First day done and dusted
03 October 2021 | 18 11.767'S:175 05.347'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
18 11.767 S
175 05.347 E
Weather; overcast, wind 12 knots, waves 2.8 meters
So after my massive blog yesterday I think todays will be short and sweet, well short anyway.
We motor sailed out to the open water and then, after deciding where the wind was coming from, we turned off the engine to give ourselves a bit of peace and quiet. The wind was, as I'm sure you will already have guessed , on the nose so it wasn't so much sailing as bashing our way through the water and constant fiddling with sails to keep them full. Slowly the wind began to drift backwards and gave us a better point of sail for a while, of course that didn't last as it eventually got to the point of being directly behind us and swinging from one side to the other. The main sail started to bang and crash so it was time to put the preventer on, the only question arising from that was which side to put it out on. We started out putting it on the starboard side, of course the wind then veered towards that side and we had to swap it over to Port, and repeat, and repeat and repeat! It gets very old very quickly when you have to keep adjusting everything and even worse when it start
ed to rain just as it was getting dark. Gerry went below to dish up dinner, I was feeling far to nauseated to even contemplate going below at this point, but as soon as he was up to his elbows in dishing up food the wind dropped away to nothing and I had to start the mechanical wind up. We ate dinner to the mellow tones of a throbbing engine whilst being rocked violently from side to side as the swell was coming at us beam on at about 2.8 meters and with a short sharp interval. How we managed to get the food into our mouths remains a mystery but we managed. Oh I almost forgot to mention the other accompaniment, as we are travelling with a flotilla of 3 other boats and everyone has AIS the proximity alarms constantly went off, that gets old very quickly too and there is no way we can stop the alarms apart from being over 2 miles away from the closest boat Ð it's just another reason not to travel in a flotilla! As darkness descended the rain thankfully stopped, we got a bit
more wind and were able to switch the engine back off. I think that I mentioned yesterday that two of the boats are going around the very top of New Caledonia, one is taking a path through the reef where it hasn't been surveyed but he thinks the satellite image shows enough depth (we think he's mad) and we are going through the shipping channel which is the most southerly of the choices, because we have chosen different paths we gradually drifted away from the two boats going the top end route and at the start of the evening the mad man was way out in front of us but heading on a similar course to us for the most part. It was pitch black for most of the night but we could just make out the mast head light on the boat going our way. As the night wore on the wind got stronger and Gerry put the first reef in the main to steady us up in an attempt to let us get some sleep, not that either of us did very well on that aspect and we need to try and catch up at some time today. We m
ade at least 5.5 knots all night under sail and reached the dizzy heights of 8 knots at times, unfortunately the swell made it extremely uncomfortable and difficult to keep our balance so I'm sure my bruise collection is growing once more! Gradually we caught up with the boat going our way (it's a catamaran and he ran with just 2 headsails all night, one on each side) and even overtook him until the sun rose this morning and he is now just slightly ahead of us at the moment. As soon as the sun was up this morning Gerry wanted to put our spinnaker pole out to enable us to goose wing as the wind has decided that for the moment it is going to remain aft of the boat. Much moaning and groaning accompanied the putting gup of the poll but we got there and are currently wing and winging it at around 5.6 knots. The swell remains horrible for the moment but both the wind and the swell are supposed to die away later today and then we will be back to motor sailing. We have totally lost
sight of the two other boats, it will be interesting to hear how they fared when we all meet up in Brisbane.
So in our first 24 hours we managed to cover 136NM which wasn't bad going considering that 14 of those were getting out to the open water. We ran the engine for a total of 7 hours, in fuel economy mode!
So no fish, no stars and just a sliver of moon which didn't show up until 5 am, maybe today will be a better day once the swell dies down, I certainly hope so as I hate feeling this nauseated.