Squally Weather (Day 20)
14 April 2011
John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: -3.9184 Longitude: -131.60971
We seem to have entered squall territory as we are encountering them much more frequently now. Last night we sailed through several mild ones. During my watch last night we were able to do more than six knots for much of it, thanks in part to winds from the squalls.
Just as we were getting ready to have lunch we entered into the middle of several squalls. Conditions went from sunny and hot to completely overcast, rain, and cool temperatures. Suddenly we were making 7.5 knots over ground. If only we could keep that speed up we would be in the Marquesas in 78 more hours. I had a fun time driving the boat at those speeds, and it was a nice break from the monotonous slower speeds we've been experiencing. Then, about an hour later, the skies quickly cleared and the wind died. Thinking conditions were good for the spinnaker we had all hands on deck helping to raise it. But once we got it up the wind died completely so we lowered it and are now motoring along at 6.5 knots, with some help from a light breeze. At this rate, my GPS says we will be there in 81 hours. But unfortunately we don't have quite enough fuel to motor all the way. Plus, we are trying to save some diesel for when we arrive as we have been notified that Hiva Oa has run out of diesel and they don't expect more until April 28th.
It is fun to see how we are slowly closing in on Hiva Oa though. We are almost back inside a regular chart on my GPS. For the last thousands of miles we have been off the chart, so to speak.
For lunch today we had a nice cabbage salad with canned pineapple and diced tomatoes. We finished the last of our pressure cooked meat a few days ago and are now starting to dig into our supply of cans. In one hammock we are down to one mango, one grapefruit and two oranges. In the other hammock under the dinghy davits we still have lots of tomatoes and apples. Our bread supply is a few loaves of Bimbo brand bread that is growing some white mold, but we can't taste the mold when the bread is toasted and peanut butter spread on top. White mold is harmless and we are glad it is not black mold which is not healthy to eat.
Our solar panels are working nicely and when we have wind our wind generator produces enough power at night so that we don't need to charge the batteries. Last night was one of the first nights we did not need to run the motor at all to charge the batteries.