14 April 2011 | Southern Pacific Ocean
Today we finally found the tradewinds and sailed south west towards our destination, Hiva Oa. The sailing was highly variable, which kept us in our toes and busy all the time. Squalls are abundant, so we found ourselves frequently reefing the sails in anticipation of a big blow, then unfurling the sails after. At around 3 this afternoon, the wind died to almost nothing, less than 5 knots. We tried raising the spinnaker but even that would not stay filled. Finally around 3:30 PM we started the engine and motored. Less than a half hour later we had wind again, and within minutes we had 20 to 25 knots on a beam reach. We had a nice time sailing, getting 8 to 9 knots boat speed. Finally we saw another squall approaching so out of prudence we reefed the sails yet again. This was followed by about an hour of rain, then clear skies and reduced wind, so we unfurled the sails again.
This has been the pattern today: big wind, big seas, followed by very light winds and flat seas.