Heading for Vanuatu

Sun 30 Aug 2015 04:09
18:21.4S 173:44.2E

We set off in glorious sunshine, blue seas, a bit of swell, maybe 2m, and light winds but they were rather too light. We set all the sails but we were rolling back and forth in the swell, as it was on the beam, so the sails wouldn't hold their shape and we were crawling along at 3.5 knots... frustrating. But we caught a mahi mahi, so that cheered us up and after lunch the wind started to fill in, so we reefed the main, and the wind filled in some more, so we reefed the mizzen, and the wind filled in some more, so we half furled the jib, and the wind filled in some more, so we dropped the main and we were still bowling along at 8 knots. With the stronger wind the swell increased to 3m, still on the beam, so we were seeing plenty of water over the decks, and sitting in the companionway to look out was like playing Russian roulette with the waves. Sometimes it was fine, sometimes you got soaked. The sea turned grey. Anything on board that could fall down fell down, as wave after wave sent us heeling first one way, then the other. Some things I didn't even know could fall down fell down. Mostly we left them on the floor: they couldn't fall any further. The motion was... challenging.


Breakfast: Wind Force 2, toast and marmalade.

Lunch: Wind Force 3, mahi mahi pan fired in butter with lemon juice, potato and breadfruit cakes, steamed greens.

Supper: Wind Force 6, no supper required.

Night watch snacks: Wind Force 6, Force 7 when a squall passed, stugeron.

Breakfast: Wind Force 5, small nibbles on ginger biscuits.

lunch: Wind Force 6, chicken noodle soup from a packet.

We are much more comfortable now: it's a pleasant Force 5 still but the swell has reduced to 2.5m, with the motion much improved. I had forgotten how difficult it is to do anything when just staying in one place is hard to manage and you are planning escape routes in your head to the nearest bucket because it's not safe to hang over the side should the threatening stomach evacuation become a reality. You just do what needs to be done.

So now we're tired, but enjoying sailing again. We're picking things up and putting them back a little more securely, reading books, spelling each other so we can catch the odd hour of sleep now we don't have to wedge ourselves in a corner of the bunk to avoid rolling back and forth. The sun's back shining. We might even fancy some supper.

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