Sunday 2nd September - En Route for Palmerston Island

Jon & Carol Dutton
Mon 3 Sep 2012 05:54

17:35.44S 160:26.07W

Sunday 2nd September – En Route for Palmerston Island

Well, we’ve certainly known more enjoyable and relaxing weekends.  The winds in the trough did pretty much what the GRIB files said they’d do, starting as easterlies, backing to become northerlies, then southerlies as we passed through the centre and gradually backing to the SE – where they are now.  The problem, inevitably, was the sea.  It’s not very bright and is easily confused.  When confused it behaves badly.  And a lot of it tries to come aboard – and succeeds briefly.  The swell does nothing for one’s ability to carry sail so at 0400 this morning we put in all three reefs and four rolls in the yankee.  The wind has generally been between 20 and 25 knots true gusting to 30+ on occasions.

Anyway, the worst is now over (it’s 1930 on Sunday by my watch) although the swell still catches the digitally-minded Orville out from time to time – Orville; you just need to be analogue about this stuff!  We’ve got about 160NM to go to Palmerston Island and sunset tomorrow will be a little before 1900 according to our watches (we set them back a further hour to GMT-11 on arrival).  That gives us just under 24 hours.  That’s tight because we’ll have to average around 7 knots.  We’re doing OK at the moment because we’re on a beam reach in 20 knots of wind and making better than 7 knots even with 3 reefs in the main.  But, the wind will back more and is likely to give us a problem to solve in keeping the yankee full during the night.  So, there may be fun and games on the foredeck as the night progresses and we rig spinnaker poles and all that.