Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Passage to Tahiti: day 9

2016-05-11 2:00AM UTC, 36°28'S 169°18'W

Today's noon-to-noon distance was 83nm, yesterday's was 99nm. This continues to be a slow passage although it is interspersed with some glorious sailing.

Yesterday before noon the wind had been falling steadily after a fun ride the previous evening. At noon I raised the spinnaker again, and this time it stayed up for 24 hours. Overnight last night was glorious. The wind was something like 6-9 from the N or NNW and depending on its speed I would steer a little into it, putting the apparent wind at around 60deg in order to increase the apparent wind speed, increasing boats speed to around 5kts. Then as the wind picked up and the boat speed started hovering just under 6 knots, I would steer down a little, decreasing the apparent wind angle to be around the beam, slowing the boat to mid 4 knots, ready for sleep again with room for the wind to increase. By noon today the wind was starting to increase to around 10-12 and I lowered the spinnaker and have been sailing with the genoa and main since, doing 5 to 6. The seas are very settled, with no wind waves to speak of, certainly no white caps and only a low long swell. Its warm, the sun is out - this is very enjoyable sailing.

The weather models have been struggling to figure out what is going on in this area, its a difficult area of relatively high pressure over a large area. As I was trying to figure out whether or not to jibe just before dark last night, I was looking at the previous days forecast, which called for south winds where I was. The most recent forecast I had at the time was calling or west winds, and the actual winds were north. I am hoping that the forecast for the next few days proves accurate as I hope to have some medium strength winds from the north backing to NW over a period of three days, which will help move me toward my destination.

All is well onboard.

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  1. Sounds a bit like weather forecasting in our beloved Salish Sea.

  2. Fair winds for the remainder of your voyage!

    I don't know if you get to read these comments on passage, but I thought you'd be amused by hearing the progress of our PSC37 refit. The previous name of the boat -- Nifty Nickers -- was thankfully removed, using our trusty heat gun. Unfortunately there is a ghost image of that name! We used a chemical stripper to remove the many, many coats of bottom paint, and are discovering interesting cracks in the barrier coat. We can pick it off in many places, so we are sanding down all the cracks and loose areas. We expect to finish our sanding next week, and have built up some serious muscles! Then we're using Tough Stuff as a new barrier coat. We also removed 10 bags of garbage from the galley and starboard lockers, including 60 used chip brushes. It was pretty intense! I'm sure she'll float in inch higher once we get all the crap off her. Well, from foggy Maine, I wish you a great voyage. I love seeing where you and your PSC go!