25 November 2017 | On passage beween Fiji and New Zealand
Coyote played with the wind all day, taking it from NE to SE,then back again, keeping us on our toes as we continually adjusted our course and/or sails with the changing conditions. (In Native American mythology, Coyote is represented as a trickster.) The meteorological - rather than mythological - explanation for this is that we were in a slight convergence zone.
A convergence zone is an area where winds of two different directions come together and fight for dominance. If the difference in competing wind directions is large, you can get some pretty nasty weather as they duke it out.
The convergence zone we're currently in is slight, the difference in wind directions not that great, so the upheaval caused by the contention isn't that turbulent. What we get is that ever-changing wind direction, accompanied by clouds, mild squalls, and a little rain now and then. (Sadly, not nearly enough to wash SCOOTS' salty decks.)
On our Grib charts, where wind direction is indicated by arrows indicating the wind direction, the arrows to the east of our location were tipped ever so slightly to the SE and the arrows to our west were tipped ever so slightly to the NE; the arrow in the middle, where SCOOTS happened to be sailing yesterday, was horizontal, with its head pointed to the west indicating East wind. Kind of like the average of the two other winds, right? Well, in reality, things aren't working out quite like that.
Unfortunately for the SE wind, I know from the forecast that the NE wind is going to come out the winner. But in the meantime, it's putting up a good challenge, keeping the crew of SCOOTS busy. I can just hear Coyote's yipping laughter over the sounds of the wind and sea.
I went on deck again yesterday and am happy to report that the foc'sle has no more visible water in it anymore, the bilge pump having sent it all back into the ocean where it belongs, and keeping up with any new ingresses.
I am also happy to report that as we crossed over 30 degrees south - which I was calling "the promised land" as our Grib charts indicated that the wind would fall below 20 knots and the waves would diminish to 2m or less - these things did in fact happen. At the moment, SCOOTS is sailing along at between 7 and 8 knots in 15 knots of ENE winds, across mostly well-behaved, 1 meter waves. Some waves still feel the need to slap SCOOTS as they go by, showering her deck with spray. There are some in every crowd.
I'm definitely going to cook that chicken today.
SCOOTS' position this morning (31* 42s, 177 29e)