Very lumpy out here to say the least. The course I'm on takes me to the
north of New Caledonia and its a very shy reach with a beam sea. The
forecast is for strengthening winds over the next couple of days I
think and with correspondingly bigger seas. In veiw of this it seems
sensible to head to windward so as the wind strengthens I can bear (is
it bear or bare?) away and have a more comfortable ride. Well at least
not so bad.
These seas are definitely the most unpleasant I've had on this trip,
mainly because of my angle to them but I'm taking plenty of water over
the bow. I needn't have bothered bucketing the decks, they have been
well washed. The large amount of anchor chain and the heavy anchor are
really making the bow become a submarine at times but so far the
interior has stayed dry. Oh except for the mast boot, the seal between
the mast and deck, has come open. Thank heavens for gaffer tape.
Two mistakes yesterday. It is Lautoka, I spelt it with an r and the soot
is apparently due to the sugar refinery. Must keep the pedants happy.
Grumbly lot they can be.
The decision to just have a headsail was very correct. The boat has
covered 183 nm's with the headsail and has at times been heeling
considerably, aided of course by the beam sea. Top speed hit during the
night was 11.7 and the average has been 7.6 so there is no need to be a
hoon and drive the boat harder. Now if I could just get rid of the
anchor chain the boat would fly. Probably sensible to keep it though.
The rocking and rolling is quite tiring. You find muscles are being
constantly used just to stay in one spot. It would be great to rest the
legs but you can only do that in the bunk. The good news is the sun is
out. It's been grey and overcast until an hour ago and things always
look better in the sunshine. Had quite a bit of rain around Fiji but
thats a thing of the past for now.