AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/09 17:58
LATITUDE: 09-13.10S
LONGITUDE: 123-22.22W
COURSE: 258T
SPEED: 8.1
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 20
WIND_DIR: ESE
WAVE_HT: 0.3M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: ESE
SWELL_HT: 2.5M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 25%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1014.4
AIR_TEMP: 31.1C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 13 – 176 nm

ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM! Yesterday, a very unusual occurrence happened right after our 1800 UTC report. We saw another boat about 5 miles to our south. It looked big! Ironically, it’s the same place (more or less) I spotted s/v “Ulliad” on the last time I did this trip.

We hailed on VHF and Pascal Imbert of s/v “Water Music” came back in perfect English. He’s a 52 foot, all carbon fiber catamaran. Think NASCAR! He has a carbon fiber mast and spectra line rigging, perhaps 50% more sail area than we do.

He goes so fast, the apparent wind never gets behind his beam (90 degrees). He goes so fast, he actually can’t sail with the wind. He has to zig zag radically across the wind – yes even when going down wind. He passed astern of us going 14-16 knots! He says it’s uncomfortable having to sail across the swells so much, but he loves the speed. He has a very experienced crew of only 3 and it’s a “hand on the main sheet at all times” type of vessel. An awfully small crew for such a rocket for my liking, but he clearly doesn’t want the weight!

The other day, I wrote how almost no boats ever do 200 miles/day out here even once. Pascal never does LESS than 200 miles/day. Averages 270! and has several days over 300 miles/day! Whew!

He left Costa Rica (which is 650 miles further from the Marquesas) the same day we left the Galapagos. He’s probably sailed 1200 miles to catch up the 650 he has so far. We’ve about 5 days to go. He’ll be there in 3!

That was the excitement of yesterday.

The winds were soft last night, but have picked up quite a bit today – 20-24 knots. We expect that tomorrow afternoon it will really be blowing and as such at some point we’ll likely reef the main again. We’re not quite smelling the barn yet, but we’re beginning the last turn for the home stretch.
895 miles to go!
KIT,
Scott and Nikki
www.svbeachhouse.com

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/08 18:10
LATITUDE: 08-31.80S
LONGITUDE: 120-33.61W
COURSE: 254T
SPEED: 7.6
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 14
WIND_DIR: 102T
WAVE_HT: 0.2M
WAVE_PER: 6
SWELL_DIR: ESE
SWELL_HT: 2.2M
SWELL_PER: 7
CLOUDS: 25%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1015.3
AIR_TEMP: 31.7C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 12 – 175 nm (7.3 knot average for the 24 hour run)

Yesterday the winds were 20 knots early in the day and with the reefed main and reacher out to windward on the pole, we were averaging almost 9.5 knots for the first 10 hours of our daily run. Then alas, the winds died off right around mid night and we slowed through the night.

This morning, we’ve around 12-15 knots of wind and have hoisted the main back to full. Still not the blasting start we had yesterday, but the winds are supposed to pick up starting this early evening and staying strong to stronger over the next 30-40 hours. We may re-reef before dark, we’ll check conditions then.

This hasn’t been our fastest passage, but to date, in 12 ocean crossings of over 1500 miles, this has been by far the most comfortable.
For the most part, the swell is just at a slight angle to our stern and the winds on a broad reach (which means pretty far behind us).
The boat loves this condition and just keeps a keepin’ on.

Nikki is enjoying the ride and with her finger still a bit out of commission doesn’t want to do all that fussy sail work. I can’t (and don’t) blame her.
This is just too easy so far. (Can you hear me knocking on wood?)…

Scott and Nikki – 1065 miles to go!

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/07 18:02
LATITUDE: 08-00.99S
LONGITUDE: 117-40.07W
COURSE: 277T
SPEED: 8.0
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 19
WIND_DIR: ESE
WAVE_HT: 0.3M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: ESE
SWELL_HT: 2.7M
SWELL_PER: 2
CLOUDS: 20%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1015.1
AIR_TEMP: 30.6C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 11 – 167 nm (took the day off!…:-)

Yesterday we expected more wind than we got and as such, sort of took the day off. We would have easily gone over average, but we just decided
“Today, we’ll have an easy day”. We kept in the mainsail reef and the genoa poled out to the windward side. The weather has turned fair again, puffy cumulus are back, the gray rainy skies gone and sunny sailboat ride is back – at least for now.

We’ve left our reef in the main, but put the big reacher up on the pole to windward. It’s about 50% bigger than our genoa. A bit tricky as it’s 2/3rds the size of our spinnaker too, but has to be “tacked” at the deck. We’re using our “floating tack” to accomplish this. I’ll write it up in the big blog when we get to the internet. As such, we’re going faster again, not as fast as the spinnaker, but this sail is very easy to put away in two minutes if we needed too.

We see more wind on the horizon for where we expect to be tomorrow and the squalls seem to have moved to the north. The new winds will last for about 3 days, but the end of the trip appears that we’ll be back in quite light winds. Strategically, we’re staying more north now so when the winds do quiet down, we can maintain boat speed by reaching across the lighter air which will be from the due East (we’re heading due West) and keeping the “apparent wind” up.

For those of you who aren’t sailors, the “apparent wind” is what we really sail, not the “true wind”. The True Wind is the direction and strength the wind actually is. The Apparent Wind is what we sense in our sails. My best example that you’d be familiar with is a car. If you’re going 50 miles/hour and the wind is from behind you at 50 miles/hour, the true wind is 50 miles an hour, but the apparent wind to your hand out the window would be ZERO. Your car and wind, traveling in the same direction at the same speed “feel” nothing. If you’re heading INTO that wind, the car at 50 mph – your hand would “feel” 100 mph. The example is extreme of course, but on the boat, 2-4 knots of “apparent wind” make all the difference in our sailing speed.

We’re now in the midst of the back of the group of boats that was in front of us, so we’re hearing their radio reports clearly now.

So far, so good. It’s been a great passage to date. Let’s hope it stays that way!
KIT, More tomorrow.
Scott and Nikki – 1240 miles to go.