Tue 13 Oct 2015 00:09
We’ve been waiting for weather to settle and finally it did. There was some nasty stuff - a ‘tropical disturbance’ above us for a while but it shifted over to Fiji and looks like it’s now going to drop down towards New Caledonia so off we set off for another night passage to Sola in The Banks Islands, in order to make use of a couple of days winds before they were due to die down.
It was pretty bumpy outside the reef; the wind had been blowing strongly for quite a while so the waves had built up, however they were from behind, on the quarter mostly so weren’t nearly as bad as if we’d been heading into them. All the same it was a big change from the quiet anchorages we’ve been sitting in and I soon felt quite uncomfortable. I had no desire to go below and all I wanted to do was sit up at the top of the companionway, clutching the cover, keeping my eyes on the horizon, so I took the first watch, making the occasional foray below to check the course and look to see if the AIS was showing any boats that I hadn’t seen. The only one I did see was Scott in Argo, ahead of us. He radioed us to say “Hi" and when we passed him we flashed lights at each other in a companionable way. By the time it was Phil’s watch I was happy to tumble into our bunk and get a little sleep, and felt a lot less sea sick when Phil called me for my next watch.
A good job too because the wind had dropped, we were rolling around a lot and we had slowed right down, the jib flapping with every roll. We gave up and, turning on the engine, pulled in the jib and motor sailed for a few hours on staysail and mizzen. We were much more stable and we weren’t beating the jib up.
Morning light saw us back under sail, making good progress and looking forwards to the next stage in our travels, the wilder, even more remote Banks Islands.
Nothing, except a nibble on ginger biscuits.