AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/03 18:05
LATITUDE: 06-26.87S
LONGITUDE: 107-14.37W
COURSE: 249T
SPEED: 6.2
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 10
WIND_DIR: ESE
WAVE_HT: 0.3M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: S
SWELL_HT: 2.0M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 10%
VISIBILITY: 20
BARO: 1013.4
AIR_TEMP: 31.7C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 7 – 121 nm

Well, first the dull news. We’ve just had the slowest 24 hour run (2 consecutive days of it in fact) ever in 808 days of sailing “Beach House”.
The wind powers that be, just never showed up yesterday and we were sailing often in the 4 knot range. We even had that nasty SSWesterly show back up for awhile. The issue was that the South Eastern Pacific High (permanent pressure zone) just quickly moved north and poof went our wind. It was frustrating hearing about other boats in front of us going faster with more wind. Last night around 10 pm, the winds shifted way aft and picked up a bit, but as it was the middle of the night, we didn’t feel like doing the spinnaker drill in the dark as we have not done so for 2 years!

Boobie Bird!
So yesterday at sundown, a Red Footed Boobie (p.s. We never saw a “red foot” in the Galapagos – only Blue Foot and the Naca Boobie) showed up and landed on our port bow pulpit. He was preening and preening and we wondered how long he was going to stay, especially when we started going forward to change sails. We also new, he’d make a giant mess that Nikki said she was going to clean up as she didn’t want me to chase the bird away. I agreed, but you can guess who will be cleaning up the mess!…:-) “Our Bird” as he has become known, has learned to take off and land on a small round metal piece of (essentially) pipe and balance him (her?) self while even asleep. He’s been with us now for 18 hours and we’re hoping were not arrested in French Polynesia for importing a bird upon arrival..:-)

“Our Bird” seems to go off fishing for awhile and we’ve even seen him land on the water, so we know for sure since he’s staying with us that well – he just likes us! We thought all the sail changes including putting up the spinnaker would scare him off, but nope, he’s still here. Once on a “fishing trip”, I went up to start to clean up the mess and he practically landed on my head upon his return. He then gave me the look! You know, “The Look”. As in, “Hey buddy, this is my piece of shiny metal rock, there’s another perfectly fine one for you to sit on over on the other side of this island – now scram!” So at least for the moment, you know who “da’ boss” is…:-)

Speaking of Spinnakers, we just set ours for the first time in two years. I know this, because of the repair tag inside the bag from when we were in Florida. After a bit of straightening it out, she’s up and flying. The winds have dropped, so it’s almost an essential sail to keep us moving at a decent speed. We’re averaging 6.5 knots, but occasionally 5.5 and sometimes 8.

We’ve just passed our first week at sea and this trip will be a long one, our longest ever on “Beach House” in terms of time. Of the almost exactly 3000 miles from the start, we’ve 1869 to go as I write (and that’s in a straight line as if such a thing existed in sailing!).

We heard from our old friends Dave and Kathie Blanding of “Sunflower” whom we met in the Indian Ocean in 2012. They’re about to embark on a nice coastal cruise on the US East Coast. Always great to hear from all of you.
KIT, More tomorrow and hopefully no more “slooow records”. At least we’ve a flying start today.
Scott and Nikki

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/02 18:27
LATITUDE: 05-44.43S
LONGITUDE: 105-23.65W
COURSE: 247T
SPEED: 5.8
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 2
WIND_DIR: SSE
WAVE_HT: 0.0M
SWELL_DIR: S
SWELL_HT: 2.2M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 20%
VISIBILITY: 20
BARO: 1014.6
AIR_TEMP: 32.8C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 6 – 127 -Our slowest day ever!

The day started promising with the big reacher up on a close reach, we were doing constantly 6+ knots. Then….POOF at 2 am local time.
The wind is just GONE. We’ve 2 knots from the stern now which is useless for sailing. The good news is, the weather files say we should be getting the wind slowly but steadily back over the next 24 hours. When the new wind comes, we’ll likely put up our spinnaker – the big colorful sail you see in all the sailing photos. It’s got the most “horsepower” and as the wind will be then mostly behind us – should be the sail of choice.
The permanent South East Pacific High has quickly crept north and this is why we are the painted ship upon the painted sea – thank you Samuel Colridge.

We also see on the 6th, the trade winds will come back with true strength and hopefully stay with us till the finish. We hear wind reports on the radio and the vessels ahead of us definitely have more wind than those behind us. More however is a relative term…:-)

Nikki’s finger continues to heal, It’s very pleasant out here and cooler than you’d think at night which is a plus.
Our engines are getting a bit of work (we’re motoring as I write) and seem to be mostly behaving, but we are NOT pushing them. A little oil leak on both, but very small and the burning/by pass rate of the oil seems to be down quite a bit since we used the “vent the crankcase” trick.
KIT,
Scott and Nikki

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/01 18:01
LATITUDE: 05-20.12S
LONGITUDE: 103-19.16W
COURSE: 262T
SPEED: 7.8
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 11
WIND_DIR: SSE
WAVE_HT: 0.3M
WAVE_PER: 6
SWELL_DIR: S
SWELL_HT: 2.8M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 35%
VISIBILITY: 20
BARO: 1012.9
AIR_TEMP: 31.1C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 5 – 156 nm

Yet another pedestrian day in what has turned out to be at least – a comfortable boat ride. What more can we ask?
The big issue yesterday was that the winds were doing things they just weren’t supposed to be doing. The day started VERY slow with winds of 4-9 knots
for about 8 hours. This is VERY slow sailing. But the worst part was they were coming from essentially where we wanted to go! This was very strange indeed
and I suspect the ITCZ (inter tropical convergence zone) was at work to our north. Our course is 260 and the wind was from 220! We can’t sail as close to the wind as a 747, so in essence we were planning on writing all our friends a post card – from Hawaii! (Yes, that is where we were headed).

Fortunately, Mother Nature saw fit to get back to a reasonable facsimile of herself and the winds are now back to SSE at 150 deg true. That’s a 70 degree shift. It happened as a small squall passed at dark last night. Future predictions say it may go further aft in a few days which may get the spinnaker out of it’s bag. That’s a big maybe.

The evening was slow and a bit bumpy, but all in all just fine. This morning I’ve been struggling with whether to fly our big reacher or stay with the smaller genoa. The reacher won and it was definitely the correct decision. If the wind holds, Miss Piggy will be more like herself re: distance – tomorrow. We shall see what the Wind Powers that be have to say on the matter then. Our normal passage average is about 180 nm/day, but so far, the wind just hasn’t cooperated with me. Imagine that?

Nikki’s finger is healing, we did a little minor surgery and lanced the infection. It’s definitely getting better.

This is a long boat ride, up to another 15 days is possible, though we certainly hope not. The instruments tell us 13 days at this current speed. With 2110 miles to go, that will change before I put the period on this sentence…:-)

I heard from Dental School Classmate Bob Prijic last night via email. He’s a HAM Radio operator and may try and contact us via HF radio over the next few days on the Pacific Sea Fairer’s Net at 0300 UTC.

Feel free to write!
KIT,
Scott and Nikki