The Good & The Bad
03 June 2011 | 16N; 112W
How quickly things can change out here. By noon today our noon-to-noon run was a whopping 84 nm -- an all-time low! Last night was sooo painful -- with fits and starts of puffs followed by lots of sail slappiong. At one point we covered just one mile in an hour! Most of our postings were in the 2-4 nm range -- not very impressive at all.
But the sunrise and the subsequent burn off the cloud layer brought a better breeze and by mid-morning we had the spinnaker up and comfortably beam reaching in 8k of breeze. The thermal engine kept on chugging and by afternoon we had dropped the spinnaker and were making 6-7k in 13-15k of breeze on a beam reach still. It feels good to finally put in some REAL miles, and not just do a dance step with the wind. The breeze kept up all the way to about 2100, when it finally "petered out"! (OK, my bad!!)
What caused us to drop our spinnaker this afternoon was our autopilot turning itself off and the boat going off course. We had to hand steer for about an hour while I figured out the problem. We had the main oversheeted and the boat was out of balance and Otto couldn't keep up with it. Once we adjusted the sails, all was well. But for about an hour there the prospect of hand steering for 2-3 more weeks stared us ominously in the face.
The other big event today was we saw a ship -- our first in about 3 days. It was a freighter heading, we think, for Hawaii like us. About the same time as it crossed our bow a sailfish bit on the port lure/line. We watched in awe as we scrambled to do something. But he spit the lure almost as fast as he got on and was gone. It was just as well. He was too big for the two of us to keep and we would have just had to figure a way to help him slip the hook. Still, I was hoping to bring him in closer to the boat for a closer look. But all is well that ends well and the sailfish is out there presumably chasing the real thing!!