04/23/2012, 09 48'S:139 02'W, 21th Day out of Galapagos - Lots 'o miles under our belt, 0 to go!
We have arrived in Hiva Oa. First land sighting 23 Apr 12 at 1950 Z Landfall 0100 Z 24 Apr 12
We are safe for now and while we both endured, 21 days at sea is a long time. Especially when there are only two of you to take the shifts at night. I cannot immagine do this single handed. You could never get into rhem sleep and would always be tired after the second day.
We probably would have seen land much earlier this morning but there has been a cloud hanging over the islands since daybreak. Have some pictures but won't get to send until I have internet.
All for now got to go set an anchor, make dinner and go to bed. I hope it is in that order otherwised we are in trouble.
John & Lisa
Light at end of Tunnel
04/22/2012, 10 52'S:136 30'W, 20th Day out of Galapagos - Lots 'o miles under our belt, 160 to go!
Well as I write this blog we have just 166 miles to go. Under almost any condition that puts us into Hiva Oa tomorrow afternoon. Unless I can convince Lisa to take a picture of landfall tomorrow and put it on the blog, there may not be one. She seems like a very happy camper today. Must be the knowledge we will be at anchor tomorrow. She just spotted our first bird in about a week and had to go outside and talk to it. Every time the bird flies bye she gets a great big grin on her face. Anchoring will be good.
We flew a single reefed main and no genoa or other sail through the night. When it broke daylight, I yanked out the genoa in a wing on wing configuration and we pushed our speed up to 6.5 knots. Wind has come up a little this afternoon and we are moving along now at between 7.5 and 8.5 kts on a Direct Down Wind ride. The wind is supposed to die off starting tomorrow so we want to make as much progress as possible.
I made an attempt to repair the asymetrical spinnaker we tore the other day. What I saw then was about a 6" horrizontal tear, but when I got it open on the deck this morning, there was another, which I hadn't seen when we took it down, that ran for about 6 feet vertical. Too much for mylar tape so will wait until we get to Pepeete in a few weeks to have it repaired. This afternoons project is to replace the torn chute with the lighter one in the dowsing sock.
We are getting down to the canned goods without having frozen foods to grab. We still had a chunk of smoked turkey breast that I cubed, added some potatos and corn, seasoned it up and made a Turkey Pot Pie. The pie dough turned out perfect but only by luck. We have a fantastic cook book called the "Cook's Companion". It is a cooking course and kitchen companion by Carole Clements. It has one drawback when it comes to things like pie, pastry and bread recipes. It gives measurement in weight for flower as opposed to volume, like cups. We have no scales on the boat so it is a WAG at what 1 1/2 lbs looks like in cups. I like her recipes but can't convert so had to improvise on the pie dough and got lucky. Likewise when I made the bread the other day, I ended up using the recipe from the bread machine book instead of the 'Cook's Companion'. Oh by the way, if you need to do that for bread, double the yeast, there is something about the confines of a bread machine that all ows it to rise with less yeast.
All for now. John & Lisa
Landfall Preparations Have Begun!
04/21/2012, 11 53'S:134 06'W, 19th Day out of Galapagos - Lots 'o miles under our belt, 315 to go!
I have ABBA cranked up on the stereo and have started doing some heavy duty cleaning inside
so we are spick-and-span for our arrival. And also to keep my mind off of how close but yet
so far that we are. Winds are 18-20 today (perfect!), but with confused seas - so we are
meandering around quite a bit. We can't seem to hold a straight course for Hiva, and hence
we are barely making over 5 knots. Which is putting my goal of a Monday evening landfall in
jeapardy. You'd think by now, after 3000 miles, I would have learned my lesson in patience
and be at one with the ocean. Obviously, I still have one more lesson that the forces of
nature are trying to teach me. Besides, it's not like we have a plane to catch - right?
What's one more day? Well, let me try to explain...
I have been rationing my ginger snaps. I have 4 left in the box. 2 for tonight, and 2 for
tomorrow night. Not sure what I'm going to do if we have to be one more night out. I have been rationing my book (I am reading "The Help" - good book). I have 150 pages to go
so I am nearly finished with it. It's difficult to just stop reading when everything is
coming all together at the end of the book. Not sure I can stretch it to 3 evenings. I have been holding off on washing our sheets so they are fresh for our first night in port.
(Yes - I have washed them in the past couple of weeks - so please don't think they are that
skanky!) But they are getting on the edge again. One more night in those sheets? Ugh. Finally, as much as I wish I could say that I have really grown accustom to our night watch
schedule - I have to admit it is still quite draining for me. Last night was probably one of
my toughest. I was doing all sorts of funky jirations on the fly bridge just trying to keep
myself awake. I'm sure if someone had accidentally come across me in the middle of the night
they would have thought I had lost it completely. Of course the squall that packed 37 knot
winds around 3 o'clock this morning got my attention though! I had a full genoa and 1 reef
in the main when it hit. My fun meter got pegged in the wrong direction. This one even got
John's attention and woke him up - that's saying alot! I am definitely not going to miss the
squally night watches once we are in port.
