Day 9? I'm losing track
04 June 2008 | 29 19 S, 162 17 E
Wind: 20 knots NNE Course: 287 Heading: 290 Speed: 6.5 knots Sailplan: Single-reefed main and two headsails Miles to go: 495
June 5th, noon I think 65 degrees (temp) is stretching the truth a bit. I'm still wearing two shirts, a fleece and my Gore-tex shell, and that's during the day. Last night was cold and windy. Windy is good. We made about fifty-five miles in ten hours. The twenty-five knot winds we had been expecting showed up yesterday at some point and blew through the night, except with occasional lulls, which stink because the person sleeping down below then hears the shackles banging around on the travelers and the sails snapping as they flog. The banging is magnified down below and sounds like somebody taking a baseball bat to a car door. Otherwise, the sailing was pretty fast and furious, and felt like something Ellen does, flying through the night at hull speed, (except she planes), without much of a swell, hoping nothing's in from of you, because you're not stopping. Except Miss M's boats are built to go about six or seven times as fast as ours. England to New Zealand in nineteen days? Is that right? And there actually isn't any comparison whatsoever between cruisers and Ellen. I'm just kidding. Going seven knots/hour in Radiance makes the rigging shake and feels like you're just hanging on by the seat of your pants. We create a lot of resistance going through the water; a huge keel, 5'8" draught and 23,000 lbs of fiberglass and teak. Her huge planing trimaran hardly touches the water, so taking into account the differences in resistance...the feelings we get of flying through the night full steam ahead must be about the same as hers, right?
This feels like a long trip. Twelve hundred miles. It doesn't seem like New Zealand and Australia should be that far apart. They're right next door on the map. We're working our way there though, with 495 miles to go. We count our lucky stars about the weather. Steen has heard others over the SSB who are not as lucky. Boats with different destinations than ours, getting beaten up in forty knots with built up-swells. But for the grace of God go I...
Even with modern weather forecasting, a two week weather window is nearly impossible to predict. Nearly?... or just flat out impossible. Our weather emails that we receive on the boat are forecasting moderate NNE winds shifting east by Saturday. Nothing disconcerting. Hopefully, we will be arriving near the coast on Monday. Brisbane, (pronounced, roughly Brizbun), in another twenty or so miles inland up a river. We must be into these river towns.
Dinner last night was good. I guess we do like Dorado. Steen filleted, floured and pan fried it and it was yummy. I do feel some guilt and a small amount of shame when eating something that I saw alive five hours earlier. (I felt much better about eating the potato salad). Like most people in the Western world, I'm used to being quite happily detached from my food sources. Either that, or I'm scarred from the trick my cousins played on me back in '78 involving the movie Bambi and some home-made 'summer' sausage.