Day 5: light air is heavy on gear

24 hour run: 156 nautical miles
Total distance traveled since Mexico: 682
Distance to go to Hiva Oa: about 2270
Conditions: light wind, but we're moving

Last night was a little lumpy. We had the light wind combined with swells coming from more than one direction. Because the swells weren't consistent, and the breeze was too light to give us good steerage for working swells, the boat was jostled around quite a bit. It's a good thing we're much better stowed than when Totem left La Cruz, or things could have gotten messy. We chose to start the engine again for a few hours so we could power through the slop, redicomg the banging around while conditions were particularly uncomfortable.

Five year old Siobhan, who we usually call The Iron Stomach, was too uncomfortable the forepeak berth she shares with Mairen (I would be too, in all that movement!) and came to snuggle up with me in the aft cabin. The guys were comfortably tucked behind lee cloths in their berths closer to the middle of the boat. I managed to have the best night of sleep yet in the aft cabin.

Conditions like this can be tough on gear, even though it's not actually very windy. The rolling motion snaps our sails and shockloads gear as we go from one side to the other. We ended up with a broken snatch block, although conditions should have been well below what it can handle (Harken will hear from us). The block, used for a barbor (not sure that's spelled right?) haul on the genoa to give it a better sheeting angle, was bent beyond further use. We don't have a perfect match as a spare although there is a block we can substitute…it's going to be hard to replace this for quite some time.

In the morning, everything looked much better. The seas progressively flattened and adjusted to a consistent direction. The breeze picked up nicely to 20-22 knots of wind, allowing us to move comfortably along at 8 knots of more for much of the day. We had brilliant blue skies, visits from a few curious boobies, and continue to be amazed by the striking clear deep blue of the ocean out here.

Posted via radio: we have no internet access

2 Responses

  1. So glad you got some breeze finally! I remember how hard light air can be on gear from my racing days. I was always glad to be racing somebody else’s boat 🙂 Here’s to some smooth sailing!

  2. Glad you were able to get out of the slop! That is no fun just sitting there slatting around from side to side. 8 knots sounds fantastic though!

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