Mon 23 Apr 2018 17:08
We are with plenty wind (18-22kts) - so lively times r us - nice to have the question of Diesel well behind me (not that I was short).
I'm rocking and rolling a fair bit, with the odd big kick in the pants, but overall not too uncomfortable. At dawn the tide must have been westward as the sea flattened and I was fair skipping along in 'almost' comfort. Now I'm doing around 8Kts (and bumping energetically again), but have had 10kts many times in the night. Still keeping the nose pointed at Hiva Oa, and that's working out reasonably well (comfort v speed). Second reef (it's only a 55sqm main), and just my 22sqm jib up front. I've been rigged like that for 36 hours and it's doing me well. I've also had the auto pilot off for 36 hours. The powerful rudder control arm is resting, and the two big rudders are locked in position - all that potential failure area (in these lively conditions), removed. Instead, 'Theo' (so named because it's legs are like a theodolite), sits on the starboard bow, gently nodding backwards and forwards and keeping us true - awesome.
So all is indeed well, but maybe not all 'well': For lunch I'd wedged myself in the kitchen and made a plate of cream crackers and cheese - do I really need to go on? Ok then, the brief version - the plate jumped 6 inches off the counter and landed upside down on the floor. I did make a slow motion lunge, but, why bother? After scrapping the mess off the floor, I had a tin of sardines instead!
Another consequence of lively weather, is that you get to rearrange all the stuff you have on shelves. Shelf to floor, to somewhere else - the list of what hasn't fallen, is the shorter.
The distance from Galapagos to Hiva Oa was 2980. This morning I complete 7 full days, with 2080 to go. Thus I'm slightly behind (half a day), an average of 1000 per 7 days, but that's for what is almost certainly going to be the slowest week. So I'm now looking at under 3 weeks for the passage, as the weather looks to be pretty set, for most of the remainder (the 14 days forecast can now be viewed on my PredictWind app, and it shows the wind as is, for the next 10 days (maybe a little lighter), and then softening for the end of the passage). I'd be ok if it drops a little, as I'm in no hurry and don't need the hassle of 'broken bits'. There's also the question of physical and mental wear and tear, with all this jinking around, so I may even go to the third reef later in the week, if several days of this starts to drive me bananas!
Last night I came up behind a 38ft mono called 'Moya' and we passed at 2.5 miles - first vessel I've seen since a day out of Galapagos. They were doing 7kts, while I was doing 9, so they went off the scope behind me after about 4 hours. This 'almost' beam reach is not so kindly on mono's, so I guess they were well reefed to try and stay somewhat upright! You gotta love Catamarans ;-). We didn't call each other, which is so different to the Med, where the blasted radio was blaring every 30 seconds. Since the ARC, I hardly ever hear the radio, so I just answer people that call, otherwise leaving the airwaves peaceful. Their presence was mildly interesting for a while (just a dot of a mast light off in the distance), then a pain in the butt, when the AIS proximity alarm started going off. I could disable the alarm, but I've done that before, and as it takes a few hours to clear a boat from the guard zone, it's easy to forget to put it back on.
Finished 'The Wire'. Next may watch 'Band of Brothers' - nothing like as long, but another superb mini series. In between, I've been reading a scifi book called 'Old Mans War' - not bad so far.
All's well on x86, with 'Theo', being today's star of the show.
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