22 November 2009 | Tutukaka
11 November 2009
10 November 2009
07 November 2009
07 November 2009
03 November 2009
01 October 2009
29 September 2009
05 September 2009 | Nuku'alofa
27 August 2009
27 August 2009
23 August 2009
16 August 2009
12 August 2009
09 August 2009
08 August 2009
08 August 2009

Hello Las Cruces

10 April 2009
Trip Log 1778 nautical miles. Last 24 hours: 152 nautical miles, 1843 nautical miles to Hiva Oa.

Flying fish on deck: 12 Squid on deck: 0

We passed the longitude of Las Cruces today, at about 1:30pm Las Cruces time, and we set our clocks back 2 hours to match that time. That is, we passed directly south of Las Cruces.

We caught two nice mahi mahi yesterday and a 30lb tuna today. The sashimi chef (Tane) prepared a spectacular sashimi tuna dish --- beautifully presented.

Diagnosing the problem with the autopilot yesterday (the drive unit has failed) took some time. The winds had dropped to 8-12 knots, so our main and relatively small working jib were only giving us an average of 5 knots or less. With about an hour to sunset, we decided to raise the spinnaker. It wasn't pretty --- three or four mistakes were made, but it was up and flying in time for the green flash. The moon rose promptly, making it very easy to see the spinnaker, and so to steer. Through the night, we averaged over 6 knots as we settled in to actually having to work steering on night watches.

Today, the winds have stayed in the same range and we've been refining our steering technique. Tane is getting quite good at it now. There is a very distinct sweet spot with a spinnaker on a reach the way we're sailing. If you sail with the wind filling the spinnaker completely in this wind, it all looks great and you travel at somewhere between 5 and 6.5 knots. On the other hand, if you bring the leading edge of the sail to a point where it is just collapsing, everything powers up and suddenly you're at 8 knots. It's a knife edge, however, because if you go to far the whole sail collapses, and you have to spin hard in the opposite direction to fill it again, and in the process, the boat slows to about 5 knots for a while. If you're at the sweet spot, a wave coming up from behind will kick you into collapse, so you have to anticipate the wave action by turning to cancel it. So... we've been at it for two hours on and four off all night and all day. It looks as though the trade winds will stay at this lower level for several more days, so we'll be able to keep the spinnaker up. Without the full moon, however, it would be considerably more difficult --- to get full speed, you definitely need to be able to see the leading edge of the sail quite clearly all of the time.

Apart from trying to maintain the highest speed, the other part of the game is to watch the TTG (Time To Go) readout. When we're really flying, says there are less than 10 days to go. Then, when you slow down...

The beauty of the current conditions are that, with relatively lighter winds, the seas are calmer. The spinnaker, on a reach (wind coming from the side more than from behind), tends to really stabilize the boat. The weather is currently fine and clear, another bonus.

We dropped the spinnaker right on dusk and are now proceeding under jib and main.

It's dangerous in the cockpit tonight! Two flying fish have hit hard right next to us. They sound like bullets hitting the metal fittings.

The trade winds are forecast to increase significantly as we get west, so the issues then will have to do with reefing and keeping control in the waves.
Vessel Name: Kena
Vessel Make/Model: Ganley Pacemaker 40
Hailing Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand
Crew: Roger, Sally, Tane, Hunters all
About: The Hunter family: Roger, originally from Tutukaka, New Zealand Sally, from Tasmania, Australia and Tane is from New Mexico.
Extra: This leg of the trip is from Puerto Lucia, Ecuador to New Zealand.
Kena's Photos - Main
Playing in the world's smallest independent nation.
47 Photos
Created 15 September 2009
A few picks of Roratonga, where we picked up Tomas, and of the incredible Beveridge Reef
20 Photos
Created 1 September 2009
Our adventure in the islands of Tahaa and Raiatea in The Society Islands
18 Photos
Created 5 August 2009
Mystical Bora Bora in French Polynesia
31 Photos
Created 5 August 2009
The Sailing Rendezvous in Tahiti and Moorea, plus a little of Huahine
35 Photos
Created 5 August 2009
Our journey through the coral atolls of the Tuamotus in French Polynesia
65 Photos
Created 19 June 2009
Tahuata, Ua Huka and Nuku Hiva
48 Photos
Created 12 May 2009
25 days of open seas and our first few days on Hiva Oa
51 Photos
Created 28 April 2009
Our journeys to Puerto Lucia, Cuenca, Guayaquil and about
55 Photos
Created 25 March 2009
Our journey through the Galapagos Islands.
50 Photos
Created 17 April 2008
37 Photos
Created 17 April 2008
14 Photos
Created 18 March 2008
49 Photos
Created 6 March 2008
46 Photos
Created 22 February 2008
58 Photos
Created 26 January 2008
Mazatlan South
58 Photos
Created 9 January 2008

S/V Kena

Who: Roger, Sally, Tane, Hunters all
Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand