AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/06 18:10
LATITUDE: 07-46.29S
LONGITUDE: 114-56.35W
COURSE: 260T
SPEED: 7.7
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 20
WIND_DIR: ESE
WAVE_HT: 0.7M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: ESE
SWELL_HT: 3.0M
SWELL_PER: 6
CLOUDS: 40%
VISIBILITY: 8
BARO: 1015.1
AIR_TEMP: 30.0C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 10 – 182 nm (Pretty much our normal ocean passage average)

Small Housekeeping note: I don’t believe our “at sea” Ship’s mini blogs are posting to Facebook? We’ll try and work that out in the future.

We passed the half way point last night to Hiva Oa. The last 24 hours has been markedly different than the first 8 days of our trip. It’s more reminiscent of when Kate Richardson and I sailed from New Zealand to Fiji than a sunny sailboat ride across the South Pacific. The winds have been from 17-30 knots. We’ve had squall after squall behind the front with plenty of rain. The sea is quite “angry” looking. You’ve all seen the paintings of the old sailing ships with full sail cutting across the “angry sea”. Well, that’s what it looks like out here. The swells are around 3 meters (11-12 feet) and quite close together as well as steep. The top half meter constantly breaks off.

This is not the typical type of day that we stretch in the golden and somewhat rare “200 mile plus day club”. For those days, we usually have fairly strong, but steady winds where we know we can safely carry our version of “full sail”. These frontal passages and squall conditions dictate prudence with vastly changing wind speeds and as such, we “reef” (shorten sail) to the gusts and suffer a bit (slower) in the lulls. That’s why these type of days are not usually record setters despite the bigger winds. In the troughs of the swell (lulls in the wind), we’ll slow down to 6 knots, on the face of the swell, we’ve surfed at over 14 knots.
Our last 24 hour average with all this slow and go was X.X knots.

Few boats out here ever do 200 miles/day even once, but we’ve about 40 of such days to our credit over the last globe and a bit of ocean crossings. “Beach House” was designed with such days in mind. Our record stood at 232 nm (done on this very passage) back in 2009 for 8 years. On that sail we did 9 days over 190 nm. Finally, Nikki and I had a golden day out of Bali to Christmas Island north of Australia in the Arafura sea where we averaged exactly 10 knots for 24 hours – a 240 nm day. For those of you who don’t know, a “statue mile” (the one you drive in your car or run around 4 laps on a standard running track in the USA) is 5,280 feet. (1.6 km) Nikki calls the old British (only Americans seem to still use it) Imperial system, “Old Money”…:-) A “nautical mile” is based on a degree of latitude’s exact length at 45 degrees (north or south) latitude and is exactly 6000 feet or 1.8 km. As such, 200 nautical miles = 232 statue miles (or 373 km). For a sailboat, that’s moving along – especially a cruising one, short handed. The boat does most of the work. We keep an eye on her. She keeps an eye on us!

Well, “Crap Shoot” (The Boobie Bird) finally took off after being with us for three days. We don’t know if “bird brain” got lost in the rain and fog out on the morning fishing expedition or just decided this nice calm island wasn’t so inviting anymore as we started a rockin’. She/He has moved off to better fishing grounds. We wish “Crap Shoot” well and hope he/she finds his/her way home.
Photos will follow!

Long time blog follower Dr. Bob Prijic, whom I went to Dental School with at Marquette in the early 1980’s happens to be a HAM (Amateur Radio) operator.
Bob has a powerful set but a very modest antenna. Last evening he boomed aboard as if he were standing in the cockpit all the way from Janesville, Wisconsin. We have been emailing but this is the first time we’ve spoken since 1983! Great to catch up and what fun to be able to talk all the way out here to the north central USA! For those interested, that is 3400 nm from where we are.

The Pacific Sea Farer’s Net (Amateur Radio) logs and follows any boat wishing to participate in their system. The “Net” has been constantly active since at least the early 1970’s when it was run by Robbie Beets (sp?) out of Vanuatu Island in the South Pacific. I believe Robbie was an Aussie Coast Watcher in WW2? I spoke with him many times back in 1976-77 when I sailed my Mariner 32 Ketch, “Triad II” from Los Angeles to Hawaii, on to Tahiti and back. Last we knew, “Triad II” with 2 subsequent owners today resides in Perth, Australia.

They provide a terrific safety service and we all out here, greatly appreciate them. Every evening we hear Net Control stations from Florida to New Zealand, California, Arizona and most notably Hawaii where the head “Net Heads” reside. Again, thank you all!

Yet another front should catch us sometime tomorrow and we’ll most likely, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat” the last 48 hours. As such, we might be doing another at least “average” mileage day? Things change out here, sometimes moment to moment, so stand by! Remember, “Your mileage may vary”!…:-)(Folks in the US will get that).
KIT,
Scott and Nikki
www.svbeachhouse.com

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/05 18:14
LATITUDE: 07-31.25S
LONGITUDE: 111-56.08W
COURSE: 269T
SPEED: 8.0
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 17
WIND_DIR: SE
WAVE_HT: 0.7M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: SSE
SWELL_HT: 2.0M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 100%
VISIBILITY: 5
BARO: 1013.6
AIR_TEMP: 26.1C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 9 – 165 nm (just under normal average of 175-180 nm/day)

Well the day started off beautiful and still not too much wind. That has changed! We’d been flying the spinnaker and at 0300 local time, (Why always around and after mid-night?) the wind started to blow and the rain started to fall. This wasn’t just a set of line squalls, but rather a true cold front coming out of the South Pacific High Pressure zone. We’ve had gray skies and constant rain for the last 9 hours. Winds are now 13-20 knots from the SSE.
This actually has more wind in it within the next 24 hours and I’d expect to see gusts up to 25 knots at times. As such, we may take in a reef before dark based on the latest information at the time. So at 0300, Nikki and I are up forward, “socking” the spinnaker and good old “Crap Shoot” (as I’ve now officially named him/her) could care less. Takes a peak from out under wing, says, “yep, it’s those people again” and goes back to sleep.
In all the gray and rain this morning, “Crap Shoot” went fishing but so far has not returned. He may have lost us in the fog (looked like London out here for awhile) or just said, “moving on to the next better floating island”. We’ll keep you posted. Many have asked for photos. I assure you, “Crap Shoot” will make the main blog when we get to internet.

So despite the colder (that would be 26 C/79 F) weather (I know you’re all laughing at that), the gray skies, 40mm (1 1/2″) of rain that we’ve had – it’s actually still quite comfortable. We have been forced to “reach up” toward the new wind these past light air days which has moved us quite south of our intended track. This front is allowing us to gain much of that back, which we should do over the next few days.

We also heard on the main Pac Sea Net last night of the loss of a yacht in the Tuamotus (also known as “The Dangerous Isles” due to extensive reef systems). “Morning Dove” with Bruce Moroney and three crew aboard were all successfully rescued. The boat unfortunately is a total loss. I know nothing more about the incident, but Bruce has a web site at: www.alaskawings.com for those with internet who may find out some info there?
This may have happened on the atoll of Apataki in the Tuamotus, a place Cindy and I spent several days adventure diving at in 2009.

If you do find any details, please let us know by email.

It’s a constant reminder that we must always be vigilant.

KIT (keep in touch),
More excitement surely lies ahead.
Scott and Nikki

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/04 18:07
LATITUDE: 07-23.22S
LONGITUDE: 109-15.34W
COURSE: 243T
SPEED: 4.9
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 6
WIND_DIR: E
SWELL_DIR: SSE
SWELL_HT: 2.0M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 10%
VISIBILITY: 20
BARO: 1013.5
AIR_TEMP: 33.3C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 8 – 134 nm

We had a lovely and pleasant night with the spinnaker and we’re amazed that we could keep an average of around 5.5 knots with only 7-9 knots of wind. Said wind was also from everywhere and places it wasn’t even supposed to be like North-NorthEast! (Wrong ocean for that!).
Our Wind Function on the Auto Pilot has saved us many hours sitting at the helm playing video games with it. That was notably a feature of the last time we sailed these waters. One of us always had to literally watch the wind shifts or the sails just collapsed. The new electronics really have come into play on this voyage. They can pick up the wind around 100 times faster than the old system and the auto pilot reacts instantly.
We had everything in the sweet spot including a cooperative ocean (calm) so the wind wouldn’t literally be rolled out of our sails. All in combination, we turned what could have been a very frustrating day into a nice one.

On the wind front, we should have increasing amounts starting in about 6 hours and maybe a bit too much by tomorrow night, so we’ll expect our daily averages to get back toward normal (which is 170-185 nm).

Our Boobie went on a fishing trip and while he was gone, I went to scrub and scrub his catch of the day. Awful stuff! While I had my head down and scrubbing, he landed on the rail with his right foot and ME with his left. It was like a shove that said, “Hey, didn’t I tell you this was my perch on this island? Go find your own!”
Right after that, he started “beaking”(chewing?) on my lines so I gave him the look! He got the message and stopped. We’ve sort of an accommodation now that he’s doing his business on the inside of the rail which goes directly OVERBOARD vs. the other side which yields much scrubbing!

Last night, our AIS (automatic identification system – much like on an airplanes), sounded off on Nikki’s watch at O’Dark 30 and we saw “Angel 29”, a 450 foot either cargo or fishing vessel. We hailed him and seemed to wake him up. He then altered course and all was well. The system is set to give us 24 minutes notice of any vessel so equipped (all commercial vessels are supposed to be) that would be within 2 miles of us when crossing.
It worked perfectly. When Nikki saw it on watch, at first she thought it was a bright star.

Friends on “Blowin’ Bubbles” had a freighter come near them yesterday and an unlit fishing boat last night. Also, they have seen another (as yet un-identified) fellow small craft out here. This is one of the most remote sections of ocean in the world and it’s starting to sound a bit like the traffic in L.A?…:-) Who knew?

Long time sailing friends, Bill Healy and Gary Walls sailed around the world for 25 years on their boat, “Amadon Light”. I always thought it was the name of some famous lighthouse? Nope, it’s the morning version of the “Green Flash”. I’ve gotten into watching the sunrises and taking lots of photos of the sunrises, mostly because most people take photos of the sunsets. This morning, the horizon was super clear and out of nowhere, after “looking” for years, I saw my first Amadon Light! The morning Green Flash. It was very different. For one, even quicker and secondly, it popped up as the sun rose like a dome. Very cool and I missed a photo of it by about 2 seconds. I’m sure you can JFGI (google it) and see photos of both the Green Flash (which we’ve seen dozens of times) and the far more rare – Amadon Light.

We’re “Waiting for Godot” (aka – the wind that’s promised by the weather charts) and enjoying the boat ride.
KIT,
Scott and Nikki – 1740 miles to go!