09:44.134'S 123:20.521'W 1002,1001,1000...999NM to go!!

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Wed 26 Apr 2023 01:59

Day 35

A bit of a frustrating 24 hours. Been a day of light winds today; these were forecasted for later in the week but we'd hoped to still have decent wind for the next couple of days. That wasn't to be. But more positively just after last nights blog was posted we officially passed the mark that means we are under 1000NM from Hiva Oa! While it still quite a sail at the speeds we are making, to be in three figures is a huge boost!

We lifted the spinnaker shortly after 6am this morning and flew it until shortly before 5pm when a large grey cloud appeared and sucked what little wind there was away. This looked like a large rain cloud but it only managed to spill a few drops of rain and take our wind… most annoying. Up until this point it had been a day of blue skies and fluffy white trade wind clouds; sunshine and pretty smooth seas. We nursed Warrior along with the spinnaker and averaged just over 4kts in force 3 winds. We have just calculated our daily run and managed 
101nm which we are pretty pleased with bearing in mind the light winds; but it is frustrating to be barely making over 100nm days now when the end is in sight and we have an arrival date in our heads. It is impossible not to be looking ahead and counting down the miles now... for 5 weeks we have shrugged our shoulders and said "we get there when we get there"; now we are on the final countdown and can practically taste the arrival rum and feel the sand between our toes!! Come on Warrior - vamos!!

Last night we had a calm night and made a few steady miles but nothing exceptional. We dropped the spinnaker after dark and had our first "near mishap" of the trip. We have tried retrospectively to work out what went wrong and annoyingly come up short. We did everything as we usually do; I was in the cockpit controlling the sheets on the winches, Jamie was on the foredeck to drop the sail and pull it on to the deck. The wind had got up and was blowing a good force 4 but we have seen this situation before. Our spinnaker which is quite a large sail (Probably about 100m2) is set free flying without any form of snuffer, this has many advantages but it does mean maximum efficiency is required as it goes up or down to avoid snags etc. We normally set the boat to steer dead downwind and at the point of dropping, the sheet in the cockpit is eased and the sail deflates and falls behind the mainsail where it is easily pulled down. We thought we had done this last night but somehow Warrior pulled herself round so the wind was on the beam as I eased the halyard to bring the sail down. After initially starting to deflate the sail snapped full of wind about 6m to leeward (the side of boat opposite to the wind) and Warrior went racing off at 7 or 8kts. She was pulled over to starboard with the spinnaker flying off to her side perfectly full looking like an agile race boat in the Solent not a fat old girl nearly in her thirties! She fought against a broach for what seemed like forever as we managed to get her to come back downwind and drag the sail down in the most spectacularly inelegant way with the only damage being to our pants!! It was a pretty uneventful night after that but a reminder just how quickly things can go wrong; even in fairly benign conditions.

Not much else to report. Meep is on good form; he has been dividing his time between snoozing below decks and hanging out with us in the cockpit. He had a little case of the "zoomies" last night where he had a sprint about; he's not done that for a while now so I guess that's him limbering up for a good run about on deck once we finally get our anchor down! Otherwise we are all good and praying we have enough wind to keep moving tonight.