Trade Wind Sailing
11 June 2010
We have reached the trade winds! We now have more consistent winds form NNE and NE, between 15 and 25 kn, or 18 - 30 miles and hour. 20 kts seems ideal for the boat heading downwind. We have been scooting along at close to 6 kts, pretty good for our heavily loaded boat.
A challenge has been that we will see a steady 19 kts from 10° for 45 minutes of the hour, then a spike up to 25 kts from 40°, for 15 minutes or so, straining the rig or forcing us to change sail configuration, only to have the wind drop back down to 19 kts. If we stay rigged for the 25 kts gusts, we have an uncomfortable ride in the 6-8 foot waves as we move too slowly. We also get the occasional larger (8 - 15 foot) that seem to come form 30° different direction (our beam) providing some jarring motion and sending anything we forgot to secure sliding across tables. Cooking takes twice as long, as we have to make sure nothing, especially knives and boiling liquids, have an opportunity to launch. I don't mind.
Christine is not enjoying the motion, but the kids are loving it. While the adults held on, like kids in an elevator they started jumping as the waves hit to see how high they could get, if they flew across the cabin onto the couch, all the better. They soon learned to dive from one side of the cabin to the couch on the other side in time with the waves, sit on the steps and let the waves slide them right off, or hang from the hand rails and let their bodies swing wildly. These games are driving Mom crazy. They are getting exercise.
It is not all bumpy though. In the afternoon and evening we had quiet calm seas and 18 kts of wind. The stars are out for a second night. With continued winds and luck, we should be in Hilo early in the week of June 21.