Saturday, July 20, 2013

Going South to go North

A day and a half out of New Zealand, we are making slow progress. Now is the time when we want to be tucking miles away behind us, yet we are moving almost imperceptibly---motoring in fuel conservation mode at four knots---on an impossibly calm sea. The biggest wave around is Silhouette's bow wave.

We got to sail more than expected on our first day out in light winds. We motored out of the harbor, but by the time we got to the Hen and Chicks, we could raise full the main and jib, and we had several hours of peaceful sailing at four knots in a light southwest wind. It was lovely to be underway again and hear the calm sssh of the water against the hull. By evening, the wind had lightened and we alternately motor sailed and sailed throughout the night.

Today, the wind had lightened even more. Since the wind speed was a far cry from the 12-16 knots forecasted in our voyage plan, Patrick requested some new GRIB files over the radio. They showed us then passing through a windless hole towards a new powerful low developing over the Kermadecs, sending 20...25...30 knot head winds (easterlies) our way. We requested an update from the weather router we are using, who advised us to go south to avoid the easterlies. We are now heading SE towards 40S, so it looks like we may get a taste of those westerlies at 40S after all.

The most exciting thing that has happened so far is seeing a giant meteor (or piece of space garbage) burn up as it fell into the ocean.
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Posted from sea via Ham Radio.

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