10 November 2009
Last night we had some unfavorable weather. It was not so much that there were strong winds or big waves, but the direction of the wind forced us to beat into it, called close hauled or beating, and is the most uncomfortable point of sail. You crash into waves sending plumes of spray over the bow and bashing the rig with every impact. It also creates a feeling of being on a seesaw as the bow rises up the side of a wave to its crest and falls off, launching the stern in the air, making it quite difficult to sleep. My place of slumber is in the forward berth and up there the sound resonates, and seemingly amplifies, through the hull creating loud dramatic booms with every wave encounter. The autopilot does not perform well at this angle of sail so when on watch you have to put on your fowl weather gear and spend a few wet and frustrating hours at the helm as you move slowly in your desired direction.
Today, however, has been a pleasant day of sailing, storytelling, reading and guitar playing. We managed to tune the sails perfectly so that the boat sails itself, with no autopilot and only the occasional minor adjustment to the helm. Our only downside of the day is that is seems we have finally left the tropical warmth behind us and have had to dig out our thermals and beanies from the bottom of the bilge. A high is slowly passing over us, delivering chilly southeasterly winds from the southern ocean.
We have been fishing day and night but with little success. All we have caught is a small tuna that we threw back. Fortunately our fridge is still stocked from our lucky streak in Tonga and Minerva reef. This evening I made a coconut curry with mahi mahi and splurged with a bar of chocolate for dessert.