Spinnaker Runs; one of my favorite things
23 July 2016
Today we have had a glorious day on our symmetrical spinnaker. I LOVE spinnaker sailing. It smooth, its fast and its quiet. We don't have spinnaker runs as often as we'd like, and we have been surprised at how much more we use the symmetrical spinnaker rather then our newer asymmetrical. My favorite run to date was in the channel between Hiva Oa and Tahuata in the Marquesas. On that particular day, we were flying the asymmetrical spinnaker (known affectionately as Big Red) and skooting along at 9+ knots on a warm sunny day in the smooth water. We broke 10 knots a few times ( I wasn't suppose to let it) and Colin couldn't even tell since it was so nice and solid. Another great run was between No Minerva Reef and Tongatapu. We even had another catamaran nearby that day, so it turned out to be a bit of a race (always fun to watch Colin race). But today doesn't suck either. We are heading for the barn at 6.5 knots, the wind and waves are from nearly dead astern so the ride is smooth and quiet (just wish it was a bit warmer and sunnier). Colin is even cooking tonight; a good day indeed!
700 miles until landfall, and then another 6 days or so of harbor hopping until Tacoma. For those of you considering this passage route, Tuesday will be the 3 month mark since we left New Zealand. Our first Blue Water leg was 19 days to Tahiti (with a pit stop at Tubuai), second leg was 18 days to Oahu, HI, and it is looking like this leg will be approximately the same length (18 or 19 days). We spent over 2 weeks in the Society Islands (visiting 4 islands) and over 3 weeks on Oahu (making repairs and visiting my brother). Not quite a delivery run, but not a leisurely cruise either. We had gusts up to 30 knots, we had days of <5 knots, we saw waves as high as 7 meters, and had calm flat periods as well. We saw fog, rain squalls, down pours, and some of the clearest nights imaginable with innumerable stars. We spent some time down at 38 degrees south, and time in the reinforced tradewinds. We had nights so warm we couldn't sleep and others so cold we needed our "woolies" and Uggs. I expected the first leg to be harder than it was, and the second to be easier than it was. Then I gave up and didn't have any expectations for this third leg. It just goes to show, everyone's experience is a little different. Expect it all and enjoy it all!