Sailing….

May 20th, (Eastern Hemisphere) 2011, 8:30 p.m local time

Conditions: Very nice, very comfortable 31 deg 28 min South 178 deg 20 min East Wind: 12 knots SSE Swell: 1.5 meter SSE Barometer: 1025 and rising Heading: 011 True Speed: 5.5 knots (got light tonight, windy ahead) Temp: 65 deg F – 18.3 deg C Water Temp: 71 deg F – 21.7 deg C (definitely warming up) North Minerva Reef: 470 miles to go Savusavu, Fiji: 850 miles to go Day: 2 1/2 at sea, sailed 160 miles. A bit better than yesterday and keeping us on average of 150 miles/day. This is my conservative figure. With more consistent winds, we\’d easily be doing 180 miles/day without pressing. Maybe \”later\” in the trip.

\”Sailing\”…..Christopher Cross

Dear F&F, (posting \”live\” to the website \”ship\’s log\” section).

Today was a day. When Kate woke from her off watch at 8 a.m. this morning, we set the full main sail and genoa on a starboard reach. The wind had quit the previous night and we motored for about 8 hours. It was clear, warming, calm seas and ideal \”Beach House\” sailing conditions. \”Beach House\”, aka: \”Miss Piggy\” has been floating down the waves with aplomb today. We\’ve been averaging 7 knots since early this morning. As I started to write this, the wind has backed off as the central part of the windless high pressure to our southwest gets closer. As we move north, the winds will shift to ESE and strengthen with a low pressure system off to our East (which will continue to move east). The tradewinds per the boat reports ahead are 20+ knots in the Minerva Reef area, ESE; which is now only 470 miles ahead.

We will be less than 100 miles from the Kermedec Islands tomorrow night. These are a small group of three islands which are a New Zealand National Reserve. You must have a permit, very difficult to obtain to go ashore. The diving in photos and video I\’ve seen is exceptional.

The \”Orange Iceberg\” returns: When we first took delivery of \”Beach House\”, now 7 years ago, my Dad and Cindy were on watch in the Mediterranean. They both woke me in almost panic. \”Scott, come look at the horizon, there\’s an orange iceberg\”. I was half asleep, so I adjusted my eyes and with the binoculars could see the Moon rising on the horizon, a brilliant orange color. I told Kate this story as we\’ve had full moon nights and low and behold, tonight through the clouds, the \”orange iceberg\” returned. Maybe Art and Cindy are watching out for us tonight…..

Kate awoke me at 7:30 p.m. local time as she\’d spotted a ship on the horizon. She was concerned about a crossing/meeting situation with \”heavy metal\”. We assume this was a large fishing vessel as he was doing weird turns and such. We tracked him with our Radar and \”mini ARPA\” system. This told us that the other vessel would never get closer than 3 1/2 miles.

Kate is doing an exceptional job in the galley, absorbing the sailing and may start the theory part of the Scuba class tomorrow. She\’s got a few more modules in her \”Day Skipper\” class but is getting a little burned out on it. A change of pace may be in order.

Well, the boat speed is back up to 7 knots and……..we\’re sailing.

Scott with sleeping Kate (she\’s supposed to be asleep, it\’s her off watch!).

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