May 20th, (Eastern Hemisphere), 2011 6:45 a.m. local time.
Conditions: Motoring, awaiting Kate\’s watch and we\’ll set sail on a starboard tack beam reach 32 deg 49 min S 177 deg 35 min E Wind: SSE, 15 knots Swell: SSE – 2 meters Temp: 63 deg F, 17.3 deg C (warming?) Sea Temp: 68 deg F, 20 deg C (definitely warming) Heading: 015 true Speed: 7.5 knots (both engines) Auckland: 260 miles ago North Minerva Reef: 560 nm to go.
\”Dark Star\”….Crosby, Stills and Nash
Dear F&F, Last night was very dark, gray and overcast. Just as I came of watch a series of small rain squalls appeared off our starboard quarter (back right hand side for those of you who don\’t speak boat). I told Kate that these were the \”see through\” kind, not the dark heavy black we may encounter as we near the low to our north. Not much wind or rain in them, but often the precursor of major wind shifts. Indeed this is exactly what happened.
At first we had no wind, rolled up the sails and put on the \”Iron Genoa\’s\”. Just an hour ago, the new wind filled in markedly further to the SSE from our yesterday\’s SSW. We\’re due south of Savusavu and slightly west of the Minerva Reefs. We should be able to do a nice fast blast reach with the main and genoa which will set right after sunrise.
The swell is still up to 2.5 meters on occasion, but quite flat. That will change soon! The sun has risen behind the clouds, but right now, it\’s just a \”Dark Star\”…..
Scott with sleeping Kate. (Have you noticed with a crew of two we don\’t see much of each other on long passages?)