TIME: 2016/05/06 18:10
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).
Scott and Nikki