor if needed, but I hadn't motored on this passage yet and I was hoping to have that trend continue. I raised the spinnaker at 6am as the wind fell further and started to veer. I was just able to make my way around the atoll, at between 2 and 3 knots and get into open ocean again. A few hours later the wind picked up, I snuffed the spinnaker and have been sailing with my genoa ever since. Although, 'sailing' isn't quite accurate as there have been several spells, lasting several hours each where I was drifting, waiting for a little wind to arrive.
Its now the evening of the 29th. The forecast is starting to resolve into a tradewind pattern. All night and morning I have had squalls, rain, cloud and variable wind. Now the wind around 10-12 from the SSE, I have puffy clouds floating by, and the wind is expected to back around to the East, gradually, over the next 36 hours. I'm heading NNE or NE at something like 4-5 knots, and once the wind backs around a little further I should be able to head directly North - to the equator! Yay!
Today is day 28 of the passage I've covered 3150nm with 2300nm to go. If I average 5 knots I will finish in 19 more days. At 5.5 knots, it will be 17.5 days. 6 knots would mean 16 days. I would be happy with an average around 5.5.
I'm starting to wonder about the state of my hull - due to my finger injury I was unable to dive and clean the hull before leaving New Zealand, so I left from fertile water having been in for 6 weeks, with visible growth before I left. It now feels like I'm not moving as well as I should be in light wind. I'll dive the boat when I get to Hawaii and see if my imagination is playing tricks or not. It will be nice to clean the hull and have Luckness nice and clean again. Oh, and my poor crushed fingers are doing very well, both still in a dressing, which I change every two days, but not for very much longer I think. The fingers look a little abused, and they are both a little longer than they used to be, but I'm pretty hopeful.
All well onboard.
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