22 24 S 177 17 E
Fast sailing..covered more than 180 nm over the ground again in this past 24
hours. A very tough 24 hours from 9 am yesterday til 9 am today...then a bit
of easing. Seas have been very turbulent ..... a constant mess of churning
angry seas at 4 - 5 meters (+) in vertical height...makes for a tough ride
for the crew....but Sea Mist has handled superbly everything that has been
thrown at it. Again, we are impressed with the Oyster 56's
seaworthiness...great for building and maintaining confidence....and you
need confidence when you are in such a mess of angry seas. Winds stayed in
the range of 25 to 30 knots True Wind Speed....generally ahead of the beam
so it has been close reaching and reaching for points of sail.
The new New Zealand built Doyle mainsail has been great....a MUCH better
sail than the original Dolphin sail. We have had the main heavily reefed
and went from a heavily reefed Yankee up front to furling it out of the way
and just using the staysail for most of the last day....much more manageable
when the wind is running 25 to 30 kts and huge swells tossing you around.
Having arrived in the tropics is very noticeable from the 27 - 28 C sea
water tem (81 F +) as well as the warm air temps in the dark of night as
well as the daytime highs. I say "dark of night"....we were expecting to
enjoy the full moon lighting up our nights....but no such luck. This
extensive LOW for a weather system has blocked out the night sky....last
night it rained tons for hours and hours. No rain since before dawn
today....and a few patches of sun....as well as ever present blue sky
patches here and there showing promise of better times....even if "better"
does not arrive until we have landed in Fiji.
We have not used much food on this passage...we have never been better
stocked with provisions....but not much serious appetite in these
conditions.... An easy way to engage in a quick diet!....and, even more
contributory to the low quantity of food consumption, has been the turbulent
conditions making it near impossible to do anything other than bare
essentials in moving around the boat below deck....not to mention likewise
for cockpit and deck movements.
Ian and I have not had to do much by way of sail configuration changes given
the constant "reaching" point of sail, and, on the same tack....and steering
has been handled admirably by our friend "Otto"....the first 24 hours had us
steering to a constant close hauled apparent wind angle....and then from 2nd
say onwards, Otto has been steering on straight line waypoint controlled
direct route to the entrance pass through the reef that is our destination.
So no inputs necessary on steering....and, knock on wood, no problems with
Must run now; about time to check in on short wave radio nets with friends
as well as Pacific Seafarer's Net...a very important resource when it comes
to safety and having "someone" expecting you to be where you should be
.....and trying to organize parties to find you if you don't check in as
Cheers, the Seamisters
DTG 289 nm