06.54S 120.14W 1st August 2011

Mojo 2
Andrew Partington
Tue 2 Aug 2011 02:46
We are still out here and inching closer on our chart to Tahiti. Each day it hardly looks as though we have moved but the progress is relentless and we are continuing to sail some big miles. 
Yesterday we set a new benchmark for this crossing of 178NM and if the sea conditions were a little better we would have gone well past 180NM and given 200NM a bit of a shake as well. 
In the afternoon the wind and seas started to grow teeth again. By nightfall we had 20 knots gusting to 23 and lumpy seas. Hardly surprising to see the ocean come to life given that it had been blowing strongly now for several days. These stronger winds held in all night giving us another night of limited sleep. We are fortunate that both the wind and seas were following us which made things far more tolerable than if we had been beating into them 
 By morning the wind had pulled back but the swell was cranking. As we were hitting the bottom of a swell the next swell was following close behind and often peaked well above the height of our cabin. With each swell we just rose up and over it. We were sailing across the swell lines which meant that we were not getting any excessive speed surfing down the face of the swell. I had experienced this crossing the Atlantic and it is a most disconcerting feeling and a very good reason to slow the boat down. It was completely different to the swell of a week ago that was spaced at about 100 metres apart. The swell eased as the day progressed and is causing us no bother at all now.
All day we have had 16-17 knot winds from the south-east. There is a liitle too much east in the wind for us to be sailing quickly today. The mainsail takes the wind from the headsail beyond about 120 degress and we did not have the angle to goosewing these two sails. I think we may see an easier night though, given that the wind has backed right in behind us.
Still no sign of other human life out here. We are scanning the horizon and checking the radar several times a day but nothing to see.
We are seeing thousands of flying fish in large schools. As we approach them they take to the air and can fly for 20-30 metres before hitting the water again. Clearly some of them need landing lessons because they take some awful crashes as they hit the water... a little like Dewy landing a flip on the wakeboard!!
There are also tiny little flying fish about the size of a large [fish shaped!!] blowfly. We are seeing them in large numbers and one poor fish got itself stuck to a cabin window, and is still there!
It is now around 5.00pm and as I look out the cabin's sliding door I can see whitewater and the sound of a waterfall. I think Jane has Mojo 2 cranking along again. Maybe we will give 180NM as shake after all.
1585NM to our waypoint and then another 240NM, or so, to Tahiti.
Andrew Partington.