So that's it in a nut shell. A monday landfall would be wonderful, but if one more night at
sea is in our future - I know we will manage just fine despite all my miss-givings above. I have the most excellent captain on board that is looking out for my well-being and
keeping me safe and sound. Who could ask for more?
Wind Astern and Flat Batteries
04/20/2012, 12 36'S:131 54'W, 18th Day out of Galapagos - Lots 'o miles under our belt, 450 to go!
Yep the trades definitely filled in yesterday. That is the good of it. The bad is it is blowing directly at Hiva Oa. Well one would think that would be a good thing but then again we aren't a square rigged sailing schooner so we would make better headway if the wind were at least 30 degrees off the direction to Hiva Oa. But we are managing.
We are down to our three sails, the main, genoa and a 3/4 oz asymetrical spinnaker which is good to about 18 knots of wind. We have 18+. Our light weight symetrical broke a D ring on the clew and we don't have a replacement but then the wind is a little heavy for that sail anyway. This morning we put up the heavier asymetrical and after getting it flying right we realized we had a 18 inch tear in the luff about mid way up - so down she came. Trying to sail with the two primary sails with the wind dead astern puts us in a wing on wing with the main on the port tac and genoa out to the port side. With the 18kts of wind we are barely able to make 6 kts. Trying the sails in a standard configuration would put us 40 degrees off the wind making our VMG about half what our SOG is. In other words we would be going as far South as we would be West which would put us just as far away from Hiva Oa tomorrow as we are today. So we are taking wing on wing on a starboard tac and so far we can hold a direct layline to Hiva Oa. One thing I am convinced of after sailing with the trades, even though I haven't seen one on a cat yet, this cat is going to get a spinnaker/wisker pole for those times when you want to fly wing on wing.
Now the next lovely thing that happened yesterday, the problem with the charger/inverter I described a couple days ago, well it got worse. It is overheating (at least the electronics think so) but it is not hot. In other words, it thinks it is hot and then shuts down so we aren't able to recharge our batteries. It has reached the point that within 5 minutes after resetting it goes into error mode and shuts down. I suspect a bad component on the mother board but have no way to prove it. We have another battery charger on board but it is limited to 10 amps per battery bank and can barely keep up with the usage so must keep the generator running. This AM I pulled the Xantrax Freedom 30 charger/inverter out of its mounting spot and pulled the cover off the unit. Temporarily mounted it in the open and directed a fan on the open compartment. Fired up the genset and engaged the charger. Well it works for now but will have to leave the aft stateroom torn up until I find a pe rmanent fix.
Meanwhile during all the excitement, we passed the 500 miles to go point around 8 this morning. That is less than five hundred miles whether you look at it the way the crow flies or look at it from a running and reaching postion. Might still make the port by late Monday or early Tuesday.
Shower time so that is all for now.
John & Lisa
Watching paint dry
04/19/2012, 12 32'S:129 09'W, 17th Day out of Galapagos - Lots 'o miles under our belt, 600 to go!
We have heavier but consistent winds today, averaging around 22 knots. So along with that
comes the heavier seas - which are always lots of fun (as John keeps trying to explain to
me). At least they are mainly following seas with the occassional side kick to keep us on
our toes. We are flying wing-on-wing with the genoa today. Some puffy white clouds in the
area, but no heavy squalls to speak of.
It is laundry day again today. I hope the washing machine lets me have my clothes back when
it is done with them so I can hang them out to dry...
I adjusted our last way point this morning so it more accurately reflects the location of
our destination - which has subsequently added about 30 miles to our "miles to go". When we
were 3000 miles away, it didn't matter that our last waypoint was "just in the vicinity" of
landfall. Now that it's getting closer - it's starting to matter! All my hopes and dreams
are set on reaching that waypoint! I have one heck of a long and uninterrupted nap coming
when we get there! So you might notice that our miles to go doesn't look that impressive
from yesterdays update - my moving the waypoint farther away would be one reason. Our lack
of consistent wind through the night would be the other. But it's good to be counting down
days now instead of weeks. Soon to be counting down the hours! I find myself constantly looking at the chart plotter now - waiting for the miles to
decrease and longitude to increase. It can be agonizing - somewhat like watching paint dry. Can you tell I'm getting anxious to get there!
By the way - the water temperature is 91 degrees! Almost bath water!
Okay - I better go find something else to do with my time before I bore a hole through the
chart plotter screen from staring at it so long.
All for now,