Friday, May 6, 2016

Passage to Tahiti: day 5

2016-05-05 6:23PM UTC, 37°31'S 179°11'W # jibed
2016-05-05 10:00PM UTC, 37°30'S 178°44'W # noon
2016-05-06 5:55AM UTC, 37°25'S 177°54'W
2016-05-06 6:18PM UTC, 37°14'S 176°48'W
2016-05-06 10:00PM UTC, 37°14'S 176°37'W # noon
2016-05-07 2:33AM UTC, 37°21'S 176°21'W # jibed to 100

Today's noon to noon distance was 103nm. Yesterdays was 121nm. Tomorrow's is going to be a much smaller number!

Yesterday I had some wind and I used it to make my way towards my destination - that being the entire point of being out here. Today 1/3 of the day was making my way further south in hopes that I could find a little wind. By 4pm I decided that doing a tactical move at 2 knots was pointless, so I jibed and started heading east again. I had my spinnaker up at the time, as there is only 6-7 knots of wind, and like a chicken I snuffed the spinnaker, jibed the boat and re-raised it. That takes quite a while! I am not quite as fast as some racing teams I have seen, taking roughly 15 minutes to accomplish the snuff/jibe/raise. Although to be fair, 5 minutes of that was me trying to steer Luckness's stern through the wind with the GPS speed showing 0.0. I still haven't motored - its all sailing so far. Some of it very slow...

When I left I was expecting to be becalmed at points in time, but preferred to get out what I thought would be 300 or 400 miles and bob around waiting for wind than to wait longer in NZ. I've actually gone a little more than 480nm, and spent 1 1/2 hours bobing around today. I had the spinnaker up doing around 1.8 knots when the wind fell even further and I slowed below 1. With the swell pattern and my direction the boat was rolling and as a result the spinnaker was filling and spilling the wind as the boat went through its roll motion. I ended up lowing the sail and decided to wait for wind to arrive. The thing is, when you start that, you don't know how long you'll have to wait. The GRIBs were showing 9 knots of wind where I was, so I couldn't rely in them to tell me when wind would arrive - they were saying it should have been here. After an hour, no wind. Luckily after an hour and a half some wind arrived, I raised the spinnaker again and rocked off at 2 knots. Its been a slow day.

It looks like tomorrow is also going to be slow. The next day and a half after tomorrow look like they will bring some wind, then it vanishes again and then it may be back for a while, with the GRIB forecasts showing high teens/low 20's, all from behind me or sightly forward of the beam. It will be nice to start making some faster progress.

Today has been sunny and warm-ish. All is well aboard.

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