World ARC - Day 60 - 8th March- Rain, squalls, more rain

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Wed 9 Mar 2016 03:41
07:02S 101:39W

World ARC - Day 60 - 8th March- Rain, squalls, more rain.

Sunday night through early Monday morning brought wind and very changeable weather. The seascape was littered with clouds some of which contained quite heavy rain others none at all. We used the radar to plot a path through the squalls dodging from port to starboard to minimise our rainfall. On the Atlantic crossing we didn't have the radar so mark one eyeballs were used for the same task. All very well during daylight hours but not at all easy during the dark ones. This time round we were able to watch the progress of the squalls against our own track day or night. There is no point in going too far off the chosen track so we still had a few soakings of course but it added interest to the night watches.

When the day dawned we saw a long line of black cloud behind us and brighter skies on the horizon. However we were still running underneath some ominous dark clouds. Suffice to say the morning watches got drenched but during the afternoon we all dried out. For us it all seemed a little bit like being back home except the rain was warm and we were sitting out in shorts and t shirts.
Steve prepared a lovely meal using the tuna caught the previous day which fulfilled one of Karen's wishes for the trip to enjoy freshly caught fish. Now for white fish!

We have started to see flying fish again, in the quantities of the Caribbean. Huge shoals of them of all sizes, lifting off from either side of the boat and skimming away over the surface, sometimes for considerable distances, changing course by some 30 degrees as they hit the water or the top of a wave. We were left with two of the largest examples we have found on the deck at first light this morning. Perhaps we should turn them into frying fish.

When we checked the logs at the end of the day we were delighted to see impact of the wind on our progress to Hiva Oa. Running on engine at economy levels to preserve fuel we were forecast to arrive in the first week in April. With better winds we can sail 2 to 3 knots faster than motoring which has cut at least a week off the projections. But there is a long way to go yet so we are not counting any chickens.